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I Was Laid Off in My Third Trimester & Now I’m in Limbo

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Now that I’m over the shock of having been laid off right around the start of my third trimester of pregnancy, I’m trying to stay positive and focus on my family and health for the next couple of months. It’s been a pretty big adjustment. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a job with official working hours. Rather, I’ve been staying home full-time with my toddler and squeezing in whatever freelance work my schedule allows for. I’m also starting to tackle my seemingly never-ending list of household projects, or at least the ones that don’t require a ton of lifting, bending, and maneuvering.

There are definitely some benefits to having been laid off when I did. I can now spend more time with my son, get more sleep (I was previously waking up at 5:00 a.m. daily), and give my body a break from my formerly grueling two-hour, multi-step commute.

But I guess there’s a downside as well–namely, that I feel like I’m completely in limbo.

I want to start putting my resume out there, and I have a list of contacts with whom I’m just itching to discuss work opportunities. But I know that right now there isn’t a point, and that I’ve got no chance of being hired anywhere with a stomach the size of a watermelon.

On the other hand, I guess I’ve yet to really embrace the notion of full-time parenting because I very well may go back to work once the size of my belly deflates enough to render me hirable. And even if I were to decide that I’d like to spend some time out of the paid workforce and instead do the stay-at-home mom thing, right now I don’t feel like I can be the full-time parent I have the potential to be. I’m very limited physically because of this pregnancy–in fact, grocery shopping is just about the maximum I can handle, and even that’s getting trickier by the day.

All in all, I feel like I’m not really making any progress career-wise or parenting-wise, even though I’m trying my best, especially with regard to the latter. Back when I was working, I had plenty of days where I contemplated leaving my job to instead focus on raising my son, but I always pictured myself carting him around to various activities while simultaneously being a rock star on the home improvement and organization front. But for the past couple of weeks, my son and I have spent almost every afternoon stuck in the house with me nursing an aching back. And while I am making a little headway on the aforementioned household projects list, the items I can’t physically tackle are pretty much taunting me at this point. (Clearly, I’m not much good at just relaxing.)

Then again, perhaps I can use this time as sort of an exploratory period with regard to both my career and my parenting skills. After all, this is my first real taste of what being a stay-at-home mom is like, and I’m sure I can learn more about the things I’m doing wrong and doing right simply by being around to do them in the first place. And as far as my career goes, I know I can use this time to research opportunities, update my portfolio, and explore options that perhaps don’t involve a crazy commute into the city each day.

This certainly isn’t how I imagined myself spending my third trimester, but the more I think about it, the more I’m coming to realize that being in limbo may actually have some advantages. Now all I need to do is start concentrating on those and stop stressing out about everything else.


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The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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