I am feeling pleasantly busy lately as opposed to chicken-with-head-cut-offedly busy, thanks in part to cutting back on a few blogging obligations (bloglibations?). It is far more doable to write for ParentDish twice a week rather than twice a day, for instance. Also, although it seems vaguely impossible that I even have time every week for my office job, going to Workplace seems to free up some space in my life in some way that’s hard to explain — I suppose getting out and having an entirely different set of responsibilities on a part-time basis helps reduce that feeling I am wussily susceptible to, of being completely over-fucking-WHELMED by parenthood.

It doesn’t hurt that Workplace isn’t exactly what you might call a taxing environment. Sure, it’s got its frustrations (although none of them are nearly frustrating to me now as they used to seem: when confronted with an annoying work situation I just compare it to the experience of cleaning up the third milk-barf of the day; or having two small children experiencing total screaming system meltdowns at the same time; or changing a particularly disgusting poopy diaper only to have to immediately change the other kid’s poopy diaper; or staring at the clock in disbelief because you’ve got to be shitting me, there’s no way it’s only 10 AM, I am never going to survive this day, etc — which is to say, that irritating coworker/managerial SNAFU/last-minute project from hell is practically a full-body hot-stone massage in comparison), but overall my office is far more focused on downtime than deadlines. That can soooort of sometimes be an annoyance in and of itself, actually, but really, I can think of worse things to deal with. Like the dotcom job I used to have where the company was owned by a terrifyingly dysfunctional pot-smoking husband and wife team and everyone had to walk around pretending that our software products actually existed, for instance.

My office job is sometimes enjoyable and sometimes lame, and I think I used to feel that I should be entitled to a job that is NEVER lame, but now that I am more seasoned and maybe also a little jaundiced and old enough to not only know what a silicone-based makeup primer is but also to greatly appreciate its effects, I am fairly certain such a job does not exist. I mean, I still believe in pursuing a fulfilling career and I have ideas and hopes for my future job opportunities, I guess I just feel more capable of appreciating what I’ve got now.

How about you? Are you in a good place, job-wise? Have you changed the way you think about working as you’ve gotten older? Those of you who are staying home with kids, do you plan to go back to work at some point, and if so, will you pick up where you left off — or do you have different interests now?

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
101 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sara
13 years ago

Me: 32 weeks, first pregnancy, 3 weeks away from last day at work. I’m planning to stay home with the baby, but I am having serious reservations now that the end of my work outside the home time is coming up. My current job sounds similar to yours in that it has a lot of downtime and can be somewhat lame, and I felt I deserved a job that was ALWAYS fulfilling and ALWAYS exciting. So of course I jumped at the chance to quit and stay home when my husband suggested it. But now? Now I am wondering if the grass is always greener on the other side…

Sara
13 years ago

Meant to say NOT always greener. (Mushy brain, sorry)

Angella
13 years ago

Matthew and I are both self-employed, and work from home.

It has its perks, yes, but some days I dream of going to an office…

warcrygirl
13 years ago

When Jr was born I was a peak-time teller in a fairly busy bank. The people I worked with were mostly horrid so it was with glee that I quit when Jr was 7 months old.

I haven’t worked full time since, if you don’t count raising the kids. For the past two years I’ve been a substitute teacher and that’s good work when you can get it. Problem is since I didn’t grow up here and since the whole subbing thing is just a glorified popularity contest I only work in spurts. Imagine the most cliquey-est part of high school; now imagine those same people in their 30’s and living in a town that’s essentially a quasi-campus.

Yeah, I know.

I’d like to get a full-time position as a teacher’s assistant, that way I essentially have the same hours as my kids but most subs subbed for FIVE YEARS before getting hired. Until I can make enough money per hour to afford daycare for two kids and still bring home enough to justify working in the first place I’m sticking with subbing.

dani
dani
13 years ago

funny you should ask this right now, as I have just made a big job change, primarily because I changed the way I think about my job. I decided that what I want to do (design) isn’t really happening at my current place of employment. and it might not—ever. so I decided to use my other strengths and become a manager. others can do what design there is here and I can earn more money, put in fewer hours, have an OUTSIDE LIFE and well, design on my own. fun stuff. without other people telling me what to do. someday, maybe I’ll get to he point where I’ll stop working at the big agency and do that full time. but for now, I think this is good. I hope. I’ve never been anyone’s boss before. you?

Gertie
Gertie
13 years ago

just this morning, after dealing with MACWE (most annoying co-worker ever) once again, I looked over at my office mate and said “I need to find another job”. And I meant it.

I used to be all about the job, but now that I’m approaching 40 I see it just as a way to pay the bills while pursuing my true ‘passion’ (photography). My current job was supposed to be a straight forward low-wage nine to sixer and instead I am stuck in something that has me overworked, overstressed, and extremely underpaid for what I’m doing. Oi.

Susan
Susan
13 years ago

What a great question — I’m sure you’ll get a lot of interesting responses. Personally, I was languishing in a job that was, eh, okay…from the outside it looked amazing, but you know how that goes. Like Dani (points to above post), I recently had a sort of epiphany that I had the power to actually change my job. I didn’t want to leave the company (cool industry, great benefits, etc.) but I was so sick of doing stuff I hated. So I took everything I liked about my job, mulled it around, and figured out how to make myself a totally separate entity within the same department. The boss loved it and now…bliss. I love coming to work every day and am once again loving what I do. Yay!

All Adither
13 years ago

Thanks for posting this. It gives me hope.

ZestJenny
13 years ago

I hear you, Linda! I used to despair and despair over the sad state of my employment. But since I got this job at JB’s workplace (still have eyes peeled, will most likely never cross paths) I just feel really lucky to have something that pays me decently that I don’t hate.

I feel like I’ve finally figured out that your job is WORK afterall, and expecting sunshine and rainbows or utter fulfillment all the time are perhaps unrealistic expectations for WORK.

TinaNZ
TinaNZ
13 years ago

Over many years I had worked my way up into a Project Manager role – and hated every minute of it. The company folded and I took the opportunity to look for work at a ‘lower’ tier where I could use the skills I knew I you arewas really good at, and lose a lot of the stress from being ultimately responsible for a lot of things I felt I had no control over. The salary is lower but it’s still enough, and I enjoy my work days a helluva lot more. Sometimes it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that the logical career progression is the only way to go, and end up being promoted into a place that doesn’t make you happy. You spend a lot of your life at work so it’s really important to make that as pleasant as you possibly can.

Sleepynita
13 years ago

Before the Dictator was born I worked full time at the same job I have now. At that time I was feeling worn down and actually thinking of moving into the financial field. I really think it was the whining and office politics that were getting me down; mostly because I actually gave a shit.

Now (after a year off for maternity leave – yay Canada!) I work 2 12 hour shifts a week at the same job while my son is sleeping. He has no clue really that I am gone during that time, and to me it is a break from the everyday mundane world of parenting. And I always have at least four to 8 days off before I work my next two shifts – so it also feels like I am always on holiday.

Also I like my job more since I really don’t give a rat’s ass about the politics or really even care about my coworkers and their popularity contests. It is nice to get a decent pay day and return home to my son without taking work home with me.

But I am still looking forward to another year off work when #2 arrives.

Lisa May
Lisa May
13 years ago

I don’t have an answer for this yet, but I’ve spent a LOT of time pondering the whole job situation as I go back to work in 2.5 weeks. Spending all day tending to a newborn (who, knock on wood and thank the baby gods, is a great kid but still a tiny baby who can’t talk to me or control her own bowels or esophagus) has it’s joys. But I hear you on the “holy shit is it really only 10am?” front. I can’t believe sometimes that I’ve been awake for 4.5 hours already when my husband is just getting up. (He works evenings and doesn’t get home until 1am – just so he’s not coming off as a slacker.)

Is it clear yet that I’m desperate for conversation and sleep deprived? I’m rambling a bit.

Anyway, I’m interested to see how the transition back to work goes. I have a job I like at a nonprofit that does good work, but it’s pretty hard to get up any feeling like the time I put in there is at all important when I could be home raising my kid. Even though I know I would go batshit crazy if I tried to be a SAHM, I find myself wishing I could quit my great job and try it out. It’s a conundrum unlike any I’ve faced before.

Ashley
13 years ago

I have no idea what I will do once I go back to work. I definitely struggle with this. I absolutely don’t want to do what I did prior to having kids. I suppose I will need to go back to school. I do know I need something all for me, like NOW. Just not sure how to obtain that.

nonsoccermom
13 years ago

I really like the job I currently have, and actually see it developing into a long-term career. I was happy to come back to work after the birth of my second child in December.

Work is a great way for me to feel like a person beyond just Mommy. Also, it is nice to have a cup of coffee in peace.

suzr
suzr
13 years ago

wrong day for this question…my boss is being a total shit today!

actually, that little vent felt good. i take it back, thanks for posting that ?

:)

E
E
13 years ago

Before my kids were born, I didn’t have a “career”, I just worked a bunch of retail and clerical positions. I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. After kids, I realized that I really like working with kids (some people are just crazy like that.) I was a stay at home mom until my son entered Kindergarten, then I worked at the preschool my daughter went to. Before she started kindergarten, I decided to babysit 2 boys in my home so I could still be a stay at home mom. But now the babysitting job is ending, both my kids are in Elementary school, and for the first time, I’m thinking about getting a job working with children outside the home — you know… finding a workplace of my own. I’m also trying to plan my next job move so as to make a career out of teaching children. The whole plan a career thing is really hard, as is the whole job search thing.

(And before I was surprised with a pregnancy, I never would have thought I’d have children. They scared me, and I didn’t feel comfortable being around them. So… BIG change after having had kids.)

Briana
13 years ago

You know how I feel about my current situation…perfect schedule, but all bennies RIPPED from me upon mt part-time return. I am not nearly as passionate about work as I was pre-baby, it’s not the most important thing anymore.
I just need to find a gig that will give me health coverage, or at least pro-rate it, b/c right now I’m only making enough to cover my individual health plan + daycare.
Good book rec—“How She Really Does It- secrets of successful stay-at-work moms” by Wendy Sachs.

MRW
MRW
13 years ago

I had a pretty cushy job that wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world before my son was born. Then, when he was about 6 months old, I got the corporate job I thought I really wanted. But it turned out that after I had a child, I just really wasn’t interested in working insane hours at least 3-4 times per year and networking and doing the corporate thing. So, I returned to the same job I had before I had my son. Different boss, but same gig. Now that I approach it as a job and not my life, I’m happy with it. It’s never going to set the world on fire, but I work 8-5, M-F with virtually no exceptions, and it pays pretty well. I’m hoping to be able to go part time in a couple of years because I’d like to be home more, but if I can’t I won’t die. I think becoming a mom reordered my priorities and helped me really come to grips with the idea that what I do for a living is never going to be the best part of my life and that’s fine because I figure when I’m dying I’m not going to be thinking about how much I’m going to miss my job.

Trina
Trina
13 years ago

To be honest, I am totally jealous of your situation. I am a stay at home mom of 2 kids roughly your kids’ ages. I absolutely hated my full time job before kids so I thought that staying at home would be a better solution. Now I know that isn’t the case for everyone and I am starting to think I am one of those people. But, now that I have been home for 3 years my husband gets all weird when I tell him I think I need to find a part time job. Anyway, I know for sure once the youngest is in Kindergarten (UGH 5 years from now) I will be going back to work part time for sure, until then I live vicariously through your blog. :)

Emily
Emily
13 years ago

I’m in a very unfulfilling place job-wise which is why I have an interview tonight for another job. I took current job because it seemed like it would be great. For a short time it was. Previous workplace was a MAJOR stress overload and took a huge toll on every aspect of my life. Current job is just the opposite, no toll what-so-ever. Which like I said for a short while was fine. I was glad to have a NO stress place to chill out for 5 days a week 8 hours a day. Then my brain started to turn to mush and I felt like I was losing all of the skills I had ever gained. A job opp found me and that’s the interview tonight. I’m fairly excited about it but also approaching it in a much more realistic way than I did coming into this job. Hopefully I’m smarter now, a bit more savvy and will make a move that suits me and the new company. Wish me luck!

Jennifer
13 years ago

Fresh out of college I thought I could do anything and wanted tons of responsibility. And after working my ass off, I got exactly what I wanted along with boatloads of stress. I’m now in a position where I am sometimes bored. But you know what, it is a lot more stressful. And I can actually envision raising children AND keeping this job. Work just isn’t as important to me as is once was.

Jennifer
13 years ago

I mean the current job is a lot less stressful.

Felicia
Felicia
13 years ago

I am a stay-at-home mom… sort of. I teach childbirth classes 5 hours a week (two nights) which is my passion. If I could do that more, I would.

I also work 15 hours a week doing editing (again from home). How do I find time? When my son is napping or when my husband is home to watch him… so obviously this job will not last forever. But I’m hoping he keeps the nap until preschool so it will be a seamless transation. Wishful thinking, right?

So anyway, even though I stay at home, I also work 20 hours a week. It is tough. I wish I had an office to escape to… finding down time to do anything (clean, exercise, etc.) is rough. I am still trying to find a good balance and my son is almost 17 months.

Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

My job used to be super stressful. Now I still work for the same company, but in a different department, and it is so much more relaxed. Now when I leave work, I leave work and don’t have to worry about anything.

Felicia
Felicia
13 years ago

Forgot to add… once all (wishful thinking there again on having a few more) the kids are in school… I may or may not go back to my engineering job. I actually do like being my own boss.

Kirsten
13 years ago

hmmm, well – I’m grateful that I stuck it out at my current workplace, even though I could have made more money elsewhere…because my loyalty paid off they’ve allowed me to work from home and only go into the office twice a week for half a day WITH my five week old baby. SO, while it’s hard juggling both work and a new baby – I’m grateful for the opportunity to maintain my full time income without having to pay the exhorbitant price of daycare..which quite frankly, would probably cancel out my paycheck anyway.
I do from time to time dream about having a different “career” – but at this point in my life, I’m happy where I am.

Jamie
13 years ago

my professional goals are in a near-constant state of flux. i suffer from what i like to call “can’t I do a little bit of everything?” – turns out that particular lot in life doesn’t come with a 401K or benefits. damn.

squandra
squandra
13 years ago

I’m in a pretty good place, job-wise. Not great, but much better than when you last asked this question. :)

My boyfriend and I moved to a new state last fall, and we both vastly prefer our current jobs to the ones we left. My previous boss was a nightmare and I have never regretted getting out of that situation. I’m a TV news producer, and now that I’m at a much better station, my job is USUALLY less stressful. Plus, my boyfriend and I now both sleep at night, when it’s dark. That’s nice.

But our schedules are still fairly opposite, and that’s a (increasingly) big deal to me. My parents were both teachers, so in my mind, three straight months of togetherness is part of being a family. Now I work on Christmas.

I’ve historically had a pretty good handle on the “work is work, sometimes it sucks, sometimes it doesn’t, pay the bills, done” thing. And I have a job that’s fulfilling and exciting, and it’s great, but I’d give it up for boring in a second if it meant more time for the rest of my life. I love my job, but (don’t tell) I love my family and my boyfriend more. Someday, I’d like my schedule to reflect that.

Sonia
13 years ago

I went back to work part time after my son was born, and loved it. For awhile. And then his developmental delays became obvious, as did the need for various therapies. I could barely keep up with the stress of my job, and take good care of my boy. And then….as if to seal the decision…my bad luck reared it’s ugly head, and I was robbed at gunpoint at work. I had been robbed at knife point at work, years before, but I wasn’t a mom yet. Well, needless to say, I lost ALL passion for my job that day, when a drug addicted man pointed a gun at me.

This year is the first of my son being in school all day vs just mornings, and I’ve been thinking more about getting a job again. My dilemma is that I need to work from home because the likelihood that the school will call and I’d need to leave immediately to pick up my son is very high. I just don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, that I can do from home. :-) I love photography, but I’m intimidated about starting a business. Oh! I do *work* two nights a week at a friend’s business, when my husband is home with our boy. It’s a fluffy, easy, fun job that pays minimum wage. It gives me a mommy break and a few extra bucks in my pocket. For right now, it’s perfect.

Kendra
Kendra
13 years ago

I’ve had a major mental job crisis this past year. I have a Ph.D. I worked *hard* for my Ph.D. But then we moved, and the job I was promised fell through, and I was unemployed for 6 months…and at the end of all that, I found a part-time contract job that was supposed to be temporary, but has lingered. I don’t care for what I do, and I sort of feel like my skills are rotting away, but at the same time, I LOVE working part-time, and we’re planning to adopt soon, and I can’t imagine going back to a full-time job right now. After a lot of agonizing, I think I’ve accepted doing less than what I’m capable of for now in order to focus on our family. (So watch me get laid off and have to look for something else that will undoubtedly be full-time…*sigh*)

RubiaLala
13 years ago

I used to be a workaholic. Until I had The Boy. Then perspective hits…ahhhh, perspective. Now I just work my 40 hours and then I can’t wait to get home to my family! I actually hate my job right now. It really sucks. But I am (not really) patiently waiting for a few things to happen and then I’m getting the heck outta here!

monkey
13 years ago

Yeah, I have what everyone tells me is the perfect job. I’m a lawyer for the federal govt. Given recent political developments- I’m due for another huge promotion that will crack me into the 6 figure salary range and effectively give me the federal equivalent of having made partner by the time I’m 30 (essentially I have a very good chance of making the 2nd highest grade at my agency, I’m currently at 3rd highest).

I only work 40 hours a week. Unheard of in lawyering.

Blahblahblah, I know puh-lenty of people would kill to have my job but I feel highly unfulfilled and bored. Then again, I don’t have a family/marriage.

I’ve kind of decided to make a career change that I know is going to raise some eyebrows but I’m pretty tired of waiting around for a family to justify my easy job. Now I’ve decided to just make fucktons of money for myself.

Go me!

miranda
13 years ago

I’m in my first “grown-up job” after college, which seemed okay when I took the position but kinda sucks now. Maybe my expectations for what my first job would be were a little too high (okay, I *know* they were a little too high) but I’m more frustrated by the fact that there’s clearly no room for professional growth and my co-workers and company seem to take sick pleasure in writing off my ideas and trying to make me as jaded as they are.

But I’ve decided to look for something else where I can grow and be happier, and until then the paycheck from the current company helps pay the bills. Plus, when things get really bad I imagine what I’ll say during my exit interview with HR. That always puts me in a better mood!

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

I love my job. My boss is an angel. I think God put him in my life to show me how to be a better person. Now how many people do you know who can say THAT about their boss? I sure as shooting couldn’t have ever said it before this job.

Rachel
13 years ago

I’ve been an at-home mom for the past twelve-plus years, and probably will be for the next five or eight years as well. So it’s not really a question of “going back to work” — with that kind of gap I get to pretty much… invent myself as an older woman. I’m actually in preproduction on Rachel 3.0 already, because I was beginning to dread that moment when my kids would flee the nest and half my identity would go with them. So I’m a (very part-time) college student, learning to do something I never would have imagined doing when I was an eighteen-year-old just starting out on adult life. At 18 I was headed for what I’m sure would have become a very expensive ten-year-seven-different-majors college experience. So it’s just as well that I’ve had/am having this twenty-plus-year interlude to figure myself out. :) (I can just see it at my high-school graduation: “So, Rachel, what are you doing next year?” “Oh, I’m taking twenty years off before college to explore my options.”)

Mico
13 years ago

I have worked on and off in the past 4 years because my husband and I have spent most of that time traveling. Each time I took a job with less responsibility and that paid less. Now that I am contemplating working again full time, I think that the time off might have kind of screwed me, and that it will take a few years to get back to where I left off.

That said, we just moved to a new city and the plan is that I’m going to get my MBA while my husband works. I am doing this mostly because I want a change in my career options, but don’t ask me what I want coming out on the other side! I am terrified that I’ll have spent all this time and money earning a degree and then have the same conversation (that’s a nice way of putting it) my husband and I had last weekend — I don’t know what I want to do!

Heather-in-Australia
Heather-in-Australia
13 years ago

I work in the mental health arena, and generally it’s seriously rewarding and incredibly interesting. I’m a nurse, but
I’m really functioning as a community liaison officer: linking those with mental illnesses into support groups and social networks within the community, helping them formulate and achieve individual life goals and dreams. I started maternity leave at 33 weeks pregnant, though, as I was becoming quite tired and wanted to spend my time nesting and relaxing. It was just time for me to do that rather than have much of each day focussing on some of the sadder situations that come with mental health work: time for someone else to take that over and for me to rest and think happy thoughts :). I’ll be taking 6 months maternity leave (unpaid, but the Aussie ‘Baby Bonus’ combined with savings specifically made for this purpose will help) and would like to return to work after that. I only want to go back two shifts per week, though, and hopefully afternoon or sleepover ones at that so my husband can care for our little girl then.

Speaking of our little girl, we found out yesterday that she is breech and probably quite large: that, combined with some other specific medical issues of my own (nothing terrible), mean we’ll most likely (find out for sure early next week after a more comprehensive ultrasound) be booked in for a caesarian. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is, while realising each body & experience is different yada yada, to go back and read your birth stories, Linda :). They really help with demystifying the unknown for me, so … thank you :).

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

If the grass is greener in some other work place, I’m not willing to risk what I have to find out. I can work at home or in the office, I am completely supported and if I need time off I can get it at a moment’s notice. I have the Cadillac of pension plans, full medical and a reasonable dental plan and a boss who leaves me alone and trusts me to get work done. I also have supportive colleagues. Oh yes, and my job is highly interesting and creative. This job is a keeper for me.

Jennifer
13 years ago

I’m FINALLY ok, work-wise. I was conflicted and discouraged for a number of years until I moved into my current position.

I love my job. LOVE. They say that people will change jobs between three and seven times in a lifetime. I am so loyal to this company that I think I would die if I ever had to leave it. An added perk is that people think my job is very glamorous and exciting, which it sometimes is, but for the most part it’s like any other job. The illusion of it being more than that IS kind of awesome though!

Children are on the horizon for us and I’ve been torn with regard to the SAHM thing. On the one hand I think I would go crazy and wind up on the news but on the other, my mother stayed home with us and those are some of the most precious memories I have from my childhood. Unfortunately with as fucking expensive as everything is (and will continue to be) I simply don’t think that we could ever function on just one income. It all works out in the end though, right?

Victoria
13 years ago

Yeah, I’m in a pretty good place. A move to a less stressful position helped, but so did me reminding myself that it was just a job… I don’t take it all so seriously and I let more things slide. Took a good few years to get to that place, but I’m glad I’m there.

Joanne
13 years ago

As I’ve said 1000 times, I am a SAHM and I think it might be the Worst Job Ever. I consider it to be a great sacrifice to me professionally and personally and socially and on and on. It is a freaking hard job, I am underappreciated by my bosses (children) and there is no money and no benefits. I do it gladly though, which I know is kind of paradoxical. But such is motherhood right? No matter where you work?

ANYWAY. I used to think I would go back to work in IT (my last job was Director of Information Technology for a small private day school) as soon as my kids went off to kindergarten. But as soon as I was home for one or two years, I started to doubt that it would be possible. I figured if I’m staying home for the Shit Years, I want to be around for what will (hopefully) be the Fun Years too. I don’t see how I can go to work again 7:30 – 4:30 (on a good day, which is rare in IT) after the kids are in school. What will they do before school? And after? Did I stay home all this time just to take them to before care and after care? These are the questions that plagued me.

So now I just figure eff it, I will wait and see what happens. When my daughter is a little bit older (closer to a year), I am going to figure something out to do. I’m not sure if I’m going to clean houses, or waitress, or do contract IT work, but I am going to do something to a) get the HELL out of this house and 2) make some money. It’s my goal to make as much money as tuition costs for our kids once they go to school. My son has recently been found to be on the autism spectrum, so I feel like there might be kind of a wrench thrown in to my plans, but we will have to wait and see.

I miss working, but I try and remind myself of the bullshit that came with my jobs. Whatever else my job is now, I’ve never LOVED my job before, like actually loved it. It is an interesting experience. Lately I have been trying to think of it as a Vocation, like something that I was called to do, it makes it easier to not be afraid I’m going to go mad and kill someone.

Kate
Kate
13 years ago

I am an Editor for a web publication and I love it. My job is actually my dream job — and I can’t tell you how good it feels to say that after years of working unfulfilling jobs that I hated. I work 8-4, M-F (my preferred schedule) and there’s never any pressure to work over time. It’s super, it’s low-stress, it’s totally flexible. The pay is not amazing, but it’s adequate (and after I’d been there four months, I got a 12% raise).

Leah
13 years ago

It’s well-established that I have my dream job, but there are definitely those days that I find myself wishing it were already time to stay home with the kid for a few months. (Obviously, part of that daydream is about actually having the kid at last, but part of that is that sometimes my job is lame.) But then of course I freak out because I LOVE MY JOB! What if I become obsolete? What if I feel left out of all the office drama? What if I feel worthless that I’m not contributing to the household income and/or society at large?!

I think knowing that I’ll eventually have to go back to work makes me excited to know I’m going to have a few months off. And on the other side of the coin, knowing I’m going to have a few months off is actually helping me appreciate being at work right now.

Like you, I know I’ll be a better mother if I have a life outside the home, and it will be interesting to see just exactly what that balance will look like for me/us. Most of all, I’m just glad I have some choice in the matter. And glad that my job rocks.

Valria
13 years ago

I can actually say yes I’m in a good place. After being layed off in April I start a new job next Tuesday. I will be working for what was “the competitor” of my last job. I had to take a pay cut but will still make enough money to make all the ends meet.

I am blessed that there was a job for me. Timing in my lay off and someone else leaving allowed them to fund the position even though they are in reduction mode as well.

If it hadn’t been for my 17 years of loyal service at the old company and working long and erratic hours during busy times to which some friends chastised me for giving to much this opportunity may not have been opened up for me. In fact in my first interview I asked what they wanted to know about me and was told my reputation preceded me.

I love the actual work, it is a corporate job but an ever changing type of job because of changing SEC regulations always. It is also the kind of job that is tough to take home with you. My work is turned to others at the end of my shift. It also means that work does not wait for vacations so no one is ever behind when they return.

As far as viewing work any different then when I was younger. There was a brief period of time at the old company years ago that I was in management. Following the expected path of job growth for a “career” I didn’t do it long before I went back to just being a cog in the wheel. It’s a great paying job that allows me a great life but does not define me. When asked what I do I would much rather answer “garden, read, go to the dog park, play” those are the things I like to define myself with.

Sara
Sara
13 years ago

I have to tell you that there are days that I actually envy my husband going to work. (I am a SAHM.) For the longest time, he couldn’t understand this and we’d argue that as boring as walking around the lake with a 3 month old may be, it’s still better than sitting at work. Which is true – THAT part is better. But that part right there? Also less often. Since then, we’ve added another child (exactly 1.5 apart – what the fuck were we thinking?) and he’s spent more time at home. Now, Monday comes and he he does a hallelujah jive all the way to his car. He keeps reminding me that I am going to be all weepy when they go off to school and I know I will – the grass is always greener, you always want what you don’t have, blah de blah… but I will be calling him from home after they are both in school and he’s at work saying, “HOW DO YOU LIKE MY DICK NOW!?” as I am laying on the couch watching mindless TV with no one but me to take care of. No shit to clean up but my own. Fuck no, I am not going back to work. I’ll have done enough work in the last 6 years to equal his time until he can retire. ;)

I say this all now, but ask me once the kids have been in school for a few months. I’m pretty sure I’ll have a part time job of some sort. I am just all June Cleveresque (or pretend to be?) and want to be home before my kids go to school and before they get home from school. That’s important to me.

Eva
Eva
13 years ago

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and have practically been live-blogging this past week the tortuous experience of going back to work full-time (short-term), and basically the way my career usually is–a few hours a week, nights and weekends, still keeping my toe in the field(s)–is just great for me now. I work enough to feel like I am being Useful to Society and Putting my Skills to Work but I get to be mostly full-time with my toddler and I much prefer that. I do love to work and I love my job(s) but working full-time just isn’t for us (right now). My child is just too miserable in childcare and I’m not too keen on it myself.

Kristy
13 years ago

I raised my son and now that he’s 15 I’m 8 months away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in business management. I have a great job that I 95% love. I have great bosses and my employer pays entirely for my education. I plan to stay and get my Masters. I probably won’t get paid for that bachelors until I get my masters and move on.

When my son was growing up I worked worthless jobs that weren’t anything but a paycheck and a drag. I sorta did things backwards and now I’m the only 30-something where I work that does not have the hassle of raising small children whilst trying to have a career. This fairs well for me since I am seen as more reliable because my job can come first.

Yes, I did things backwards. However, I really came to say that you can never appreciate what wonderiffic job might come one day if you cannot find grattitude for where you are now. Meaning I made choices all those years to put my son first, I don’t regret those choices. Like I said, I did things backwards as compared to everyone around me.

jonniker
13 years ago

I’m not at home with the kids, but my career was recently seriously derailed when I agreed to move to Vermont for Adam’s career. (There are no career-type jobs for me here. AT ALL.)

I loved my last job. Loved. And now, I’m freelancing, which is not really the same at all, and is tough sometimes, as it’s shifted the balance of power in our relationship, and I miss when we were on more equal footing.

That being said, it’s hard sometimes, both to imagine NOT going back to work and also GOING back to work when this job ends (and it will, almost certainly). Not because I’m lazy, but because I am … well, I’m trying to have a family, and for some reason, I’m being irrational in that I’m holding out my next steps until I get pregnant. Which could (and will likely be) the twelfth day of never.

I feel sort of paralyzed by it all lately — by the lack of available jobs for me here, by the lack of pregnancy that has had a surprising impact on my desire or lack thereof for a career. I think, in part, it’s because I never particularly enjoyed the careers I’ve had for one reason or another (corporate was too soul-draining; journalism, too competitive for laughable pay)

At the end of the day, though, one thing keeps coming back to me, and has for years: I want to go back to school to become a nurse. That’s it, and it’s strange for an editor/writer-type person, but it’s true. I just never had the time to think about what I really wanted to do before.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

I love my job. I work full time. I miss my child but I feel like I am a better parent for being at work, for being empowered, for making money, for being strong enough to make it all work most of the time, for having a job with some flexibility. Yes, there are things I wish I could change at times. I would love to work part time versus full time but what I have works and we make it work. I would love to make as much money as I do from home but I cannot so I work. I would love to live a bigger city or on the west coast but where we live is less expensive, a better place to raise our family.

If I had any other job then what I do right now I would probably just stay home. I always liked working but this job is just so empowering so that makes a difference. Raising my son is empowering too. So I feel I have the best of both worlds. That is different from how I used to view both work and my life at various times during my life. For instance, I resented work when I first got back after maternity leave b/c I just wanted to be with my son but I now realize that work is good for me, for us for many many reasons.

heather
heather
13 years ago

timely question. today was my third day at my new job, after taking six months off to travel and well, lounge about. i also decided that i was sick of the IT game (i’m a recruiter) and have instead joined a marketing/interactive firm.

i feel like at this point in my life i really, really want to excel at my job. i want to feel like i’ve done something good and productive at the end of the day. so i’m excited. i mean, this feeling could go away in six months and it might just become another blah position, but here’s hoping it won’t.

1 2 3