knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

fingers crossed

I like my job. It's a good place to work, and they let me take on whatever projects I have an interest in learning. It's pretty laid back. However, it is not particularly family-friendly. By that, I mean that not many people here have children, and if they do, they're all grown up.

So it was with some hesitation that I began looking into my maternity leave options, and more importantly, my return. Turns out child care is really, really short around here, and waiting lists are placing children for next summer. Yikes. Time to get a move on.

Whatever I decide, there are a couple things I know: 1.) We cannot afford for me to stay at home beyond what my maternity benefits will cover, which is precious little and 2.) I would go stark raving mad if I stayed home full time. So back to work it is! The question

I put together a maternity leave proposal that outlined my plans for covering my work while I'm away. But I spent most of the time concentrating on my return-to-work plan. I came up with four proposals, in order of preference to me. Plan #1 was to return to work quickly, fell-time, along with the baby. Revolutionary, non? I did my homework and came up with supporting articles from CNN and small business groups. I also was able to lay my hands on the baby-to-work policies from another small company in Vermont. My basic defense was that everybody wins. I get to spend thousands less a year on child care. I wouldn't be so emotionally torn about placing a six-week old infant in day care. Pompy gets me back as soon as possible, and I could continue to work as I do now...staying until the job is done, and not being constrained by day care hours and sick children being sent home. I don't have to suffer through an eight-hour separation every day. I don't have to pump. It goes on and on. All I really need to move my area from one end of the room to a much more private spot across the way.

Naturally, the plan relies on the support of my coworkers and their willingness to put up with having a small person around. Also, somehow I'll need to keep my mother-in-law from camping out in my office and causing a general disruption. This is a bigger concern than it might seem. I'd also need to learn how to juggle caring for him and getting some actual work done. Baby boy would come to work with me until he was too mobile to stay in one place or Pompy got tired of the arrangement, whichever came first.

Plan #2 was to work from home two days a week and do day care for the other three. Less expensive, less separation, but not completely ideal. Not sure I could work from home. I'd end up sweeping the floors and doing laundry, I think.

Other plans were a gradual return to work using up all my leave time, but not benefiting me at all in the long run. Still full time day care, and the most work interruption possible.

My boss Rob and I had a meeting last week to discuss. Although I really, really want to try bringing the baby to work, I was really not expecting the plan to fly. Imagine an office full of predominantly gay men willing to put up with the presence of a small infant? I mean, we allow dogs, but this is something else altogether. Anyway, Rob and I brainstormed as if this was not a huge obstacle. And imagine my surprise and pleasure when he told me he was not opposed to the idea of "Pompy Day Care." Dude, that's half the battle! Now all that remains is for him to win the support of the rest of the VIPs and we're in business. Easier said than done, but I really am hopeful. It would mean so much, as I know Rob realizes.

That was a week ago, and I'm still waiting to hear on a decision. Rob can be a procrastinator, so I'm not even sure that it has been discussed yet. And I'm trying not to read too much into a little chat I had with Mark, another coworker.

Mark: Wow. You cleaned. And took all that shit off the wall.

Me: Yeah, I had a germophobe moment, and I was sick of looking at the mess everywhere.

Mark: I like the artwork. Still, you're going to have to take it all down again when you move into David's space.

Helll-ooo? Move? Why would I be moving into that secluded little nook if it weren't for the need for more privacy? Say, like if I had a baby with me??? And why would Mark have let that slip if they hadn't had a discussion? And agreed, at least in principle to give it a try?

I am on the most outrageous pins and needles. Am trying to be cool. Am trying to wait until Rob is ready to talk to me. Am trying not to get my hopes up, lest it all come to nothing and they are, collectively, unwilling to give this a try. Finding it very hard not to give into hallucinations about the joys of being with my baby every moment. Oh, I am mad with anticipation and suspense. Please oh please oh please...


At 8:51 AM, Blogger Megan said...

That would SO ROCK THE WORLD!! I've got my fingers crossed for you!

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous jessica said...

I second Megan--good luck!


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