One of the questions I get the most from people is what am I going to do about work. I haven't mentioned anything about work on the blog before now because I hadn't made an "official" decision until last week. And although I know no one from work reads the blog, I didn't want to say something I shouldn't.
Just to give you a little background, I work for a huge law firm in DC as an environmental regulatory specialist. Basically I provide regulatory support to the attorneys and their clients at the firm who practice environmental law. I still feel a bit weird about talking about it on the blog, so I'd rather not mention the Firm's name. I started working there in October 2009 and before that, I worked for an environmental consulting firm as an environmental auditor. All along, even before I got pregnant, I always thought I would go back to working full-time after having a baby. I really like working (most of the time), but more importantly, was proud of the accomplishments I had made in my profession. Once we found out we were having a baby, Bill and I went and toured numerous day care facilities and we planned on interviewing a few nannies once Stephen was born. Well, as you can guess, all of that changed when we found out about Stephen's disease. But since we had no idea what was going to happen when he was born, I left things a bit open-ended with my employer about my leave, and they were okay with that.
Right around the end of February, I went into work to ask if I could return to work part-time and to tell them I was going to use all of my unpaid FMLA leave, which would give me until June 10th for maternity leave. I thought when I came back to work I could work from home some of the time and work at the office some of the time. I thought it would be a great compromise seeing as how the person filling in for me while I was on maternity leave is in Florida, and it was very difficult for my position to make the required billable hours. About a month ago, I heard back from HR, and the answer was no. They wanted someone full-time, in the office all the time.
Unfortunately, due to Stephen's level of care, the number of doctor visits he has, and the unpredictability of his health (oh, and don't forget he'll be getting his transplant in Philadelphia which will require an immense amount of travel), coupled with the fact we have been denied skilled nursing care for him (he can not be in day care), I can't work full time. It would be impossible for me to work from 9 am to 6 pm everyday with his dialysis and everything else. So last week, I submitted my official resignation letter to HR and cleaned out my office over the weekend. May 31, 2011 will be my last day.
I'm happy that I'm going to be able to take care of Stephen and be there every time something goes wrong, but I can't help but be a little disappointed that I've "lost" my job. I definitely hope to go back to working as soon as Stephen gets his kidney and is healthy, but I'm also nervous that I'll have lost a lot of my knowledge and skills and that no one will want to hire someone who has been out of the workforce for a few years in an occupation where things are changing all the time. And of course it's also been a big adjustment losing my income.
My only hope is that I can maybe find a way that I can use some of my other skills such as writing or my new found skills in health care to both make a few dollars and keep my brain active outside of taking care of Stephen. And who knows, maybe helping others with this disease will be my new life passion. I certainly wouldn't mind that one bit!!