Monday, November 17, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why I Work

This is a topic that I have agonized about since we put Quinn in daycare when he was around 11 months old. Before that time, I was working from home on my dissertation, and felt almost no agony - somehow the balance felt perfect. I worked just a few hours a day, on something I loved, with a very concrete goal, and Quinn didn't demand the same level of supervision and interaction that he does now. And though I noticed his delays, I didn't know that he had Fragile X Syndrome, or even that he had delays in every area of development. However, despite any past or present misgivings, I am confident that working is the right choice for me. This is not in any way an invitation to debate about working out of the home versus in the home (because stay-at-home parents certainly do work!). This is intended as a reminder to myself, when I'm questioning my sanity for doing this, and perhaps it will be helpful for assuaging the anxieties of other working parents.
  1. On a good day, I wake up to cuddle and play with my sweet little guy, but then tire of reading The Lorax for the tenth time. I go to work, where no one asks me to read anything by Dr. Suess. Then I get tired of work, and I miss my little guy and even The Lorax. So I pick him up from school, and we have lots of cuddling and giggling and reading and eating and playing. And then I get tired again, and he goes to bed. We wake up the next day and do it all over again. Of course, not all days are good days. But that's another post.
  2. I like drinking my coffee when it is still hot.
  3. I hope that my work is contributing, at least a little, to a better community.
  4. I worked hard to get this degree, and I like using it on a daily basis.
  5. I like having my own money. I like knowing I could build up a secret stash and jet off to Paris. I have no immediate plans to do so. But it's nice to know I could, though at my current salary it would take several years.
  6. I like talking to other grown-ups about things having nothing to do with children.
  7. I think Quinn benefits enormously from his special school, and there wouldn't be much reason to send him there if my husband and I weren't both working.
  8. I like going to the bathroom whenever I want without worrying that someone is hanging himself from the blind cords or about to stick his hand in the toilet.
  9. I am fairly good at what I do, and it's nice to put in a reasonable amount of time and have a pretty good idea of the outcome. Parenting in general, and parenting a child with special needs in particular, is not like that at all. For example, despite all of our efforts to get Quinn to make the "more" sign, he still can't. At work, effort + time almost always = at least partial success.
  10. For me, more would not be more. Because I don't see Quinn all day, I really treasure my time with him and have more patience. He is a handful, and I need the break that work gives me.


FXSmom said...

I work for a lot of the same reasons as you. Maybe we could go to paris together ;-). I need that time to deal with something outside of fragile x. I like to talk about the latest things going on in the world with grown up people who understand.

The Other Lion said...

I totally relate. Thanks for sharing this!

Jen said...

This is such a tough one for me. I was home with the older three--I started working part-time when Matt was almost 2. Part of the reason I want to be with Evan is because of the fact that there ISN'T a good program for him---there is NO program other than the therapy he receives twice a week in our home. Also, being a first year teacher is difficult; the thought of staying home is very appealing.
BUT, I know that when I'm home, and I don't "have" to do anything, my mood can be a bit fragile.