Today marks a new phase in this motherhood journey, as I'm officially rejoining the team with my previous employer, Brandtrust, on a part time basis. Over the past year I've informally worked with them as an independent contractor. This means I only worked when they had projects - an arrangement that was perfect when Elynor was a much more demanding (at least time wise:) infant and when we were rehabbing the house this summer. But now that things have settled some on the homefront and Elynor is officially a toddler, I'm hopeful this new, more dedicated position will work out nicely. I'll be working approx. 3 days/week spread out over Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from home and Wednesdays in the office. I'm so thankful they've accommodated my desire for flexibility and also thankful for fabulous babysitters who also appreciate this schedule.
While I know this arrangement is about as good as it can get for a mama trying to experience the best of both worlds, to some extent my entry into this new phase is bittersweet. I'm excited to more regularly reengage the part of my brain that's been only periodically activated over the past year and also to reengage with colleagues and clients. I'm also excited to go downtown again and also travel a bit. And practically speaking, the regular paychecks will also be nice. But all this excitement is accompanied by a tinge of sadness. I guess it's been happening slowly with my contractor work, but it feels as if we're now officially turning the page from the intimacy of Elynor's first year of life. Though my schedule is very flexible, I am sacrificing some of the freedom enjoyed this past year. My windows to take classes, go to the park, share playdates, or just play at home have shrunk. Of course we can (and will) still do these things, but our lives now require an increased level of programming and less spontenaity. And being 100% present when with Elynor will now require even greater effort... it will take great discipline for me to focus on work during work hours but not let it seep into others. Possibly the greater risk in this new arrangement is a disappearance of 'me' time. Of course, finding this is challenging for every new mom... but I feel I've found a good balance in the past 6 months. Looking at my new calendar, it appears as if trips to the gym or reading will take place earlier in the morning or later at night.
I know I'm not unique in working through these workin' mama challenges. I'm so thankful I have other women to share with and learn from. But I know the next few weeks will require some adjusting, likely more for me than Elynor or Ryan. I'm hopeful we'll look back months from now with thanks for our 'best of both worlds' arrangement!