One of the first things I wrote about in this blog, back when we were talking about if and when we should try to have a baby, was my wife’s job. If was a big item in the “con” list for having a baby when we did. She spends 3 to 4 hours communting every day. It’s a hard core, fast paced job and she often spends 13 hour days at work, not including commute. She comes home stressed, frazzled, angry, and sometimes crying. She’s severely underpaid, and this year lost fifty 24-hour days in unpaid overtime and commute.
But we decided to have a baby anyway and hope that something new would come along during the pregnancy. It didn’t. I’ve spent the first 4 months of our daughter’s life being what often felt like a single parent. My wife would leave before the baby woke up in the morning and get home when we were both asleep in bed. I went to 99% of doctor appointments – during pregnancy and with the baby – alone. It sucked for both of us.
At the beginning of December, she submitted her resignation and signed a contract with a new company. The new job is 5 minutes from our house, pays slightly more, is 8-4 with no one staying late in the office, and is actually in the field of her education. She starts Jan 3rd.
I should be more excited, but I’m skeptical that things will actually change. Yesterday my skepticism was unfortunately affirmed. She got a contract for 15 hours a week with her old job. Again severely underpaid (at least half of what she should be making). So now she will be working two jobs – one full time and one part time. The one con with this new job is that it’s a contract position covering a maternity leave so she won’t be able to take parental leave in the summer like we had planned. That con was balanced out by the sheer number of hours she would save being so close to home and having regular work days.But add another part time job and we’re suddenly losing the parental leave AND the extra hours at home.
She is a workaholic on a DNA level I think. At least she will be close to home, and she can do a lot of the extra contract stuff from home, so no commute.
I’m also going back to work for my not for profit and taking on a TAship starting in January. I was really counting on my wife being home (and available) evenings and weekends so I could get my work done. Not to mention I’m sitting on a PhD dissertation proposal that is getting stale and outdated the longer I’m on academic leave.
But that’s enough skepticism. Things might get better just having her close to home. This contract with her old employer is only until March, so hopefully she doesn’t renew it and we can have a summer of free weekends together, and she will be able to take care of Avery while I work in the evenings. Fingers crossed. But I can’t help but be skeptical.