The Big Transition

Finally, after a long, stressful job search I got a job! I just started last week – and in typical crazy Econ-Mom style, I started the day after we got back from a family vacation.  My younger son, Peanut (4), doesn’t handle travel super well, so in hindsight, I should have negotiated for a little more time before I started. But I figured it’s going to be a big transition no matter what, so why not approach it like a cold pool and just jump in the deep end?

Thankfully, we had a wonderful sitter for Tuffy (7) who was able to go to full-time for the rest of the summer, and Peanut was already in daycare.  So our new routine is that DH handles the morning routine so that I can leave home by 8, and then I leave work at 5 to pick up the kids.  As far as extracurriculars, Tuffy’s sitter is able to bring him to his gymnastics class, and on Thursdays, when he has his social skills class, she’s able to bring him there and I meet them there.  (Peanut was also doing gymnastics, so we moved his class to Saturday.)
My first day of work was a Wednesday, but DH has an 8am teleconference every Wednesday. Normally I would never ask him to take the kids on a Wednesday morning, but I had to meet with HR at 8:30, so…. I just left! DH said “I’ll have the phone on mute for the teleconference and the kids can watch tv, and it’ll be fine.”  And guess what? It was actually fine.
Of course not everything was fine.  Peanut had a HUGE tantrum when he was dropped off at daycare. His teacher even told me about it after school, because she had to bring him back to the classroom early (they spend the entire morning out a a park). I have to say, I’m not *happy* that this happened, but a little part of me was happy that DH got to experience the screaming and clinging. I could hear the worry in DH’s voice when I talked to him, and I was thinking “Hi, welcome to the anxiety and stress that I have been dealing with for YEARS.” Of course, Peanut did live to tell about it, although he’s still gradually adjusting. When I picked him up after my first day he said “Mommy, is your job done now?”
Tuffy on the other hand is having a blast with his sitter.  Last Friday she sent me pictures from a playdate with two of Tuffy’s friends. I felt a little bit sad that I wasn’t there, but honestly overall I am feeling really good about my new job. The thing I am loving the most is that I don’t have to expend a bunch of mental energy to try and carve out time to work. It’s just 8:30-5 every day, period. If something is happening during that time, I won’t be there. I am realizing now how much brain space that effort took up for me, and despite spending more hours a day away from home, I’m actually more relaxed. (Of course, I’m still ramping up in the new job so we’ll see in a few months how relaxed I am!)
Law-Mom: Econ-Mom, this all sounds so strangely familiar. : ) That is how The Hub and I used to divide and conquer: He did mornings, and I did afternoons/evenings. (Now that we are both working at home, we just share everything, which is nice after single-parenting through years of home improvement projects.) Also, I 100% agree with you: I found life got so much easier (in many aspects, anyway) when I went back to work full-time. There will still be some big-time hassles and challenges (mainly related to school-related activities and childcare) but the day-to-day mental-load is easier if you like to, and are good at, compartmentalizing, which it sounds like you are. Good luck, and congratulations on the new job!!