Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Asking for What I Need

Asking for what I need isn't exactly my strong point.  I am more apt to struggle with a problem until it boils over.  Case in point:  I mentioned in passing about three weeks ago to my boss that I wouldn't be able to work Sundays after the baby comes (DH works rotating weekends and besides picking his shift has no flexibility in his schedule).  She informed me that "we would see" and "work out the details when the baby came."

I literally got to the point where I broke down.  It was causing me not to sleep thinking about having to leave my child in unknown childcare on weekends (because we dont have family in the area).  The idea of inconsistency weekend to weekend drove me crazy.  Then it made me start realizing that at some point after waiting all these years for a child i was then going to leave it.  So the idea of child care in and of itself started to drive me crazy.  Then I broke down.  Sobbing.

I couldn't ask DH for me to stay home because I'm the "bread winner" at this point.  So staying home full time for me isn't an option.  Staying home for DH isn't an option either because his career is dependent on years served.  He also doesn't have part time as an option.  When I was sobbing I couldn't put into words what it was I was sobbing about or express to him what exactly it was that I was going to need.

The next day I was able to tell him.  I dont need to stay home full time but I also need to be home as much as possible.  We dont need lavish vacations because once baby arrives there will be no time for them anyway.  We have been squirreling away money for the adoption and prior to that we were saving for a house and prior to that I was in grad school so its been a long time since we "lived" on two incomes.  He agreed and didn't seem to question our ability to live on a just a little less.  Likely it will put off baby #2 but thats so highly dependent on tax credits/rebates anyway there may not be two.  On top of baby 1 hasn't appeared yet anyway.

So Sunday I wrote my boss a note and left it on her desk for Monday.  She stopped in briefly but was primarily home Monday because of her baby being sick.  She paged me and asked if I wanted to talk then.  I knew I couldn't have the conversation without tearing up so I told her I'd talk to her today.  When I got into work today we spoke for a few minutes.  I told her I wanted to work less once the baby arrived.  I told her that I'd be flexible and if she found someone sooner that was looking for hours I'd be willing to cut back sooner (I'd just work per diem somewhere until baby arrived on my "extra day off").  She asked if I had thought about what day I'd like it to be... this is where I struggled.  I told her that I want to be home on Sundays to go to church.  I also reminded her that Sundays would be challenging for me to work.  I then back peddled on myself and told her that I'd be flexible and could possibly work the Sundays DH had off.

Sometimes I'm too flexible and dont look out for me first.  The upside is i'm dependable and willing to make things work.  The downside is i'm easily taken avantage of (because I let it happen).  I need to be better at asking for what I need and being specific.

The moral of the story is my DH agreed with my assertion that I couldn't work full time and be the mom I want to be.  My boss agreed to look into a way to make my outlook for my family work into my work schedule.  If I get three days home w. my baby I will be blessed as not everyone gets that opportunity.

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