Sunday, November 4, 2012

Career and Family: Can’t a girl have it both?

I started this post last week and now am finishing it.  No easier way to say it then to just get it out… 

I’m going went back to work. 

A few of you have had some insight to this decision, however, this might be news to a few of you.  About 6 weeks ago I received an offer that I seriously had to consider.  The offer was to assist in leading the launch of a new “observership” program.  My new position as the Community Career Exploration Liaison will be helping the Volunteer Services department create a system wide program and process for students (HS and college) to enter inside the hospital walls to engage in career exploration opportunities and observation.   I accepted such fitting challenge and actually started last Friday.  Exactly 14 months from my last full time day at Children’s.  I will be working with the outstanding Volunteer Services team under the magnificent direction of Sandy B.  It is a double bonus!!

The easier part of the post is writing what I decided the more difficult task is to write the WHY.  I did ask for some input from key players in my life; those that are invested in my day to day survival.  I appreciated how you (EP, JC, KL, LW) challenged me, presented decisions that I would have to face, your honesty, and the support.  I know this decision is not for everyone.  I happen to have several good friends that stay at home and rock it, but I admit that I am not rockin’ it like I thought I would.  I am not excited about the idea of making home made play-doh or allowing my kids to finger paint with pudding on my kitchen table(heart you Iz).  I know you want to tell me that the numbers are against me, my kids are the hardest ages right now, and it will get easier, but I really am aware.  I know that doing stay at home mommy things are just not realistic for me.  I can’t get a zoo membership because I fear that Jocelyn will scale the wall and jump into the cage.  I can’t take all 4 of my kids swimming because I fear that Aaliyah will get past the zero entry pool in attempt to go down the water slide.  I can’t go shopping because all 4 of my kids, a shopping cart, and myself don’t fit into the handicap stall when I have to go to the bathroom.  Not to mention the annoying event of the girls unlocking the stall door in mid stream.   The idea of putting on 8 socks, 8 shoes, 4 jackets, 4 hats, gathering a bag with extra change of clothes, snacks, and sippy cups to go the gym to sweat uncomfortably is not really my idea of a good time.  Staying together for a walk is a joke.  Ethan reminds me every morning that he can’t brush his teeth because it is too dangerous, however, running into the street where cars are driving is completely safe?  I have considered becoming part of a mommy group mostly because they offer daycare options for your kids when you attend events/meetings.  No offense but if someone is watching my kids the last thing I want to do is get into deep conversation about how my kids won’t eat their vegetables or keep their clothes on.  I want silence and a TV that doesn’t play Dora. 

This last portion of the entry might be more for my reflection and a reminder for years down the road. I just get worried that after all the time I took to decide that I wanted to stay home more with the kids I might regret 14 months later deciding to return back to work. So I wrote myself a letter just in case I forget why I made the decision I can remind myself.

November 4, 2012

Dear HOT PairSquared Mom, (it is my letter so I get to pick the salutation)

Right now you might be wondering why you cut your time at home short with your PairSquared Posse.  First it was not without deep thinking and consideration that you decided to split your career and family chips into 2 piles.  I am here to remind you why this was what you (and your family) needed.  Your decision was based upon 3 primary factors.

1.  Opportunity – when opportunity presents itself you have to listen.  This position is a solid fit with your skill set.  Like dad always says, it is easy to quit a job, but not always easy to find one.  I think he used a similar analogy with you when you were 16…it takes years to build a reputation and only minutes to ruin it.  Need a remind you why he told you this?!?  Sorry that was a low blow.  You were given the chance to do something innovative and unique.  Seize it and rise to the challenge.

2. Balance – do you really think you were kidding anybody by pretending that you were “staying at home” when you constantly filled your time with Children’s on call shifts, new PT jobs, and business ventures?!?  Rather than filling your time with responsibilities that overflow into your mommy job, you can now focus on work at work and focus on family when home.  The day you sit still will continue remain unknown.  Family needs to be a priority and maybe this is the way that you can control the balance.  Move your butt to the middle of the teeter totter.   

3. Sanity – you aren’t the only one that thinks being home with the PairSquared Posse full time is completely insane.  I know you love them, but doesn’t a mom need her own time too?  Yeah, maybe you would like your me time to be at the massage parlor rather than working at a desk but if I were you (and I am) take what you can get.  Rather than spending $90 on 90 minutes of bliss you will be able to enjoy a morning cup of coffee while checking your Groupwise email without being interrupted by, “Mommy, wipe my bottom.” 

Hopefully this letter will lift your spirits one day when you need it.  I am positive that your kids have benefited from this decision.  Some people say that you aren’t putting your family first if you choose a career over staying home.  I think you can proudly say that you were putting your family first.  You made a choice that gives you balance, focus, and experience.  Career and family, you are a girl that had it both.

Keep on keepin’ on,

Me (You)  

1 comment:

Jenny said...

#2 is my favorite part of your letter. Nobody else can decide what is best for your family. And I do agree with you (which you already know) that this is the right move. Your kids will benefit from having a mommy who feels that things are better balanced. And besides, if it turns out we're both wrong (and really??? what are the chances of that???) you can always quit the job and go back to full-time chaos. I love you for having the strength and insight to come to this decision!