I went back to work last week for the second time, after deciding for the second time that I was going to find a different job. :) I had H during 4th year, started this job immediately after graduation, and the practice has changed A LOT since then. I decided not to go back after maternity leave when E was born, but then . . . . . . I did. I was a lot unhappier with it then than I am now, honestly, although people are leaving in droves right now so I'm not sure what the place will be like when everything settles down. I was doing more emergency work with a lunatic tyrant for a supervisor (the combination of ER work and the supervisor meant that I had stress colitis and needed medication to sleep at night) when E was born, and I do more general practice now and that supervisor is long gone. He actually announced his departure right before I went back after E was born, which was a big factor in my deciding to return . . . . . . that and inertia, if we're being honest with ourselves.
Anyway, I like most of the work I'm doing now, I like my bosses, I like my coworkers a lot, I like the facility, I like my clients, I love my schedule - I love working three 12-hour shifts a week because it means I get more time with the kids, and save a lot on childcare. The commute is pretty good. The pay is pretty good. I don't have to do surgery, which scares me, so that's a plus. There's a lot to like about it. Again, we'll see what it's like when everything settles down.
So Monday was my first day back, and it was pretty busy. I left the house at 7:15 AM and got home at 10:15 PM. I got to pump all 3 times I was supposed to, I wasn't seeing emergencies, it was nice to see everyone at work, it was REALLY nice to see patients again! I went to a goodbye party for a departing coworker a couple of weeks ago, and we were talking about work. We both agreed that while we may not always be crazy about our particular job, we love our profession, and that is very true - I can't imagine doing anything other than being a vet, and I love talking with clients and seeing patients. So it was really nice to do that again. But, of course I missed AQ like CRAZY!!! I'd never been away from her for more than 2 or 3 hours before (and that was only once, so I could go to the dentist) so that was a long time away from her. And working those kinds of hours requires some endurance that I've lost, so I need to get back into the swing of things. But overall it went well - I didn't see anything crazy, I got to work with all of my favorite nurses, I had some new consults, I got to dress up and wear makeup, I got to chat with adults without being interrupted every 6 seconds by one of the kids, it was nice to see my work buddies, and the kids did great at home. I was stuck late writing up records - while I was on leave, they changed our medical records system so that the note locks after 24 hours. I work non-consecutive days, so now I can never leave any records to write up during my next shift. It's uncommon in veterinary medicine to be scheduled any time for records and phone calls, from what I gather, so when it gets busy in the evening I might be left with 12-18 records to write up when I finish seeing appointments. Normally it's not that big a deal, but since so many of them were consults, which take forever to write, I was there pretty late.
So far I really like my new schedule, working non-consecutive days. I used to work Monday, Tuesday and Friday, so I would go from Sunday night til Wednesday morning without seeing the kids. I HATED that when E was a baby - it was really hard to be away from her for so long, other than one or two middle of the night feedings. So I love that no matter how long my day is, I'll have the whole day at home with them the next day.
I also LOVE having a nanny!!! We looked into daycare for AQ, but with 3 kids going 3 days a week, it was going to be about $2200 a month, which we couldn't afford. H also starts half-day kindergarten in September, so he'd need to be picked up after school and transported to after-care (which the school district doesn't provide). That means either all 3 kids would have to be in daycare near our house (and therefore his school), and that MM would have to leave work super early to get back here in time for pickup, since all the facilities close at 6 PM, or that the girls would have to be in one daycare and H would have to be in a different after-care, and then MM would somehow have to do 2 pickups, which would be even worse. So while I've loved the experience we had with daycare/preschool, and think it was wonderful for H and E to be with other kids their own age, in a semi-educational environment, the scheduling and finances just didn't work out with 3. I was really nervous looking for a nanny, but we ended up finding someone that I LOVE!!! We found her on one of the major childcare websites, and she had the best references I've ever heard for anyone in any kind of job, so I was really excited when we met her and everyone loved her. It made me feel so much better about having a nanny instead of daycare. The kids really love her, H and E get so excited to see her when she's coming over, and AQ did great with her bottles and naps and was reportedly happy all day long, so it's going really well so far!
And it's so nice for M to not have to rush through evening appointments to get to daycare in time for pickup, and then have hungry, tired children crying through the 35 minute drive home, and then have to get dinner ready when he gets here. The nanny feeds them dinner before he gets home at 7, and then he just does bath and bedtime. And they're not as crazy since they've been home all day, so it's working out beautifully so far. I feel bad that E will no longer have the kind of social interaction she had in daycare, and having H's 5th birthday party with a bunch of friends he's known since he was 10 weeks old made me feel guilty that she'll be in kindergarten before she really has a group of friends again!!! And AQ will never have that until she's in kindergarten! I'll have to look into joining a play group for them, I think.
Overall, it was a nice first week back. Busy but manageable. I missed the kids, especially AQ since I've never spent time away from her before, but I felt confident that the nanny was taking good care of them. I was tired at the end of the day, but not a frazzled exhausted mess. I like the work I do and enjoyed getting to do it again. I can't exactly say I'm entirely looking forward to going back tomorrow, but honestly part of me is! That's really nice.