I think this may have to be my last year teaching. :(

Discussion in 'General Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I just can't handle it. I don't know how any parents can. :( Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I'm missing something. Here is a day in the life:

    5:00 Wake up, get ready for work
    6:00 Pump (I pump exclusively, 4 times a day)
    6:40 Wake LO up and get ready for daycare
    7:00 Leave the house
    7:35 Get to work
    - 3 out of 5 mornings I have a meeting
    - Three days a week I have a 30 minute prep, two days a week I have a 60 minute prep.
    - I pump during my entire lunch hour, while eating lunch.
    3:45 Work is done, pick LO up from daycare
    4:30 Get home, play with my crabby baby, try to feed her and eat something myself. DH gets home around 5:00.
    6:00 Put LO to bed (we switch off doing this)
    6:30 Pump
    7:00 Laundry, cleaning, check email, crash on the couch
    I'm usually asleep by about 8:30/9:00
    I get up around 2am to pump, and I'm usually up for about 60-90 minutes. This is also when I bag up milk to freeze or take to daycare, switch laundry to the dryer, etc. For some reason I get a huge burst of energy during this time.

    I'm exhausted. I hate going from seeing my LO 12 hours a day for the past 6 months to just 2. I cry about it almost every day. Taking her to daycare breaks my heart.

    I'm so sick of my job already. I spend every single minute of my prep time working my butt off, and I still don't even have my lesson plans even close to being finished for the upcoming week. My team wants to meet during lunch time, so I'm going to facetime them on my iPad while I pump.

    My principal made it a rule that we had to personally call every parent in our class by today to check in and see how things were going. I haven't called one. When am I supposed to do this?!! We have to do running records and PALS assessments on all students by October 1st. I used to do this during recess time, but now that's when I pump. We're not supposed to use instructional time to do assessments. When am I supposed to get this all done?!!

    We just got a nasty email that we're printing too much, and we're going to get our printer taken away. I hate being treated like a naughty child. I'm a professional. Treat me like one.

    I'm just so done, and we've only been in school for 8 days. I used to be the teacher who came in at 7 am, stayed until 7 pm, and came in on weekends. I can't do that anymore. I don't want to do that anymore. I absolutely refuse to spend any time that I could be with my daughter at work, or on work-related tasks. I'm realizing that this is nearly impossible. For the first time in my career I'm working just 40 hours a week, and I'm not able to fulfill the duties of my job. I also dropped off of all committees and extra-duty tasks this year. I don't want to stay at work late, because that would be an entire day that I go without seeing my LO. That's not happening.

    So, how on earth does everyone do it? People keep saying, "It will get easier," but I don't want it to. I don't want it to be easier to see my baby just 2 hours a day. I just want to see her.

    Sorry for not posting forever (I've been lurking), and then coming on and whining. I'm hoping some of you will have advice for me. I can't do this for 172 more days. :(
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I was the mother who could not go back and leave my children in the care of another person. I quit when my first child was born and didn't go back until the third one was in school full time. I stayed home for several years. During that time I worked nights, opened my own daycare, worked at a church school, etc. I did everything I could to bring in some extra money while I stayed home. I just knew I could not work full time and leave my children. I'm not super mom.

    So, I feel your pain.
     
  4. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think that will be me next year! DH is ok with me staying home after this year. We didn't plan for it financially, so we compromised and said I would work one more year. I just don't know how I'm going to be a good teacher, and a good mommy. My students deserve a good teacher, and my baby deserves a good mommy. I wish it was more manageable to be a teacher and a mommy.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I don't have a baby, and I'm overwhelmed. I can't imagine keeping up with all of it with a child. I'm already working 7am-7pm between work and home, and spending at least 4 hours per weekend getting stuff done. We've had preps taken away recently for testing, which we'll get back, so it will get easier... but then we have testing again in a few months. It's an endless cycle. I want my life back.

    Wishing you health and happiness.
     
  6. lilia123

    lilia123 Companion

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    I can say I definitely know how your feel! I felt the exact same way when I had my first child. I tried to go back to work and felt very overwhelmed and missed my daughter. The pumping also made it more difficult because the time I used before to plan I now had to pump. I don't know what your personal situation is but I left my job about 2 months after returning from maternity leave. I came back the next year when my daughter was a year old and it was much easier. I wish I had some great advice that would help. It's never easy leaving my kids all day but like people are telling you it does get easier.
     
  7. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I will say, it gets easier when you're not pumping. Like you, I exclusively pumped for both my children. It's very time-consuming. It's also better when they start staying up a little later. My youngest went to bed by 6:00 her entire first year. She got home from daycare at 5:30.

    Hang in there! You will find your stride.
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I would stay home with my son if I could. I've also cried a lot over having to leave him. Luckily my husband stays home with him, so he doesn't have to go to daycare. But I can admit that I sometimes feel jealous. I really struggled at my last school because everyone expected me to stay really late, and I had a new baby and was pumping also. I think pumping damaged my relationship with coworkers because I didn't get to hang out with them and get to know them as much (I still wouldn't have changed anything). That's one good thing about my new school. It's a tough school, but no one looks down on you for leaving immediately after contract hours.

    My son goes to bed at 8, and sometimes 9 lately. I won't put him to bed before 8 because I want that time with him.

    I completely sympathize with you. It's so hard leaving your child and I would give anything to get to be home with my son. I love teaching, but it just isn't the same after having a baby.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oh, poor dear! I haven't the slightest idea if it gets easier because my daughter was a year before I went back to work. They say teaching is a good mom job, but it's not when you have wee little ones.
     
  10. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    I can't even slightly imagine how insanely busy you are as I have no children, but I have noticed that every year my district gets just a slight bit more demanding on my non contracted time. It's really not very respectful. They have now said we aren't to go to trainings during our contracted time, these manditory trainings are only offerred evenings and weekends. like your printing limit, weird and unprofessional on their part. (sorry, but it irks me) Your lunch time should be yours, not your department's. It's difficult enough that your time off contract is already called for by pumping needs and other baby related needs. ...I feel for you and I don't think all of it is about being a new mom.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Sep 12, 2015

    I am a huge advocate of breast feeding and nursed all my children as long as I could. That being said, it may be the straw that is breaking your back. You have given your child a wonderful, healthy start, but if it is draining your time and energy, it may be time to wean. You will still be a good mother - maybe better in some ways because you won't be as exhausted. Pumping takes so darn long and just isn't fun. I would consider gradually weaning to make life easier for yourself.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I agree with this. I also don't have any children of my own, and I always wonder how I would possibly handle it if I did. I can't even imagine how I would make it all work. Teaching is such a demanding job, where we're always being asked to do more and more with less and less. Even without having children to factor in, I'm coming dangerously close to the point of burnout from all of these demands. Props to you for even trying to make it work. I know I would be a mess if I were in your shoes.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    :hugs:

    I am not teaching this year. School just started Tuesday here, so I'm not sure how much I will miss it. The last year was so tough on me and I had so much anxiety and depression that I knew I needed a break. So far, it has been very nice to leave work at work. My company doesn't even allow us to check our email when we are out of the building. They say that there is someone here to worry about it. (We set an out-of-office and it gets forwarded to someone else.)
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That sounds amazing. Can I ask what field you're now working in? As I mentioned in my most recent post, I'm thinking of getting out of teaching too. Long term, I'd like to go and get a Ph.D. in educational policy, but I'm trying to figure out what else I could do in the meantime besides temp work.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Driving pigeon, I think I know what you would say if you were asked if this situation was good for your health or the health of your baby. I don't know if you can afford to take more time off, and our country doesn't offer a humane alternative for parents of young children. Besides that, I think the teaching profession, itself, has become inhumane and inured to the needs of teachers, in general. You have to do what is right for you, though; what is reasonable for one parent isn't for another. How much should you be giving up for your job? Should you spend your time addressing the needs of other people's children when you feel as though you can't address your own needs or those of your child? If it weren't so difficult to get a teaching job, your answer would probably be quite clear.
     
  16. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I understand the feeling. This was the first week of school for us, and I didn't see my daughter from Tuesday morning until last night. That balance will get better once the school year gets going, but it's always frustrating that no matter what, there will probably always be at least one day a week where I don't get to see her.
     
  17. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I work for a title company. Basically, I deal with things like deeds, liens, payoffs, etc... I prepare paperwork for closings. It is not a very exciting job, but the environment is great. They treat their employees well. Just yesterday someone declared 'dance party' and everyone got up a started dancing. They are huge on volunteering, so I will actually be tutoring a first grader every week- on the clock. I figure that can help me fill that void somewhat. They actually give awards for top volunteers. Some people do 8 or more hours per week. All on the clock.

    Chicago has a pretty big title compan
    y. I usually have one or two orders with documents from them each day.

    Or, if you want to move over to the better side of Lake Michigan (;)), my company is hiring like crazy. We are about to take on another big client. They have gone from 2000 employees in January to about 2800 now. I'm sure they will still be growing for months after we take on the new client. I don't know how tied to Chicago you are, but the owner of my company owns about 120 companies of varying size. They run orientation every other week and there are 180 spots in each class. I actually had to wait over a month for an open spot in a class.
     
  18. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    How does the salary and benefits match up compared to a teacher?
     
  19. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    I remember having all those feelings too when my now 12 year old was that age--part of the reason we only have one is because of working...my husband's business could not support our family if I wasn't working.

    Your schedule sounds OVERWHELMING and I wish you had more support at school...we used to take each others' classes after recess so pumping moms could pump in peace AND get a wee break at their recess...

    My heart goes out to you. Teaching is exhausting without a baby to care for at home. xoxoxo
     
  20. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I assume that is meant for me.

    My job is hourly with commission. Without working any overtime, I will make about $3000 less than I did teaching. (I used the average commission amount for my position for my calculation.) But overtime is unlimited and doesn't need approval. You actually are required to work overtime during the last week of the month (there is a large increase in business). I could easily earn $5000-10000 more than I did teaching. (My take-home is a little more than it was teaching because my insurance costs are lower and no more union dues.)

    Benefits-
    Insurance is great. I pay $20 a week with very low co-pays and deductibles. WAY better than I've had teaching. Dental is $3.50 a week and vision is $1.50 a week. Dental covers all exams and x-rays, plus $3000 a year. Vision covers new frames every year, new lenses every year, PLUS contacts and computer glasses every year.
    The company provides certain beverages (coffee, cappuccino, teas, hot chocolate, and frozen slushies) and snacks free every day.
    They provide meals pretty often. Especially at the end of the month when you are on mandatory overtime. Probably 3-5 per month, at minimum.
    Paid volunteer time with no limit.
    In your first year you earn 80 hours paid vacation, 40 hours sick time, plus 4 personal days. 7 paid holidays. Vacation and sick time go up every year after that.
    Paid lunches. I work eight hours. I often work through my lunch because I'm earning commission. Sometimes I will run out and grab something and bring it back. Occasionally I will actually take my lunch.
    They pay up to $150 a month towards day care costs.
    They match 401K up to $5000 a year and you are fully vested after four years.


    The atmosphere where I work is laid back. Dress code is casual. No flip-flops, shorts, or sweatpants. Other than that, almost anything neat and clean (no rips) is fair game. We have ping-pong tables, a basketball court, Nerf guns, scooters, etc... to use whenever. On the clock. They threw an end-of-summer party the other day. For hours, most of the company was outside eating free food, getting giveaways, playing games, listening and dancing to the live band, etc...


    My job itself isn't very fun or exciting, but the company tries to make work fun and exciting.
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    thank you , for taking the time to respond.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That all sounds so great, Giraffe. I don't think I'm in a position to move to Michigan right now, but I sure wouldn't mind a work environment like that, if I could find one.
     
  23. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    It's hard going back to work with kids, but it does get easier. Can you drop the middle of the night pump? Most people can skip that when exclusively pumping after establishing a supply. Getting a full night of sleep would probably be a good start. I also think all teachers feel a big drain while getting the new year up and running - setting up a classroom , new mandates/teaching programs, etc, teaching procedures, getting yourself back into the groove, beginning of the year testing, .... It all adds up and it's all draining. My kids got into. Routine of snoozing for 30 minutes or so when I picked them up (partially in the car) and then they could stay up a little later so I saw them for a little longer. I also made meals that went in the crockpot, could be prepped on Sunday, or we had takeout so that we weren't spending time cooking when the kids were awake.
     
  24. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    It does get easier...and I agree, leave school as soon as possible and make time for yourself. If your finances allow, hire help with housework. The time you get for yourself and your family is worth the money spent.
     
  25. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Most of the teachers at my site have a cleaning lady who comes to their homes once or twice each month.

    Honestly, though, I don't know how working moms balance everything. My hat goes off to all of you!
     
  26. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I am so sorry to hear this! It sounds like you have made your decision, the one that is best for you and your family and you shouldn't feel bad about it. If you need to stay home after this year then you do it. Teaching will always be there for you if ever you choose to return after your little one is older. Hugs to you.
     
  27. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I am looking for a job here in the Atlanta area. I was working at Trader Joe's, but landed a job teaching ESOL at a college. I was so excited! After the first instructional meeting, I learned the drive was going to take hour one way. Two days a week I was only teaching for 1 1/2 hours. The job was suppose to be 5 hour days. Financially, I would almost break even. There were some other issues I learned after the instructional meeting. It just wasn't going to work out. :-(
    Anyway, I had already left my job at TJ's for my dream teaching job, which didn't work out. Seriously, this teaching thing just hasn't worked out for me at all. It's like the doors just keep closing in front of my face. I would love a nice office job that has somewhat regular hours and decent pay. I am wondering if your company has any offices in my area of the country (North of Atlanta).
     
  28. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Nope. Sorry :(

    95% of the company (companies, really, because the owner has about 120 different companies) is (are) here in Michigan. There are some offices in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and California. And those are all small offices. I just checked openings in each and most only have 3-5 open positions. There are over 200 openings here.

    Search for title companies in your area. You could be surprised. I'm commuting about 60 miles, so after I started work, I began to see if there is a possibility of working closer to home. I'm staying, but in a year or two (if I still don't feel ready to teach again), I may look at opportunities closer to home.
    I also know that a lot of my coworkers did title work in a lawyer's office prior to coming to my company.
     
  29. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Actually, I need to amend my last post. I was just trained in Georgia closings this week. They do it differently. I still don't understand, but we have to go through a lawyer in Georgia. (Sorry I can't give you more information. I've only worked on three Georgia files, so I don't fully 'get it' yet.)
     
  30. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    I stayed home with mine when they were little because I couldn't imagine leaving them. I know I would have had just as much difficulty as you. I hope it all works out that you can quit like you want next year. My kids are 11 and 9 now and it's still hard some days!
     
  31. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Can you have someone do some household chores for you at home? My mother-in-law picked up bedding and towels weekly to wash and hang at her home.

    Church? our church offers services for those in need. When we had 3 little ones in diapers, working, and pumping, we received help with monthly cleaning, two weekly meals, and lawn clean up.

    I also made arrangements so that one night I could stay at school SUPER long. Exhausted, but I would stay until 10:00. All other nights I went home to my boys. On weekends, I did some things online like Skyward, Goggle docs, Google calendar, i-pad apps, etc. But even that was not often.

    I got a parent to come in for the whole day one day a week. I made a to do list and she loved to complete it. Copy, laminate, cut out, clean, organize, display...basically odds and ends tasks. She was reliable and loved it.

    Best wishes. Like others say, it does get better.
     
  32. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Use up all your sick days this year and quit. There's no reason to be miserable if your family can afford for you to stay home.
     
  33. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Thanks so much for the encouraging words and advice, everyone.

    We have talked about hiring a cleaning person, but haven't looked into it yet. It would be nice to not have to worry about cleaning the floors, bathroom, etc. on the weekends. We don't have family nearby, so we don't have that kind of help.

    I think part of the reason I'm so exhausted, too, is that my husband isn't very helpful. I woke up this morning with a sore back. I can't even stand up or walk. He had a 100 mile bike ride planned 90 minutes away. He was gone from 5:00 AM to 3:00 PM. I had to call my mom to drive 90 minutes to help me, because I couldn't even pick up and/or carry my daughter. I actually found a sub for tomorrow, because I still can't walk. My husband was asking how he could help, but then every time I asked him to do something he would complain that I was ordering him around. Our LO is teething, so bedtime was really tough, and he kept getting frustrated with her, and I couldn't help. So, I feel like I don't have a whole lot of support, which doesn't help matters.

    Unfortunately, LO will have to go to daycare tomorrow, even though I'm home, because I can't even carry her or pick her up. I'll probably be at home crying all day, missing her. Ugh.
     
  34. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    After you've paid for a cleaning lady and for daycare, is it worth the $ you are earning?

    I'm sorry, it's even harder when you don't have the support you need at home. :hugs:

    Look into finding a good chiropractor if your back is that bad. I got a bad back after having kids and it got to the point it was causing other issues in my body. I got everything all straightened out (literally) and feel so much better now. Kicking myself I didn't do it sooner.
     
  35. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I actually have an awesome chiropractor. I haven't seen him in a while, because my back has been great. And then all of a sudden this happens!

    Unfortunately, it is still worth it for me to work. Daycare and a cleaning person make up about half of my salary. We're also on my insurance, which is amazing ($40/month vs. $200/month for DH's, $500 deductible vs. $7,000 deductible). It's probably the insurance that has held us back the most from me just quitting.
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Fair warning: this is going to sound harsh. Your husband needs to step it up. I think it's ridiculous that he is spending weekends away doing his hobbies while you are suffering and overwhelmed. If he is getting frustrated with the baby, then he can do all the non-baby things like laundry, dinner, cleaning, etc. I'm not sure about the state of your marriage or if this behavior has been acceptable all along even pre-baby, but it needs to get resolved now.

    I agree that maybe dropping the MOTN pump might help you feel less tired. Have you considered stopping pumping altogether? You certainly don't need to, but if it's part of your stress then it might be worth considering at least. Pumping is hard work, and it's physically draining. A lot of your fatigue may be relieved just from stopping pumping.

    I think that many of the other issues you describe are school-related and not the norm. Can you make a change to your district, school, or position?
     
  37. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Parenting is so much easier if you and your hubby do it as a team. I have seen parents either hold off on extra curricular activities until the kids grow-up or take turns with the extras. Baby is number one on the list for both of you. With no family to help out, it is so important that baby duties fall on both parents. Seriously important that your husband bonds with his child by performing as many of the child rearing activities as you do. With both of you working full time, it is even more important that those duties are split down the middle, or done together as a couple. You will both be happier in the long run! You might not get to go work out, golf, bike, hike, or have a pedicure, for now, but there is a time and place for everything. Babies grow up so darn fast! Seriously fast! Life gets much easier. It just takes time. Even if you end up being a stay at home Mom, make sure your husband is very involved in all the baby/kid stuff. It creates a closer bond for all of you!
     
  38. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2015

    Thanks for the information. I've been looking on Indeed for Title Company job postings, but there really aren't any here in Georgia listed. I do know that closings have to go through a lawyer. Buying a home is very different in this state, so maybe the Title process is also different? Your job sounded like something I would enjoy. I don't want to teach in the current environment. I have been researching all kinds of careers, but haven't committed to any yet. I do think I would love to be a Library Media Specialist and start grad school, however getting my teaching credential 8 years ago, when there were no jobs available, I am so afraid to jump into college again. I am mostly afraid that there would be no job for me when I finish, again.
     
  39. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Sep 14, 2015

    I totally agree with Caesar 753 in regards to your husband stepping up. If he is uncomfortable with the baby then the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking should fall mostly on him. If not then you will find yourself so overwhelmed you won't be able to care for your little one let alone work. a conversation with your husband should happen now, not later. Sorry for being so blunt.
     
  40. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Sep 14, 2015

    I feel the same way. I can't quit... We depend on me for insurance.
    But I cried all the way through my afternoon pump today. I don't even have a special every day, so I have to find someone to cover me, find something meaningful my firsties can do without me, find a place to go....
    I'm exhausted and HATE leaving my little man!
     
  41. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Sep 14, 2015

    This won't be at all helpful, so I apologize in advance...
    I don't know why people choose to have children these days. I respect parents, but I can't imagine doing it myself. It just seems soooo overwhelming.
    I'm sure it will get better--so many people do it and make it work. Best of luck to you--I hope you stick with it because it sounds like you're dedicated in so many ways.
     

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