All Work and No Play

With this pregnancy and all that’s been going on the last few months, I found myself faced with a decision about work. I was doing two things. Still working at the baby store on my husband’s days off and then with the photographer in his home office some mornings if James worked evenings or other afternoons if I could find a generous friend to hang out with M while I went. Occasionally, I brought the kid with me to the boss’ house, since he has a two-year-old himself, and a whole room full of new-to-my-kid toys as a result.

But bringing M with me is not ideal in that situation, so I was always hesitant to do it. And once fall came around and my friends all started taking their kids to preschool again, schedules filled up, illnesses abounded, and I found myself more and more stressed out about working there. The job was fine. The boss was fine. But I felt like I was failing because of my restricted availability– I couldn’t keep up. So I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the stress for me, and the boss deserved someone who could do better and provide more than I was able to offer.

Now, it’s a very busy time for a senior portrait photographer, so when I approached him to effectively put in my notice, I promised that I would stick around enough to help get through the senior rush.

Of course, at the same time as I made this decision, I also approached an acquaintance about the possibility of a new job to take its place. The response was more enthusiastic than I ever expected, and I started within a week or two. It’s one day a week, employees are encouraged to bring their young children (so M should usually have other kids around to play with in the huge playroom), and I’ll always work the same day and time each week. So now I also work in another baby store, this one specializing in cloth diapers.

All this to say that right now, I have three jobs. Next week, I anticipate working all seven days. So if I wasn’t stressed enough before, there’s that. I’m trying to hang in there, to work with the photographer as best I can and help him find my replacement. I will be grateful when that happens and I can go back to only working two jobs again, three or so days a week. I hope the transition goes smoothly for the photographer, since I know he was disappointed when we spoke about it. I hope he finds someone reliable with a regular schedule who will be better at helping to grow his business than I have been.


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