I love that John Meyer song. (Say What You Need To Say). I don't necessarily think it's wise considering the Bible tells us to guard our tongues, but I do like it nonetheless. It leaves me with the inspiration to write what I need to write. I'll try to be as tactful as possible, but brace yourself.
I don't like to be Debbie Downer, but I do like to be real and sometimes that's a fine line. Regardless, this is my blog which means it's life in my own words, and today I don't want to mince with any. I am tired. I am discouraged, and I am at the end of my rope. Really, I am.
I've already been burning the road at both ends between working full time, taking care of a household, and raising a family. Throw in trying to make room and get ready for a baby, and you have the recipe for disaster.
Well, things went from bad to worse today when work informed me that they will no longer be giving me paid maternity leave. I am fully aware that they are within their legal rights, however what is legal and what is ethical are two entirely different things...especially when I was told in July that everything was "taken care of."
Yeah, about that...someone was terribly mistaken.! I'm, of course, angry. Eric and I could have saved up for maternity leave had we known. Instead we've been paying extra on our van. Regardless, I now have four and a half weeks until I give birth which means I only have four and a half weeks to figure out what we are going to do.
So far my only option is to take a four week maternity leave. I have two weeks vacation this year and one roll over week from last year. I also have one week sick pay...that brings me to a grand total of four weeks. FOUR WEEKS, ya'll. I won't even be cleared to drive for two of those weeks. Oh yeah, did I mention that Ellie can't go to daycare until she is six weeks old, and our doctor would prefer us to wait until she is eight weeks old before we send her. How is that supposed to work? Honestly, I have no clue!!!
My biggest concern isn't the logistics of working this out (although it is up there.) My biggest concern is the possibility of postpartum depression. I suffered with it once Eli was born, and the things you need most to recover are time (to adapt to your new normal) and rest...lots of rest. Well, seeing as I have to be at work at 5:30 am, I don't see how either of those things are possible. I'm praying feverently that I will adjust quickly and easily to life with two kids.
Oh yeah, then there is the issue of bonding. Because of the c-section I won't be able to do much for Ellie or Eli the first week. I had helped lined up, but I'm now going to have to use that person to watch our sweet girl while I return to work. Anyway, that gives me only three weeks to bond with this child before the demands and realities of life set back in.
To say today's news was a big blow would be grotesquely inaccurate. I am completely dumbfounded that a company I have sacrificed so much for would do me this way at this time (just weeks before I deliver a baby). I'm trying hard to find the silver lining, but it's hard.
The Lord tells us in James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault." I've been claiming that verse all day because I need good and perfect wisdom as I sort through these feelings.
What I am realizing is how much my career effects my home life. It's ironic because I took this job to allow myself the luxury of being home with my kids in the afternoon. Instead I find myself away from my family when I'm needed the most. I'm embaressed to admit this, but I have only taken TWO full sick days to take care of Eli...TWO in three years! One of those was the day he had surgery. Eric is the one who takes off during the morning hours so that I can rush into work to get my job done and get home in time for him to head into the office. Don't get me wrong, I've left early, but I haven't had full days home with a sick child.
When my dad was in a serious accident and in the ICU, I could not go home to be with my family because once again, I had no one to fill on for me. We had no way of knowing the severity of his injuries, and I was tied down at work. Can you imagine the agony?
I have taken only four sick days in three years, and the only reason I took that many was because I was in the hospital following an emergency surgery. I have come into the station with stomach bugs and puked between commercial breaks. I have come in with sinus infections and colds. I even came in one day without a voice...I got lots of viewer emails over that one. Why would I do that? Because no one else will.
Holidays? Let's talk about those. I knew going in that I would have to work holidays...it's part of the gig. However, being the "face of the station" has perks...like the weekend person has to fill in for you sometimes. I used to be the weekend person, so I know how much it sucks. That's why I've always tried to be accommodating for the holidays. This means I have worked Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4th, Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Working those days always put a damper on holiday spirit.
When I am home, my family doesn't get the best of me..they get leftovers. I check my email at least once an hour until I go to bed, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure everything is still ready for the next morning. There are so many days where I come unglued on Eric or Eli simply because of the frustration I dealt with earlier in the day at work. Most nights I fall asleep long before my husband and on the weekends I'm too tired and irritable to bother with cooking, cleaning or taking care of a house. I'm skimming the surface here...I'm sure Eli and Eric could add to that list.
So, why am I telling you this. Well, I need to vent. I'm also proving my case that this job has sadly come before my family on so many occasions...too many occasions. And you know what? It's time for change. The Lord has been dealing with my heart in this area for quite a while, but I have been resistant to make the changes necessary to realign my priorities. And the end of the day, I truly love my job. I feel blessed to work in this field, and I don't want to let anyone down. Except I am letting people down...my family.
As I mentioned, I have needed to shift my priorities for a while, I just needed a starting push. I guess today was that motivation. Will I still give 100% at work? YOU BET!! Will I continue to let my work control my family time? No, because for the first time I see that no amount of dedication to this place will be rewarded, no about of sacrifice will be noted, and no amount work will be appreciated.
As a wise woman told me yesterday, "you will always care more about work than work cares about you."
Another dear friend and working mommy told me this, "one day I will look back on my life and wish I had spent more time with my children. I will never look back and wish I had worked more."
So you see, I will continue to work hard for this company because this is where the Lord has placed me for this season of my life. I will continue to do my job with passion and zeal, but I will no longer work for man's applause. Instead, I will work for the glory of the Lord and claim these verses in the trenches.
. "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." - Philippians 2:3
" For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servan of Christ" - Galatians 1:10
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:2
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I Corinthians 10:31
Will you please pray that the Lord continues to deal with my warped priorities? Will you pray for balance, joy and peace to be restored to our home? Will you please pray that the Lord will provide for us according to his riches and glory so that this maternity leave will the perfect amount of time to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually? Will you pray for the four weeks to be enough time to adjust to our new normal?
I was dealt a bog blow today, but my God is bigger than this situation. May I bring him glory through my words, my actions, and my speech. May I bring him glory as I raise these babies to be men and women of character and strength!!