My Part-Time Life

I used to work full time. Meaning, I went to work like all the normal people from about 8:30 a.m. to 5ish p.m. I had benefits–awesome benefits! Great health care, great dental, even vision. I had retirement benefits that could make you shed a tear of wonder and joy. I was well respected in my field, I had won awards, I got to go to management training. I was a contender!

Then, I had my first daughter. The game changed, as they say. I took some time off from the full-time gig, went down to part-time hourly. It was incredible. My boss was so flexible. I was able to be a mom and be a writer and felt good about it.

When it was time for Anthony to quit his soul-sucking job, I knew I could get a full-time job again to support the family, and I did. I was officially a working mother. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life. I didn’t know anyone else who worked full time and had kids–and the guilt was enormous. Oh, it sucked. All my mom friends were staying home, having play dates, making homemade bread, and I kinda hated it. Never mind that my career allowed Anthony to take a new job at a local publishing company, and we didn’t really have to worry about the risk. My job was secure.

Anthony’s job turned out to be fairly good. He liked it. He was paid well. I got baby fever. So we had another one. And I quit my full-time job again to be able to spend more time with my little girls. And now I’m a part-time hourly again. Many of my friends this time around are full-time working moms and it’s me who is home, with the wardrobe and home furnishings of someone who has to watch her pennies. I don’t have an iPhone or a Blackberry, mainly because we can’t afford it.

I may feel like my career sucks, that  no one will ever hire me for another full-time job in my field again, but I do get to be home by 3 p.m. every day. I actually get to feed my second-grader milk and cookies when she gets home from school. I can volunteer in her class pretty regularly, without having to make up my time at work. If Bella is sick for a week with one of her mysterious fevers, it’s OK.

I’ve got one foot in the work world and one foot in the mom world, and it’s weird. That’s all I want to say.

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