I've a feeling my next few posts are all going to be on the theme of "what should I do with my life?" - there's a lot floating around in my head at the moment and it helps to write it down. To summarise my current position, I'm supposed to be back at work in two months' time, have got in an application to return only part time (3 days a week) but am trying to work out whether I truly want/need to go back at all.
The things I'm trying to explore at the moment are:
1. The potential feelings of guilt associated with opting out of bringing in any income, replacing it instead with committing to full time child/house care. Not, so much, guilt about asking the beloved to have/share that financial responsibility, but more the idea that I *should* be "working" and a concern that I would end up trying to do "useful" things with every minute of my time, constantly chasing little income streams that would fit around the baby, etc
2. The alternative guilt relating to the fear that I will deprive my baby by not putting him in full time childcare - what if he does need to be with other children already, and what if he gets bored of me?
3. A third kind of guilt, if I did go back to work, about leaving him without me. We are still breastfeeding (all the time), baby-led weaning, and generally doing attachment-style things, and he and I are devoted to each other. This makes the wrench of handing him over to someone else potentially that much more extreme than in mother-child dyads where a more detached style has been in place from the outset.
4. Terror about the prospect of leaving my job, loss of career capital, oh god I'll never work again
5. Terror #2, what if I do pack it up and then find the future to be a yawning void? How will we fill our days once all his baby peers' mummies have gone back to work?
6. Existential crisis - feel disconcerted at this desire that is growing stronger and stronger in me to nest, to maintain and bless my home and family as a priority over everything else. Have I stopped being an interesting person? etc
So I think each of these might get a post of its own, and by the time I've explored them all I'll be satisfied with what the right answer is. Easy!