|Super adorable, no?|
To begin, Lance's job. After five beautiful months of "garden leave," where Lance was able to trip down to Libya with me, help me prepare for birth, and enjoy the first two months of our son's life together, Lance began a new job within his specialty - FIG PE (financial institutions private equity). It was a bit of a gutsy move for him to leave his job in NYC the end of last year and arrive in London without one, but his patience and a bit of encouragement from me to enjoy time with his family that he would likely not have for another 10 years paid off. He is enjoying his colleagues and work thus far immensely (even - a good sign - when he has to work till 11 or 12).
I used Lance staring work as an excuse to get more serious about officially coming "off" maternity leave to start working again, albeit on a much-reduced schedule. The balance has proven just right so far - I look forward to my work and the break it provides three afternoons a week and then really look forward to returning to my little bundle to begin the evening routine. (That said, I haven't yet attempted any serious writing, so we'll see how the 15 hours holds up under that kind of pressure.)
With all of this transitioning, the hardest has been to accept that now is not the time to pursue my doctorate full time. Gideon (and hopefully future little ones) will only be little for so long, and I don't want to miss it. Motherhood is extremely challenging - not harder, but different than other challenges I have encountered. Yet there are frequent moments of pure joy when I get a smile, coo, cuddle, or find my nearly three month old trying to entertain me!
Thankfully, my supervisor and the deanery at Penn have been extremely accommodating and somehow agreed for me to take a seven to eightish year quasi leave of absence, wherein I will "work" ten hours a week (listening to books, taking online courses while breastfeeding, and studying my Book of Mormon in French) and have yearly reviews to make sure I am progressing. Now I need to figure out if I can pay part-time tuition. :-)
Gideon is also out of the woods with his tongue-tie and overcoming residual wind issues (burps are the bane of my existence right now and any kind of consistent long napping). So, finally, at 12 weeks, I am attempting some sort of a schedule. We'll see how far I fail before giving up...
All in all, the changes mark a definitivee end to a beautiful chapter in our little family. I hope the next is just as vivid.