This week things got kind of stressful. Thank god I've been feeling ok physically because the emotional stress was really bad.
First, I met with HR and confirmed the abysmal maternity leave policies of my employer. Well, actually, every employer in the US. This country is truly barbaric when it comes to maternity leave policies. 6 weeks at 60% pay and thereafter unpaid? Not so easy for a single mom. My workplace used to pay 100% (which is actually very unusual) but changed the policy last July (yep, just when I got preggers) because of the financial crisis. It's just depressing. But I've decided that I will still take as much time as possible, even if it means asking to borrow money from family members or going into my savings. I will never get this time back with my newborn child. I'm not taking him to daycare at 6 weeks (hell no). I think I can stretch to about 4-1/2 months if I cash in on sick time, vacation, and a maybe a loan or two. Of course I would like to have even more than that.
I wish I lived in England. Or Canada. Or France. New moms have it really good there.
The second source of stress is that my supervisor at work received the terrifying news that there is a mass in her lungs. She's going into surgery next week and will be out for 6 weeks. It's extremely scary, and the first word that comes to mind is cancer, of course. Which means this could be just the beginning of her trials. She is someone I care about--a lot--and the thought is truly horrifying. She is only about 55, with a child in her last year of college.
In addition to the emotional stuff, this adds other stresses to my life because I will be heading the department in her absence. I need to keep a pact with myself that I will say no to extra work if I need to. I really can't be overdoing things, and I MUST take the best possible care of myself. (I am writing this down as a kind of contract, because I am REALLY bad at saying no at work).
Yep, it was one of those weeks when things didn't seem quite so easy.