Monday, January 2, 2012

The one where she talks about working for the weekend

While life is sometimes pretty hectic, I have no regrets about choosing to work outside the home. Sure, it's not for everybody, and that's OK. There's a lid for every pot. I might have felt differently were it not for Canada's generous paternal leave policies which allowed me to stay at home for the first year. But I always knew I was going back to full time employment.

I like what I do, and most of the time I think I'm pretty good at it. Though, since the arrival of The Parasite, work is NOT my life - it's how I pay for it. I used to really identify with being a career woman. I kept my maiden name when I got married because I didn't want to reestablish myself after working so hard to build a network. A good reputation is a hard won prize for anyone out there in the working world.

And then my outlook changed completely with nine pounds of squawking baby. Now I work for the weekends when I can spend some extra time lolling around in bed with my people. I live for Saturday because I can spend all day TOMORROW with her too! It sounds so cheesy, I know, but she really does make it all worthwhile. I'm also extremely territorial about my family vacation time. That's when we take a break from the crazy and connect with each other, reminding ourselves of what all this fuss is about.

Some day, in the distant future when my kid(s) is(are) older, I may try to get back on the aggressive career track. I'll still have a good decade left in me where I can be worked to the bone to plump up my retirement savings that will be drained by putting kid(s) though school. But for now I consider any day I get home in time to sneak in a trip to the park before dinner a good day. I go to work every day and do a good job, expecting no more than a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

Have you had a watershed moment in your career? I'd love to hear about it.


This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #33 word prompt: Work. For more info about GBE,  click here

15 comments:

Jo said...

I agree completely...we work to pay for our life. That's it GF. I don't work now, but I have worked since I was 16 until recently and I don't begrudge a moment of it and I don't want to go back either. But I would with a smile, if I needed to pay for more living. :)

Lydia @ On The Verge said...

I am your newest follower. I have four kids and have to work to keep up. But, I am only working part time so I don't loose my time with them all together. There really is no good solution. I could work full time and make good money, but at what cost?

Lydia

Joyce Lansky said...

I'm glad you like what you do and still have some time for the parasite.

Joyce
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

Word Nerd said...

Balance is so elusive. It's so much easier to find when one part of life isn't SO much more important than the other, but it sounds to me like you have a good handle on it. Work is work. It can be exciting and rewarding, and it certainly helps make the other stuff possible, but for me, it's all the other stuff that gives me cause to work.

Naked Mommy said...

It's SO great to hear you are able to balance career and family. I hope to eventually do the same.

My attitude towards work changed when I was supposed to return to my job after a year off. Before going on mat leave, I was dedicated to the point of endangering my health and my baby's. My Dr had wanted me to go off work at the beginning of April (my due date was June 15), but I stayed part-time until the end of April so my coworkers wouldn't be burdened with too much work (this was 2009 when all the layoffs were happening). When it was time to return to work, my position title and responsibilities had been reduced and there was no negotiation on start date even though I still didn't have child care. I was so upset, I quit and haven't looked back. The next job I got was contract, so no benefits and less pay, but my boss valued me, treated me FAR better and as a result I was able to come home happy rather than stressed out like the the three years before. Work is important but family comes first.

Claudia Moser said...

You will find the way for sure!

Teena in Toronto said...

I used to be driven when I was in my 30s ... I even became a VP. But these days I'm happy with my job and I have balance ... that's what pushes me now.

danneromero said...

As a teacher I feel pretty fortunate... I am a working mom AND a stay at home mom.... Depending on when school is in or is not in session.....

But, yes, work does pay for life....

Happy 2012!

beachlover said...

Absolutely! There is indeed a lid for every pot! It sound like you have balanced work and family. Good for you! I admire moms who work outside the home.

Chantell said...

I love that sentence ~ 'a lid for every pot' sometimes people are so quick to judge mums, either for working, or for staying at home with bubs...You cannot win ;o) It is such a personal decision, and depends on finances, and career enjoyment... I was able to stay at home, but have difficulty working anyway...

Great post! I love your honesty :o)

The Host said...

@Jo, sounds like you have an excellent plan.

@Lydia, Thanks for following! No, it does always feel like you're letting SOMEONE down. With one kid I feel like an FT load is manageable, but not sure I'd feel the same with four...

@Joyce, only way it works is if there's still time for the park once in a while.

@WordNerd, if I couldn't leave on a jet plane once in a while, there's no way I'd do it!

@NM, what? You're not going to make your fortune in pussy cozies? ;) I agree, feeling appreciated is key.

@Claudia, we always do.

@Teena, that sounds like a big adjustment that was worth it in the end!

@danneromero, that does sound like the best of both worlds. Happy 2012 back at you!

@beachlover, thank you!

@Chantell, right? Why would anyone care enough about how another family paid their bills to judge. *sigh* Thank you for your comment and your compliment.

Mojo Writin' said...

Sounds to me like you have it all under control, and I love the idea of 'working for the weekend' :o)

Anna said...

I am right the with you! Was also on the fast track, rep, then trainer, then manager, but then, child 1, 2, and 3 came along and I stepped off the track and now am a rep once again. I have no regrets and work only enough to provide so our family can enjoy life together! Good luck!

pbquig said...

Ah, spent many years as a working mom and it was great to just be with family. Now in retirement lots of family lives farther away, so enjoy them while they're nearby.

Just Jane said...

When I had my practice run at a mid-life crisis, part of it was that I didn't feel like I had any balance in my life. It was all work and nothing else. Now, I'm in a middle management position, rarely work over 40 hours a week, and have no ambition to work my way up the ladder. I'm content with my professional life because it does pay for me personal life.

I'm so glad you've been able to find this balance for you and your family!