With the birth of Veronica came the knowledge that having two full time working parents wasn’t going to work anymore. We were drowning with us both working and we needed some kind of life raft.
My job as a postdoc wasn’t a long-term position. Postdocs are 3-5 year positions after which you work on getting a full time job as a scientist at a lab or as a professor at a university. People usually apply for these positions anywhere in the country and that last option just wasn’t an option for us. We have no desire to leave Chicago given that we have a house in a great neighborhood, my dad and stepmom live down the block, Jason’s job is downtown and he has no need to leave that place. Oh and the Cubs are here and we have season tickets so obviously we aren’t leaving those. (LET’S GO CUBS!!!).
I talked to my bosses and told them I wouldn’t be coming back after the birth of the child and I was going to do the Stay at Home Mom thing, start a photography business, etc etc.
But someone at Fermilab mentioned that I should become a contractor for this one area in which I had become an expert. Hmm….maybe I should. Few hours a week, keeping my fingers in the physics (which I love…just didn’t love/couldn’t do the full time). That idea kept stewing in my mind. Followed by some discussions with another group on which I thought I could be useful for a few hours a week.
So in the end, working with the local lab I became an “on-call technician”. I work a few hours a week. I get paid some amount of money. I get to go into the lab one day a week (if I want, otherwise I can do all the work from home….but I like to see adults so that’s been nice).
This is the first time in my adult life that I haven’t had a full time job. And I gotta say. It’s alright. It’s different and we are all adjusting to me being home most of the time. It’s not easy (and I knew this going in), but with lots of help from my parents and Jason we are slowly getting into a rhythm. With Veronica sleeping more, I’m starting to feel a little more human and so some of the tasks that were super overwhelming are feeling less so.
It’s nice being comfortable from a money standpoint and this will definitely make us watch our bank account with a closer eye. But at some point I think you have to note that there isn’t a replacement for being home when the kids are little. We are lucky that we are able to do this right now. And who know what changes in the future but for now this is the path we are on. I like the idea of doing a few different things. Photography, physics, mommy-ing and so on.
So. Change it is.