It's Thanksgiving here in Canada, but my day of reflection and thankfulness fell somewhere in the middle of last week. Really, I should be in Manitoba right now stuffing myself full of deliciousness, but the weather had other ideas. It was a blessing in some ways as the unintended long weekend home has meant rolling out a new plan here at Casa Wumpus, and you, lucky blog reader, get to hear all about it.
It started with me officially being hired as a doula for a lovely young couple due end of January. She's added me as a friend on Facebook and proudly told the online world that I was HER doula. My chest puffed out just a little and suddenly I've got even more impetus to read every birth book there is so I can be HER BEST DOULA.
Then, Chou Chou came home from daycare exhausted. I love my daycare for many reasons, but like most, once kids are down to one nap a day, they go down for one nap. Chou, for all her own reasons, has not been sleeping well and has ended up in our bed by 2 a.m. for nearly a week (last night she slept in her own bed again all night, please, please tell me that's the end of the phase. But I'm getting side tracked. Hang on.) Anywho, I came to realize that Chou, now and then, likely needs a day or two home to chill out, sleep when she wants, eat when she wants and have more Mummy time. Maybe a play date from time to time with other kids besides daycare kids.
Then, there was a job. Now, I know some work people read this, so I'm asking them to respect my privacy and just let me talk this out. No judging!
There was a job posting. A really, really good job, paying more money than what I'm making now. It's a different job, a new, exciting sort of line of work. The benefits are stellar (maternity leave top up, anyone?) and it's a national company, which may come in handy if we move again. I was all gung-ho - polishing off the resume and planning my interview outfit.
And then I hit the middle of the week, got hired as a doula and realized my baby needs me more, not less right now. I started listing off the pluses of the job I have now - home-based, flexible, interesting, it's an industry I love and want to be a part of, decent pay - and the cons - home-based, same old same old, a bit lonely. Then I thought about the cons of the new job - longer hours, more time away from Chou (significantly more, I think) a daily highway commute (in winter, yuck), less time for home life and work outs and lack of flexibility.
I realized, it was like a wave that washed over me, that this job is the job for me right now. If Chou is sick, I can still work and be home for her. We only have one car, and that's all we need with only one of us commuting. A winter storm means, at worst, I get bundled up to walk Chou to daycare, or she stays home with me. Big deal. I can work out at lunch, and make up time on evenings and weekends, if need be, in the event that Chou did stay home. And then there's the doula thing - what job could be more perfect? I'm away from home very few days a year, thus very available for being on-call.
But I also know that there are aspects of this working from home thing that are driving me a little bonkers, thus even looking for another job. I need separation of work and home. I need more social interaction and stimuli. I need to feel my work is meaningful.
Which brings us to this weekend. Being somewhat snowbound meant having not much to do but stay inside. I decided two things - One: My office was moving downstairs. We've got a comfy living area down here, with windows and pot lights. Now, I have a dedicated workspace (that is not also Chou's video and colouring area), plus it converts easily into workout space. Our den upstairs is becoming Chou's play room and our TV room (more on that later). It's win win. Two: I need to host more playdates and keep Chou home when she needs to stay home. Maybe that's once a week, maybe more, maybe less. But everyone now and then, I need to work extra hard Mon-Thurs so that Chou can stay home, we invite friends over and we all play, mellow out and have some social time whether we want to or not, damn it.
So that's it. This Thanksgiving I really have come to realize that I've got it good. So good. It just took nearly giving it up for extra cash and the chance to wear heels more often to make me see that money and fancy shoes really aren't that important. Basement offices, lunch time workouts and playdates are the cat's meow, according to me, and so it shall be. Amen.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.