Originally Published: April 23, 2017 6:01 a.m.
Dear Annie: My husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world three months ago. She’s our first child and the love of our lives. I was blessed with 12 weeks’ leave from work after she was born, and I cherished that time immensely. I’ve now returned to work and been back for two weeks. The first day was difficult. I cried several times but eventually got back into the groove of working life. Everyone kept telling me that returning to work would get easier.
Yesterday my husband texted me while I was at work to let me know our daughter had rolled over for the first time. I was so proud! But then the sadness kicked in. I wasn’t there to see it.
This morning, I woke up late. I overslept by almost an hour. I had just enough time to pump and get a quick shower before having to run out the door to go to work. I missed out on the precious time I have in the morning when it’s just my daughter and I while she nurses.
I’ve always considered myself a strong woman, one who can take on whatever difficulties life throws her way. Returning to work is one obstacle I’m not sure I’m strong enough to take on. All I can think about is how many more “firsts” I’m going to potentially miss. How do working moms do it? How do you balance work and wanting to be there for your child? Not working isn’t financially an option for my family, but working is causing emotional and mental stress for me. When does it get easier? -- Heartbroken Mom
Dear Heartbroken: I understand where you are coming from. What strikes me about your letter is how much you appreciate the time that you have with your daughter. I have found that the quality of time you spend with your children can be more important than the quantity. Perhaps you could ask your boss about the possibility of working from home one or two days a week. Many companies today are flexible and understanding on this issue.
And be sure to ask your husband to send plenty of photos and videos, especially documenting every milestone. Hang in there. It really will get easier.
Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old with a mild form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. Currently, I am seeking employment to make some income but can’t catch a break. I’ve applied for multiple jobs and gotten some interviews, but no employer seems to want to hire me. The only experience I’ve had was busing tables at a restaurant, which is unable to be proved because I was paid in cash. I do everything right when it comes to the interview and getting prepared, but I just can’t seem to get past the interview stage. Is there something more I need to do? Is there something I need to change? -- Stuck in a Rut
Dear Stuck: Take comfort in the fact that it’s totally normal for job hunting to be tough when you’re just starting out. Everyone faces the frustrating Catch-22: To get a job, you need experience, but to get experience, you need a job.
The good news is that even if you were paid under the table, you already do have some experience. You should be able to list your former manager or a co-worker as a reference. Additionally, consider volunteering; it’s a great way to bolster your resume. (Visit VolunteerMatch.org for ideas on how to get involved in your community.)
Finally, be sure to practice, practice, practice before each interview. The more prepared you are the less nervous you’ll be and the better impression you’ll make. Keep applying yourself and it will pay off eventually.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.