Note: Because I relocated my Laid Off & Knocked Up posts from another blog to my regular blog, I have deliberately assigned the wrong year for this entry – 2010. The events below actually took place November 7, 2011 but in order to keep all the blog posts in the correct order, I had to assign the wrong year to keep this entry first in the series. Okay? Cool. Read on:
Exactly one year ago today, we found out we were having a baby.
In one singular moment, you go from envisioning what it might be like to be a parent to having a ticking time bomb until you will become a parent. No matter how prepared you think you are for the moment when you find out you’ll be a parent, you just aren’t. Sure, logically, we’re no dummies. We could put two and two together – or, rather, one and one together to equal three. And sure, we sat around thinking, “it would be nice to have a baby someday,” but, especially after years of living in that mindset, it’s still startling to discover that “someday” has just been recalibrated to mean “in less than 9 months.”
I had often found myself wondering in some daydreamy way, “I wonder what it would be like to have a baby.” But when that became “Uh, so I have exactly how long before there’s a BABY?!” I found myself living at the intersection of exhilaration and panic attack. Especially because I had only 10 workdays left before I was getting laid off.
Like the pregnancy, that wasn’t exactly unexpected either. My boss had already tipped me off back in August that I’d be losing my job at the end of my contract in November. It was nice of him to give me some warning so I could have a jump start on looking for work, but my efforts to land a new job before my last day hadn’t panned out. I had spent the last 10 years trying to make it in the museum profession…and had largely failed. With this layoff I was determined to make a break from museum work and try something new, but I didn’t have a clue what I could or would want to do.
I was starting to panic. If there’s ever a time to stanch the flow of money out the door, it’s when there’s a new baby on its way. I needed a job, fast. So while I was beyond ecstatic about finally getting the chance to become a parent, that exhilaration was dampened by my nausea at being unemployed at one of the most critical times to have a steady income. Or was that just the morning sickness kicking in?