How to hold down a full-time career, get a graduate degree, participate in a social/charity group, and grow a fetus in your uterus all at the same time. The working woman's guide to pregnancy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Job, School, Baby: What's the Right Mix?

It's probably time to start seriously thinking about what we are going to do once baby arrives. As it stands now, I work 40+ hours a week, take two night classes for graduate school, and actively participate in a women's organization. A baby cannot be added into this mix without some shifts.

I haven't decided completely on my plans, nor would it be fair for me to blog about it here before I talk to my employer, but clearly these are clearly among the biggest decisions expecting parents have to make.

The only research I've done on this so far is watching how other women I know have done it. I have been really impressed on the range of decisions people have made to accomodate their needs, situations, and lifestyles. And I really don't want this blog to devolve into a place where women blame each other for the choices they make.

Because the truth is, these are hard choices to make. And nobody is out there trying to make it easier for anyone else. Maternity leave and paternity leave policies at work aren't fair. Health insurance companies are evil overlords. Child care options are less than appealing. Families are spread across time zones. Classes don't take themselves. Breastfeeding in public is a the subject of a major debate on decency.

I feel incredibly lucky that my hubby and I have a good head start on saving money, so we won't have our choices completely limited by financial concerns. And I know that those around me will try to help make it work. And that's a good thing...because, you know, it takes a village.

Any thoughts or suggestions out there?

6 comments:

unkie matt said...

I would ask around. See if there is anyone willing to give top-notch care for the infant for a reasonable salary of say $85,000 + bonuses. It could be anybody. Maybe a brother-in-law.

Baby Daddy said...

We would offer that to Jason, but he probably doesn't want to move from Seattle. Too bad Darcy doesn't have any other brother-in-laws who fit the "top-notch care" bill.

Lynanne said...

My two sons were born while I was in graduate school and working 2 jobs. My experience was that no matter how much I prepared before hand, everything changed after the baby was born. Obviously, you need to plan for some things (childcare can be hard to find ;) ) but try to be as flexible as possible otherwise. A baby can very quickly throw chaos into your best laid plans.

As for breastfeeding in public: Once you get the hang of things, you usually can pull it off without anyone knowing what you are doing. If you plan to be away from baby, I'd recommend a good hospital grade pump (like Medela Pump in Style) Check to see if your insurance will cover some of the cost (ours does with a dr. prescription). Don't be fooled by the fancy-looking ones at Target etc. Breast milk is liquid gold - a good pump is worth its weight in gold.

Good luck!

Shanley said...

Auntie Ellie to the rescue! She has the time and doesn't even know what money is (read: she's cheap!)
And she's experienced (though moreso with the canine variety of children). But if this kid ends up hairy, we might be able to pass it off without anyone knowing...

Shanley said...

Or you could hire a sexy foreign au pair....
That might elicit a LOT of help from all the men you know. :) heck, even the women, too!

Sara said...

You know...there will be a sister-in-law that will be out of school an unemployed as of June 16th. haha.