~ Logistics of baby-having = a test of anxiety management
On rereading my last entry, I'm afraid I made my mother out to be a little mean. That exchange with her has to be read with dark, but caring laughter; we've had tension, but she's really been my biggest supporter lately.
With a growing belly, there is no extra room in my life for professional development right now, required or voluntary. Of course, this week I had both.
After school on Wednesday I met with my support provider through BTSA, which is meant to help teachers clear their credentials, but sometimes is just additional work. The biggie, though, was this weekend when I went up to the CAG (California Association for the Gifted) conference in Anaheim. I'm co-team leader for our GATE department at the school, so I wanted to bring back a lot of useful info, but it's tiring to sit through entire days of conference. For some reason, I am still surprised (and a little disappointed in myself . . . I need to change my outlook on this!) every time I get exhausted from doing very little physically. I soaked my feet in the hotel Jacuzzi, and even dipped in (for just a couple of minutes) because it was really cold outside and my back was aaaaaching.
My four day weekend feels like it was nonexistent. Luckily my husband was able to take some time off from work and come up there with me, so we were still able to spend time relaxing together during meals and after the conference each day. We even went to Downtown Disney Friday night for a late-Valentine's Day dinner.
Really, this last week was not notable for any physical or even emotional changes. It was mostly conversations Jeremiah and I had about how things are going to "go down" when the summer ends and I need to decide if/how much time I want to take off. Also, if I can still take some maternity leave at that point I have to decide if I want to take some additional unpaid leave afterward. AND, if I don't, we either need childcare at that point or he has to change squads (which he doesn't prefer; he likes the one he's on currently) in order to work third watch while I work days.
On top of all of this, with state budget cuts there is always a chance I'd have to go searching for a different school in September if I have the least seniority and they have to get rid of a teacher from my department. This is always a frustrating and emotional point for me because 1) I've worked really hard already in the field and completed both my M.Ed. and GATE certification two years ago, and 2) it happened to me last year. It will feel very discouraging if it actually comes to pass again. What have I invested my energy in it for if I have so little job security?
Sometimes I wish that I could quit work for a few years, so that my career would still be a possibility but that I could focus on having and raising healthy children. This isn't a thought I had until I was already pregnant; my husband and I have always talked about it being overall "healthier" for me to be working out of the house. I do still wish it were an option. Living in San Diego on only one of our salaries, though, we couldn't afford to rent a house, pay our student loans, etc; it really would take me at least making half as much as I do now for that to be feasible.
So, there are just lots of logistics that are put on hold until we get a little closer to time, but that will be very influential as we go. I'm trying not to stress or get too anxious, since anxiety has been a really big problem for me in years past, and it can trigger depression which has also been a problem for me. I haven't been on antidepressants for the pregnancy, but I have to make a conscious effort with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques I've learned along the way in order to keep meds unnecessary. I'm also thinking that I'll probably get back on meds as soon as I give birth to be proactive about heading off PPD.
And on that note, I'm going to go do some relaxing in front of the TV.