Re-entry Redux

Graeme is BornLike Geeky Mom, I’ve been trying to figure out for sometime now how to write this post. Three months ago (minus one day), I went for a walk in downtown Fredericksburg and realized that my son was going to make an early entrance. Low and behold, a few hours later, Graeme Irick was born, healthy, happy, and 14 days before the doctors said he would come. That was okay. I was ready.

Up until then, I’d been working diligently at trying to make my move to 12 weeks of maternity leave as graceful as possible — and I almost made it. There were a few projects left up in the air, but my awesome colleagues at UMW kept them moving right along.

So, for the last 12 weeks, I’ve been playing a different role as a stay-at-home mom. I wasn’t sure how this would go — when my daughter was born three years ago, after six weeks I was ready to go back to work part-time. Surprisingly, my experience this time was quite different. And, after much soul-searching and discussion with my friends and family, I made the decision not to return to UMW as director of DTLT.

This was a tough decision. It won’t surprise anyone to hear me say how much I admire and respect my colleagues in DTLT and the faculty at UMW. And, as a graduate, the University of Mary Washington holds a special place in my heart. I regularly meet colleagues at other institutions who tell me how lucky I am to work with the people I work with on the projects we work on — and they are so right.

That said, for the last two years, as director of DTLT, my head has been increasingly in the administrative space at the University. As challenging and rewarding as that experience has been, it’s also been mighty stressful at times. And I’m afraid it had started to take a toll on me and my family. With Graeme’s arrival, I quickly realized that I owed myself and my family something different right now — more of me, preferably a relaxed, stress-free me.

I will not, however, be cutting ties with DTLT entirely. Heaven forbid! I will continue to work for the division part-time, focusing my efforts on a number of special projects and initiatives. I think this opportunity is going to give me a chance to work on projects that are very important to me and, hopefully, to contribute something meaningful to my colleagues and my University. I’m excited about this opportunity. I feel like it positions me exactly where I want to be both personally and professionally, and I’m truly grateful to the folks in DTLT, particularly Jerry Slezak, for being willing to make a go of this.

One of things that I’m hoping this move will afford me is more time to blog. I’ve got a lot I’d like to write about in this space, and I feel like I might finally have the time and mental space to do just that.