A different Limbo

Over the years, I have been used to being in limbo.

Am I pregnant?

Is the line dark enough?

Are the numbers going to rise enough?

Is there a heartbeat?

When will I start bleeding?

When will the test results come back? And what do they mean?

When can I try again?

Rinse repeat.

 

And then also during the successful pregnancy:

Is it still alive?

Does it have all of the right chromosomes?

Is he going to make it through this?

 

But now I face a different limbo. One that when announced a couple of months ago, I honestly wasn’t worried about. But now as the time goes by and it is looming over us, I am getting increasingly nervous.

I will not mention the name of the company that I work for, but they announced major layoffs back in November. Layoffs to take place by the end of January. Ones that they are waiting until the last minute for it seems. Which just ramps up the nerves and makes it hard to focus on anything else at work, especially when the week so far has been particularly slow.

You may remember, I only just started this job in March. Had I been here longer, long enough for my performance scores to be on record, I would not be worried. I am a great employee and my bosses agree and constantly reward me and let me know this. The problem is… they aren’t the ones who made the decisions. Everything at this point is really just ‘rumors’ but what seems to be true is that the decisions were made based off of these scores from the previous years and probably various other things. No emotion or bias. Which sounds great. We SHOULD be judging people at work based on their performance and behaviors. Not whether they are your boss’s buddy. But for someone who doesn’t have these performance scores yet, I am worried. I don’t know how they made the decisions. We do know that the decisions have been made though, and not by our bosses.

The things we don’t know:

When will this happen?

Will it be me?

How much severance will I get?

Will my child be uninsured?

Can we afford insurance on only my DH’s salary?

Do I need to start looking for another job?

Will I find another job?

When will this be over?

Just like in the TTC times, I wish I just knew. I wish they would just do the ‘Band-Aid” method.

It will be fine if I get let go. We will make it work. DH and I have planned for these such scenarios with our savings. I know one thing about this scenario, it would be the company’s loss. More so than mine.

But I just NEED to know. So I can move on. Move on from the company, or move on with the company and most importantly move on with my life. Because since this announcement, all of the plans we were making have been halted. No vacations, no visiting friends, no booking accommodations for wedding. No big purchases (necessary or not). Not many small purchases either.

I can live with the outcome. Whatever it may be. But I can’t keep dealing with this limbo.

 

Is it February yet?

S

 

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Seeing someone

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out the EAP (Employee Advisor Program?) offered by my new employer.

I had my first session with the counselor last week. Before I went, I wondered what I was really going for. I was having a good day, things seemed to be going well, I almost thought of cancelling it. I didn’t. I wasn’t super impressed by the counselor, she is one picked by the EAP, she seemed less professional than the ones I had seen before, maybe it was the home office thing, I don’t know. Or because she wants me to come every week, and didn’t like the idea of my wanting every 2 weeks, and then brought up that we would have to continue with my insurance after the EAP sessions run out. It is probably just me reading into things, but she seemed most interested in her income. But I get 5 or 6 sessions covered by the EAP, so I figure I may as well use them, right?

She told me to keep a journal for random thoughts, so I have done this. My second appointment is today, here are some of my random thoughts:

  1. I feel guilty going once a week because I feel like that is time I am supposed to be spending with my son and husband.
  2. I feel guilty taking any ‘me’ time
  3. I feel guilty even taking ‘us’ time (Me and B)
  4. Everything falls on me. If I want us to go out, I have to make a plan, find a sitter, decide where to go. If I want a family outing, dinner, ANYTHING, I am told “Just tell me what to do” I don’t want it all on me! Everything is on me, I work, get home and start making dinner and play with the boy until DH gets home and I can finish dinner, we all eat, I do the dishes about 85% of the time, we both get DS ready for bed and DH puts him down while I shower, then it is finishing dishes if there are any and going to sleep, because Lord knows the DS wakes me up at least once every night these days!
  5. I hope this is a phase of teething. I feel like he will never sleep through the night again consistently. It has seriously been so long.
  6. I don’t know when to transition to the big bed. I don’t trust him at all, he cannot control himself when he wants to get into something, especially when he knows he isn’t supposed to. Am I doing something wrong?
  7. I have a lot of resentment towards my husband that I didn’t even realize. There is seriously 3 full pages about him fishing or kayaking or helping friends or working on the vehicle or the house while I watch DS.
  8. I feel like as a society Dads still get to be themselves and get the “Dad’ title as a bonus, I feel like Moms turn into just “Mom”
  9. I have completely lost my identity. I feel like I am “Mom” and nothing else. ( I love being a mom and I am so grateful) ThisI have been struggling with huge, I avoided doing a post about it because I feel like all I ever post is negative, but this is honestly an outlet for me (I’m not a very good blogger). But I don’t even know the person I used to be, I don’t travel much because I don’t trust DS to behave enough to not die! I couldn’t even remember when she asked me what I like to do for fun. Because even if and when I would get time, I don’t even know what to do with it, I spend so much time feeling guilty for not being around my son, and guilty for not making better use of my time, that it becomes unenjoyable.
  10. The massive anxiety I have even THINKING about early pregnancy and how to hide it and the pit in my stomach just thinking about having to announce it at some point. I am clearly not ready to have another child.
  11. I had another chemical at 6 weeks a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like the worst person ever, like seriously the worst person and have so much guilt over being okay with it, because I am not okay to deal with that anxiety of things going well again, I know that doesn’t even make sense.
  12. I’m pressuring myself into wanting another child and wanting it soon. I know this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I think about it all of the time.
  13. We are definitely avoiding TTC now. I am obviously not in a place to be okay with it yet. And I don’t know when I will be if ever. But I will not TTC until I can be okay and at least somewhat excited about being pregnant.
  14. I feel like if I get to go out for dinner with a friend that I am ‘using up’ the ‘me’ time I should be allotted (which is weird, because it isn’t like I’m allotted a certain amount or anything…)
  15. Maybe I just like to complain?
  16. DH and I NEED more date nights. Just us, because the very few we have had have been great and they make me so happy, but again, very few. And taking time for us isn’t taking anything away from DS, because we need our relationship to stay strong to set a good example for him.
  17. I hate my house. I hate it so much. For the amount of money we spent on it, I just hate it. I am not comfortable there, It is dated and dark and things seem to be falling apart. And It doesn’t smell like ‘home’ and I don’t know how to change the smell.
  18. I hate the color of my living room, grey and my blue/grey bedroom, I really think the colors make it cold and not at all homey and comforting, but I feel guilty about this because we just painted a year ago and I feel wasteful.
  19. My house has no carpet. I love carpet, I have hardwood, especially when it is throughout the house. It makes everything cold and hard.
  20. We moved the couch and TV in the living room around yesterday, I was hoping this would make me feel more at home. I do like the change, but I almost cried (and almost am now) because it still seems dark and gloomy.
  21. I worry that I can do all of these things to my house and still not feel at home in it.
  22. I miss my old house. Not the smallness and unfinished basement, but it felt like home, we did so much work to it, I was proud of it and couldn’t wait to show it off. I don’t like people coming into my new house.
  23. I realize a big thing I want to do to make me feel like me again: I want to get my house to a state that I enjoy it again. I want to remodel it top to bottom, inside and out. I LOVED home improvement projects before, and still do, though I never seem to have time for them. I really don’t have the time and can’t do things with DS around, and then I get back to the guilt of taking time away from him to do, well, anything.
  24. Working mom guilt is rough.
  25. All mom guilt is rough.

I love my son. So much. I want everything in life to be the best it can be for him. I want to be the best I can be for him. I love my husband. I want our marriage, our home to be the best for all of us.

So much falls on me. And I don’t feel like I am handling it as well as I should. I have so much anxiety over things I can’t control. I really want to learn to just let some things go and focus on the important things. But I don’t know how….yet.

The (angry) Women’s Club

So at my new job, similar to my old job, there is a women’s club. In a male-dominated field this is a great way to connect with other women and raise issues and ideas for resolutions to make our company a better place for gender equality.

At my last job our Women’s Club met monthly or so and brought in guest speakers, put on STEM events for the school-aged children in the community and attended events recognizing achievements of women. It was also inclusive, men were invited and always encouraged to attend (though not many did). It was something that I learned many lessons from, including resume and interview building, ways to support my career path, how to negotiate and never sell myself short (very important ladies!!) and many other skills. Most importantly, I (almost) always felt empowered and proud.

Last week was the first time I attended a Women’s Club meeting at my new job. The previous one was on International Women’s Day, before I started working here. I was really looking forward to what this women’s club would bring to my new job experience.

It started out with my boss bringing up a ‘list’ that was made on their previous meeting. Things on there ranged from nursing rooms, to ‘don’t cut the cake’, to ‘kill your own bugs’ and many other things.

A couple of good initiatives came out of it.

My first week I was excited to go to the ‘store’ to buy some company zip ups, only to find that they were mostly men’s sizes, the man running the store said he thought there wasn’t a difference. Umm… there is a huge difference when I am swimming in a Men’s small, and it isn’t flattering at all. And then he said “Well, those bright pink ones probably aren’t for men.” So I looked at it and they were women’s sizes, in which I needed a medium and it actually fit nice. But as a woman, the only option I had for nice fitting clothes, was a bright pink zip up (I did not get one BTW, hot pink is not very flattering, and not always super appropriate in a professional setting). We did bring this up in the meeting and there is an action item to bring this to the store’s attention as a larger initiative. I will be pretty excited to buy some neutral color zip ups in women’s sizes should they get some.

There was also talk about guys asking women when they are going to have kids. And as you all know, this is NOT OKAY! I 100% agree with that. It turns out that the room was split about 50/50 on choosing to not have kids. Which is great, I am all for those kinds of decisions, as I feel that a lot of people just have kids because they are expected to, which isn’t a great reason in my opinion. I guess some of the women are being told that they are ‘selfish’ for not wanting kids and that ‘you are a woman, you will want to be a mom’ which are horrible things to say and very sexist! Those kinds of things should not be tolerated.

But this is where things started to get unproductive and started turning into a “She-woman Man-Haters club”

These women were talking about being mad when male coworkers said these things. So I spoke up and said “It is completely inappropriate for ANYONE, man OR WOMAN, to ask anyone (again, man or woman) anything about their reproductive life. It is absolutely none of anyone else’s business and you have no idea what that person may be going through and the feeling that you may be bringing up that could really hurt them.”

Personally, I feel that more women ask those kinds of questions to other women, but that is just my experience. I certainly don’t think it is by and far more men that do anyway. But it is inappropriate and hurtful coming from both.

So my boss then said to the group “And what do you say when someone asks those things?” and the one woman just said “I tell them it is none of their damn business” and she is right. But I do feel like men need to be explained to why sometimes. I really don’t think that men AND women that ask these things are doing so with ill-intentions. And my approach has always been to explain to them that asking people those things are very private and personal and inappropriate. And letting them know that they have no idea what someone else is going through. It really makes them think the next time they go to ask someone that. Whereas just being rude and mean about it doesn’t help anyone out in the long run. Again, just my personal opinion.

And from there the anger kept going. I mean… they were upset when guys held doors open for them. They found that as a male-dominant act. I’m pretty sure it is just a courtesy. I mean, I’d be more mad if a guy shut a door in my face. And that we need to stop being a damsel in distress, and that we can’t cut the cake at events, make a guy do it, and we have to kill our own bugs.

I guess I am not going to fit into this group. They don’t seem to understand that everyone is different. I like cooking and serving people, and I am not going to kill my own bugs! It isn’t a ‘damsel’ thing, it is a ME thing! And I think that makes them think that I am a ‘weaker woman’ because of it. (And yes, the term ‘weaker woman’ was used at one point, used to describe someone who couldn’t take a probably distasteful joke. And that was the one thing that made ME angry.) But let’s be honest, some actions ARE more feminine by nature and a lot of women enjoy those things! And we can’t ignore the fact that we are physically different.

I feel that every woman should be respected for what she chooses to do, whether in a male-dominated job or a historically female job, or some combination of both! Why must we fit into 1 of 2 buckets? We don’t have to!

But sitting in a room complaining about things men do and say (when a lot of women are just as guilty of the same things) isn’t helping the atmosphere. I talked to some of my male coworkers after and they had no idea women got upset about some of those things (the he/she narrative being one of them too, one that I often correct people on) how could they know if people sit around in a room and no one invites them or tells them?

For a group that should be fighting for equal rights for women, they seemed very angry and judgmental.

Maybe the next meeting will be different. I hope so. I guess I will let you all know!

 

You are all strong and amazing. Not one of you ladies is weak. I don’t care what you choose to do. Love yourself! I do!

 

 

 

Starting over

On my last day of my old job a few weeks ago I said my good byes. Afterward a few of us went to the bar across the street where DH later met us and we stayed for a few hours and DH drove me home. I was completely fine with everything until we pulled onto the highway and started heading South. Then… I completely lost it. I don’t mean a few tears were shed, I mean a flood of loud, ugly tears. Because even though we all said we would keep in touch, we all know we won’t. I know we won’t. And that was the last time I will probably see almost all (if not all) of those people.

The next day… I was massively hungover. I only had bud light! That was it! Man this getting old stuff sucks sometimes! I seriously felt sick for 3 days!!!

The following Monday, I started my new job. And the weirdest part of all of it was that I didn’t feel a single bit nervous or overwhelmed at all. Very different from when you start your very first career job.

People keep asking me how I like it, and honestly, it has been 3 weeks, most of which has been training, so I don’t yet know how to answer that question. So I will just make some notes about it so far:

  • Everyone seems really nice, and I can really see myself fitting in with them.
  • It is very hard to leave a place you have been at for so many years and worked so hard to build those relationships and have to start over knowing no one and having to rebuild those relationships with people. That isn’t anything that can happen fast no matter how well you hit it off.
  • I still don’t know what it is that I will be doing. And no one really seems to know. I guess some things happen at all companies…
  • The things I am told I will be learning and doing I am very excited for.
  • In the meantime… I have spent some of my time really bored. REALLY bored. But so far it hasn’t been an entire day ever, or weeks like it was before. It seems that this job can be very busy and fast paced sometimes, and other times can be very, very slow.
  • Getting up earlier isn’t so bad… and getting home much earlier is nice! Mostly nice for my house since I spend the extra time *trying* to take care of it.
  • The safety level at this company is above and beyond, it actually makes me cringe when I think of the old company and the way things were done.
  • There aren’t as many women working in this area as I thought there would be at this company, but nothing that I’m not used to.

I was doing fine not missing my coworkers until today. I had a dream last night that my former boss came up to me at my new job (which was different than this one…) and said “I’m so sorry I didn’t try harder to keep you, please come back, I want you back here.” And gave me a hug. And I felt so happy to be hearing that, it felt so good to be wanted, even in my dream. I decided to go back and work for him, but I wanted to finish things up *here* first. It is weird how dreams can follow you and affect you even when you are awake. I am feeling incredibly sad now, and miss those relationships with my coworkers. But I will not go back there, I wouldn’t even want to put myself back in the situation I was in.

So… that is it for now. Waiting to see what is to come, and very grateful for this opportunity in the meantime.

Spring Cleaning

Yeah, I know it isn’t spring yet. But the last few days have almost felt like it. And with me leaving my company in 2 weeks, I needed to clean out some old files from my laptop.

There were some pictures and some personal address files etc. which I expected to find and remove. But I found some letters written to HR that I had almost forgotten about (well, I didn’t forget, but I have been wanting to). Letters that when I read them now, I can still feel my eyes start stinging and choking back the tears that I was feeling when I wrote them. Desperate for some support on this journey from the company that I support every day. Letters that I didn’t want to write, with details of my life I didn’t want to share, in hopes that my company would see me (and others), a dedicated employee, as a person. A real person with real struggles who longs for a family. Not employee 31248.

But they didn’t. They saw a worker ant who they could keep for the bare minimum. And if I didn’t like it, they told me to get a new job.

And honestly, remembering back on the hurt that I felt hearing that, I don’t know what took me so long to do just that. I remember how bad it hurt (I’m sure I wrote about it a while back) and how cold this woman was. I remember how I struggled just getting the words out to her and how my hurt turned to shock and anger shortly after she opened her mouth to respond.

Maybe I won’t miss this place as much as I thought. Maybe I won’t miss it at all.

Have I shared how much better the benefits are in general at New Company? Better health insurance company, and they have options for what your family needs. And get this: They offer adoption assistance! $5,000 per child. Which I realize is a very small amount in the grand scheme of adoption costs, but it is SOMETHING! If nothing else, that gesture ALONE feels amazing. Even if it is something I never use, I feel supported. I’m sure that someone approached HR and said “Look, I’m struggling to build a family” and HR at New Company said “How can we help you? Let’s talk about this” and you know what? They probably have better employees for it.

I’m feeling more excited now. I am going from a company who doesn’t care about their employees to one that does. One that will work with me. One that will see me as a person.

 

Working mom weight loss

I don’t know how long I can use the ‘baby weight’ excuse, but I’m sure it is long past acceptable.

Growing up I was always skinny, I mean VERY small, I think it was mostly the result of being super picky, and you know, having a metabolism!

I had put on weight when I graduated college, I was pretty depressed that I was having trouble finding a job, and I would sleep til noon, be in bed by 9 and sit around upset all day. After I got my job, I started losing some, and then after I got engaged and picked out my wedding dress I really kicked it into gear and lost a lot! I was so proud of myself for that, I still feel it is one of my greater accomplishments. I did a circuit exercise and ate a lot of overnight oats for lunch, and did 1 vegetarian day per week.

To accomplish the work out, which doesn’t seem to be overly time consuming when I think about it, a lot of things suffered. Mostly my house. Dishes and laundry piled up, the place was a mess, we ate a lot of cereal for dinner, but I was in great shape and felt good about that.

Now with Baby Bach, I am really struggling to find the time to work out (and the fact that I get home fairly late due to my long drive doesn’t help I’m sure). My house already suffers just because of the time and energy it takes to keep a 1 year old boy alive and happy! I had my annual physical today… I am overweight. I feel like I look in the mirror with clothes on, and I don’t think I look overweight, but of course, when I clothes come off, I really don’t like what I see. I know I have gained weight since I stopped breastfeeding, which also should give me more time to work out, but somehow that new found time is going to making dinner, doing dishes, trying to keep up on laundry. Oh and spending some adult time with my spouse (not in THAT way… well… okay, sometimes).

I know that working out isn’t about motivation, but about discipline, and I think that helped me before my wedding, but I really need some type of goal and to see the results. So I am thinking maybe of downloading an app that tracks weight loss to kick my butt into gear? I would love to do a weight loss challenge to motivate me, but that is only temporary motivation and I don’t even know where to find/start one.

I think I’ll post my BMI here to help me track.

26.9

Any suggestions on apps? workout routines? motivators?

 

 

It wouldn’t have changed my decision

I wrote this Friday and then got interrupted and sidetracked, so I am posting today. 

To expand on the job I applied for a few weeks ago, where I got a call and interview request in less than 24 hours…

I went to my interview a couple of weeks ago, I thought it went pretty well. It is crazy how different I felt going into this interview as opposed to going into interviews for my 1st job in my career. I was relaxed, slept well the night before, didn’t practice, I just woke up that morning and went in and went with the flow. I was told it would be 2 weeks until they made a decision. Then… last Friday, I got a call with an offer.

And I have been going crazy ever since. Do I go? Do I stay? I mean there are wayyyyy more pros to going, better company, MUCH shorter drive, and much better pay and benefits. Also, the people seemed great, I got to meet up with them again yesterday for a tour of the facility. They really want me to join their team.

Here, I have the people I work with, who have been there for me when things were not going so great in fertility land. They have always been compassionate and understanding. And my boss is allowing me to work part time at 32 hours a week (4 days) but of course I drive 1 hour each way in great conditions. And I have a great reputation here, I worked hard to build it. It would be scary to start over.

A couple of days ago I told my boss about the offer, he understand completely with the drive I have why this is so lucrative to me, I told him the pay and benefits were greater too, but I have still yet to make my decision.

Now, when B told his boss (we worked at the same company) he had an offer, he went immediately into action offering raises etc. to stay. Another coworker that left recently also got offered a very large amount to stay (he still turned it down). So I figured I would give my boss some time to decide what he wants to do to try to keep me.

Today he had me meet with people in charge of a new position where I would be somewhat closer to home (closer, but with heavy traffic making the drive worse than now!) and that was it… haven’t talked to him since. But for as many times as he said “I really don’t want to see you go” he sure didn’t put much effort into keeping me. And that makes me sad. VERY very sad. I’ve worked for this guy for 6+ years… and I don’t feel worth much to him anymore.

 

So…. I accepted it.

And I’m terrified.

New Chapter in the Bach’s life will begin mid-March.

 

Holy crap. What did I do?