As a stay at home mom, I like to play a little game with myself every time my kids are driving me insane- which is like four times a day. Kidding- kind of. Its called “what happens if mommy goes back to work?” I’m the only willing participant, and my kids think that daycare sounds like a blast (because they’ve never been before), so I appease my desire to know what jobs are out there. I have an MBA, but my love is focused on Human Resources. Ideally, I would love to work somewhere part-time, but in HR, that’s just not a feasible option. Sure, I could job share, but dang that sounds like a lot of work to find someone else to do half of a job AND a company who is open and looking to that. So basically, I look just for fun.
Until that one job pops up, until that one job checks all the metaphorical boxes I’ve been waiting for. Close to home. Enough experience, but not too much. Engaging position and involves employee morale. But then the panic sets in. It isn’t a choice that just affects me- it will affect every single aspect of our home if I go to work—no pressure, mom. We have three kids, and only the oldest is in school; the younger two are in a part-time preschool program. On top of that, we have three days at gymnastics that consist of mid-morning to late afternoon hours; of course, we have doctor’s appointments, and we have general life- groceries to get. That alone is a full-time gig most days.
Currently, my husband works full-time from home. Before you go there, I know what you’re thinking: HOW do you spend every single hour of the day together? At first, it was awesome, honestly. When I needed to take a shower, I could sneak away, and he would watch the girls. When Elmo was too enticing, a nap was underway, or the Polly Pocket gameplay was just way too intense to leave, I could leave a kid here and go pick up another. Appointments would never go so smoothly as demonstrated today when child two literally punched child one right in the face at the dentist. But a change is coming because he starts a new job soon. A job requiring him to get out of his sweatpants and into an office. So no longer will I have to worry about him slinking down the stairs to stealthily eat the girls’ food off their plates and then two minutes later have a child ask me where her lunch went. I won’t miss that. So would two gigantic changes rock their precious little lives, or is it worth it? Maybe rip the band-aid off and do it all at once.
Some days I feel like my brain is melting. I feel like my talents are being wasted. I love when my family members need a resume refresh, or they need their contracts reviewed or even better when they have questions about employee behavior and disciplinary action- ooooh, I love nerdy talk. I mean, I could eat lunch with both hands and not have to listen to kid shows and kid music and yell for the fifty-seventh time. And I would have my own money. I would not feel guilty if I bought myself a new shirt or went to Starbucks twice on the same day, or maybe all of my money would go towards fun vacations like Disney again. Wishful thinking. How do you even decide? How do you put your entire life up in the air and decide which one to catch? I’m still working through the details. What would you do??
UPDATE– I’ll tell you what you’ll do. You’ll let a pandemic decide for you. Remember that job I mentioned for my husband up above? So he quit his job of 14 years and was ready to start his new position on a Monday. Well, the Wednesday before they rescinded his job offer. Yep- just like that. Called him, took the offer back, and left an entire family with nothing- no guaranteed paycheck, no health insurance, nothing, at the beginning of very uncertain times. His old company wouldn’t take him back on full-time because they too were making budget cuts, so we both started looking. The only problem was the fact that so many companies were issuing hiring freezes. I remained optimistic, but we both spent hours applying each day. I may not have gotten the HR job that I had intended, but I did find a job that was a perfect role for me and pays well. The only thing I was desperately wanting was insurance, and this place starts it on day one—sign me up! Mama is going back to work! Sometimes I think that something outside of our control gently shoves us- or in this case- pushes us off of a cliff, and suddenly our choices are much clearer.