I have a big decision to make and I’m totally torn. 

Here are the options: return to work November 1st as planned, or take a full six month leave and return to work at the beginning of January. My job with the county is secure for a year so that’s not an issue. Money is also not an issue if I’m okay with J supporting our household. Here are the pros and cons:

Reasons to return to work as planned – 

  1. I have a good relationship with my boss. We’re the same age. She was pregnant when she hired me and she’s pregnant again with her second. She’s clearly stated several times that she’d like me to return ASAP, and yesterday when I told her I was considering an extra two months, she stated that although my job will be waiting for me either way, she needs me back as soon as possible. They cannot hire to replace me temporarily, they’re short-staffed and I’m the only psychologist on the clinical staff. I’d like to keep a great relationship with her and I feel for my co-workers, who are covering my clients and totally overworked as it is.
  2. The primary benefit of this job is money. It’s the most I’ve ever made and allows me to save a lot each month, which I’d like to continue doing soon. As of right now I only have enough savings to scrape by for another couple of months and I’ll run out completely unless I go back. I DON’T like living off of J, as comfortable as she is with it. Right now I’m paying my own bills but by December she’d be having to pay pretty much all of the household bills and probably even the personal stuff I need, like Christmas presents. I enjoy my job for the most part and feel more productive and better about myself when I’m working. I got my degree and my license to use it and want to stay in tune with that.

Reasons to take an extra two months – 

  1. Gia of course! She’d be six months by the time I went back and I’d get to spend that extra time with her, going to mommy groups, watching her develop and building attachment. J really wants me to take care of Gia during this developmental time since she can’t (we moved to LA for her job and it’s sustaining us).
  2. We can’t find a daycare until at least January so we’d have to have our mothers each come for a week, then hire a nanny to stretch the time until there is an opening. Plus, once in daycare Gia is likely to get sick a lot.
  3. The two months are November and December, so a huge benefit would be traveling and enjoying the holidays. I’d go back East for niece Giuliana’s birthday, go on a few extra weekend trips and then take a long Christmas break back East with my family. HOWEVER my boss has said that if I do return as planned, I can take every Friday off and take a two-week Christmas vacation, so those kind of cancel each other out.

I want to finalize this decision soon. I feel more comfortable returning to work in November, getting back into the money-making groove and feel like my career is on track. At the same time, I have the opportunity to spend this time with Gia. My mom says to “go with your gut” but my gut sees it both ways. J wants to be supportive either way but she’s feeling much more comfortable with me caring for Gia until January. I’m very torn and need input from my most trusted confidantes – you ladies.