Ethan's Age

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My 24 Hour a Day Job

This morning, upon my daily peruse of the Huff Post Parenting Blog, I stumbled upon this article titled "The Retro Wife Opts Out."

It got me thinking about what brought me from my full time job to my current "more than full time job" at home.  This quote sums it up:

"If you have lots of career-development opportunities, and you have a real prospect of getting promoted, you feel that you are on track and surging forward and have the respect of your colleagues and control over your work, then you are much more likely to not be tempted to take time off with that second child," says Hewlett. "You figure it out. If on the other hand, you get passed over for a promotion, or it's made clear to you that you are marginalized, or you are working all the time for no appreciation, then your 2-year-old looks a lot more appealing." 

This is not to say that staying home wasn't my first choice.  It totally was.  In fact, when my former employer refused to work with me on an ADA request due to a medication I couldn't take in my third trimester impacting the hours I was available to work, I was more than thrilled to take my leave early, rather than fight their decision (and win, as I would have.)

I worked in an internationally known non-profit, molding the young minds of children and managing a handful of programs.  My resume, at 30, was impressive, and I could have continued up the ladder of non-profit management, though not through that organization.  I worked in an unhealthy office, with gossip and backbiting being the norm.  Why?  It was an office FULL of women. They fit the stereotype of working women to a T.  The pay for the long hours we worked (often 12 hour + days) was atrocious.  The only thing that kept me there was the daily opportunity to work with children, and some awesome staff.  (That was also the thing that kept me from leaving a toxic office environment.)  The pay was atrocious, the environment toxic, the item on the resume impressive. 

That being said, when we learned we were expecting, we started planning for my departure, and having an end date gave me so much peace.  In that last trimester, I actually lost weight and gained a sense of self that I lost in my job.  

Note: this is not a post about whether I think it's better to stay home or work for any parent.  I realize that some people can't afford to have a parent stay home, and also that some prefer to be working.  If it works for you and your family, that's fantastic!

One day, I might return to the work force (thankfully, my skills will always be applicable, and finding work when I chose to return won't be an issue) but for now, I am very happy being at home daily with my son.  I've learned to stimulate my mind by keeping up with the news, reading and writing.

In the meantime, I can't think of any job or pay that could beat this.

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