The Parent Ren, Part IX: Ren Returns… To Public Health
I started working at a local health department that is not too local to me. It’s a two-hour drive to get there and a somewhat longer drive to get back, because of traffic. We’re looking for a house to move into that is closer. Until then, I’m at the office three days a week.
This requires that I get up at around 4am in the morning and be out the door before five. The way my schedule is set up, this means that I am missing a lot of time with Baby Ren. We went from me being the primary caregiver to splitting the time with my wife and with daycare. And, by the way, we absolutely love our daycare. They really do love Baby Ren as if she was one of their own.
So I find myself adjusting to not being around her as much. I’m not dropping her off at daycare as much as I used to. (Then I’d go to a coffee shop and get stuff done.) I’m not picking her up as much, either. So I’m not showing up to get her with a bottle of juice or animal crackers, which she loves. And I miss that.
Yes, I know that me working is for the best for the family. Not only is the additional income good, but keeping me busy keeps me out of trouble. There’s not time for full-on multi-threaded, multi-comment fights with antivaxxers and science deniers. Random celebrities don’t jump on my Twitter stream anymore. And, of course, I’m making a name for myself in public health circles, passing on my knowledge and expertise to students and mentees, and participating in committees and groups aiming to make the world a better place.
Life is all about adjustments, though. From the moment we are born, we have to adjust to the world — and people — around us. We learn new things and new ways to do things. We get thrown into different situations. We have to manage stress and expectations. And so, here I am, adjusting once again.