They say when you have a child, all decisions are made for them. And you make these decisions based off the knowledge you had at the time. Of course hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. And, when you look back at your decisions, you have new knowledge. Information you did not have at the time and you only have right this second. But you still feel as though you made the wrong decision, even though you did not have the same info you do now.
For example, after my maternity was completed and I was heading back to work, I decided to take a job at a call center making pretty decent money, and to take a later shift. I started off with a 3:15-11:15pm shift. I thought this would allow me to spend as much time with my daughter as possible during the day, and when I headed into work, she would spend 4 hours with my parents and be in bed.
What I did not take into consideration was that Alexa gets up around 730am-8am. She has a morning nap around 1030am. Sleeps for 2 hrs bring up to 1230. Then we have a quick-lunch and had to drive Stephen to work leaving around 130pm to get him there for 2pm. Then, bringing her to my mom’s, and heading to work. Work my day, then after work pick up Stephen, come home. and I could not fall asleep until at least 1am… And then we start again. That’s really only 3.5ish hours of time together, not including the driving around.
And let me tell you it was not quality time. I was exhausted. I mentally was drained to the max. I definitely was not in the moment with my daughter. I couldn’t wait till the next chance to sleep. And when I did sleep, I would wake up every 2 hours like clockwork – symptom of my anxiety. There were some adjustments made, like getting a shift 2pm-10pm like Stephen. So now I was getting to bed around 12 instead. But, it cut in my time with Alexa.
Then, when she started school, she had to be there for 1pm. So, now I was only seeing my daughter 2.5hrs in the morning. And I was so tired I didn’t have the energy to make it meaningful.
The exhaustion trigger my anxiety. I had to take time off work. I couldn’t function in my personal life. It was a horrible struggle. And I was missing out on my daughter’s life.
Two months ago, I looked at my life and realized that my decision I made for our family was not the best decision. Hindsight is 20/20. I was upset with myself, but I decided being upset was not going to solve the problem. I decided to make a change.
I found a job where I work 9am-2pm Monday – Friday. Alexa spends the morning with Stephen, goes to school, and gets out of school around 415 pm. Stephen and I really get to be with her now all day. I spend a little over 3 hours of quality time with my daughter. We go for walks, go to the park, play with a ball, blow bubbles, go to the mall ect. I get to watch her look at the “Purdy fowers”, comment on the “Birdy, tweet tweet” as she hears them chirping away, and see her smile and giggle when I push her on the swing. My parents just bought her a tricycle and helmet and she is just loving that. She hadn’t figured out how to ride it but she is getting it.
By making the switch, I am going to bed and getting well over my 8hrs of sleep needed. I get quality time with my husband between 2-4pm and time with my daughter. Plus, I see my parents every night. And want to know the cherry on the cake? I have not had a full-blown anxiety attack since the switch. Yes, I still have anxiety, but it is not crippling me into a nonfunctional member of society.
I want to say that I wish I knew this back when I was going back to work in November 2013. I want to say I wish I figured this out sooner. But, I will not punish myself with the what ifs. I will be thankful I did figure it out and move forward knowing I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.
P.s. This is now February 5/16. This is the next blog to post… And I didn’t want to trash it because things have changed again since the beginning of January with regards to my work life. I’m not going to go into detail now, but my position changed between June and January… Family life changed because of this… And the doctor recommend I take a break. No matter what, my first priorities are Alexa and my family. And even though that’s as much detail I’m giving… It’s funny because the situation again… Hindsight is 20/20.