Since Nasko started school over two weeks ago, I've started going back to work. I am self-employed, but contracted through the State of IL as a Developmental Therapist for children under the age of three who are developmentally delayed. In other words, the state pays me to sit on the floor and play with babies.
It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it...
I've had to make some tough decisions for my job since Nasko came home though.
Nasko is now the child in my life who takes first priority. The children I see for work have been moved to the number-two position. This is not a bad thing, but it means that I have had to cut back from seeing 18-20 kids every week, to 6-8. It also means that my client's schedules have to fit into my schedule, rather than the other way around.
I squeeze (potentially) two children in while Nasko is in PreK three days-a-week. I write reports while he is napping or outside playing with the Reverend.
In a few weeks, summer will be here and Nasko won't get on the bus and head to school anymore! Chance and I are researching some local daycares. We hope to send Nasko to daycare 1-2 short days (mornings?) every week while I see clients.
All of this to say, I was a stay-at home-mom for six weeks, and even now that I'm back to work, I'm still essentially a stay-at-home mom.
This is a slightly different role for me.
When Chance returned to work the week after Nasko came home, I knew I was going to be spending a majority of my days chasing a sweet, but very fast, Bulgarian terror.
On the Reverend's first morning back at the office, he left with a promise to call and check-in periodically. That day, I made Chance vow that he would never, ever call and tell me how quiet his day had been or how nice and polite everyone had been to him. I begged him to tell me that a herd of elephants had randomly run through his office (never mind that we live in Central Illinois where a more realistic option would have been a herd of cattle.) I told Chance that I didn't want to know if the church office was peaceful; I only wanted to know if the majority of the church had a structural problem and the safest place for EVERY staff member to be was in HIS small office - all day.
So, Chance humored me for the first few weeks.
He'd call home mid-morning to say that his arm had gotten cut off in the copier and that he burnt his face using the laminator.
He'd say that the roof had sprung leaks above his office and all his electronics had been ruined by the rain.
(Ministry isn't really that dangerous of an occupation, so the stories of Chance's stress were very, very unfeasible!)
At about the third week, my loving-husband-of-almost-six-years started saying, "G, I think you'll enjoy going back to work. It's kind of a nice break."
Now that I'm three weeks back to work though, I'm here to say, it's really not that much of a break!
I say and do very similar things all day - whether at home or at work - just with a slightly different audience.
My job is a little different from the Reverend's. I never get to use the copier OR the laminator.
For my job, I might not be saying "Mama, up." or "Tell Mama go!" I'm more likely saying "Miss Ginger, up." and "Tell Miss Ginger go!"
I'm repeating and emphasizing the same phrases. I'm encouraging the same skills. I'm giving the same amount of praise and correction. I'm just in other people's houses. On other people's floors. Playing with other people's kids. And referring to myself in third person with a different name (which, by the way, Miss Ginger is MUCH harder to say than Mama.)
I missed many of my clients, and I enjoy getting out of the house. I love the freedom and the flexibility of my job. I really look forward to the paycheck. But work is not much of a break for me!
All in all though, it's good to be back to work!