Friday, April 4, 2014

Motherhood vs. Career: An Epic Battle

I got some news yesterday that really upset me. It shook me to the core. The news was about a possibility of a job. No one died. No one has cancer. Why was I so upset? The job opportunity is a clinical informatics role in chronic disease management. It's the role that I have been told I would be perfect for, for the last 2 years. It merges both my loves the clinical and the technical world. Sounds perfect right? Sure… Except, it is being posted next month. What else is happening in a month? Oh right! We're having a baby. So this means applications would be due right around when I am giving birth. Interviews due when I am about 2 weeks postpartum and still bleeding, raw, emotional and leaking milk. Nothing makes a women more confident in front of an interview panel like wearing crotch and breast pads, am I right? Then, there's the logistics. It's a union excluded job with no job security and no guarantee it will continue to be funded AND it starts right away. Family and friends say apply if it is what I want and they will support me. If it was as simple as that I would. However the logistics while part of the problem are not the real issue at hand. It comes down to question of whether or not I can have both: career and kids.

In reality if I am being honest with myself the reason I am so upset is the realization that I do have to choose between my family and a demanding career. If I was to get the job choosing either way inevitably means sacrifice. This wouldn't be a regular staff nurse job where I can go home at the end of the day and be done. Work would come home. I know this because I know the work environment and the demands of the job. I also know that the first 2 years of a child's life while magical are truly exhausting for all involved. I guess what I was experiencing was grief over the career I thought I would have at this stage in the game when I embarked on this journey of a double master's. I was a sobbing bawling mess yesterday with the news. I was railing at the Universe and It's shitty timing last night.

You know what snapped me out of it? My child screaming in fear and pain. She got knocked over by the dog and smashed her ear on the concrete step. I didn't see it but I could hear the pain and terror in her shriek and the panic in my husband's voice. In that instant I was over it. Even after she was fixed up and in bed I was over the grief stricken sobbing. I've already made my choice. My career will come... later. I need to learn to be content in the now. This last pregnancy, this last baby will not happen again. Jobs will come and go. This is not to say that I won't work out of the home. I need to do that to feel settled. I just can't take on an all consuming position that may or may not exist in a year and give up the time with this baby. I still feel a little tug of shame like somehow I am not good enough if I don't apply. I still feel a slight internal war between desire for the satisfaction I get from my job and my little ones. I think this will ease. The nerves are still raw from grief.

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