Monday, June 29, 2009

The most important job

It was only supposed to be for a couple of years. After all, it had been a long, almost ten year journey to become parents of two. Staying at home with them during the early precious baby years, when I could also cherish quality time with my preschooler boy. It was a no brainer.

Then she was a toddler, with so many things to do, so many programs to experience. With her Mommy.

'Maybe when she's in school', I said to myself.

Now she's in school. And that "couple" of years? Has morphed into over four.


The man's travel for work has picked up again. The last time he came home, he was so happy to see us, and he made a point of giving me an extra bit of TLC (along with the Lady Godivas) by telling me that I'm the one doing the most important job. I'm the parent at home with the kids. He's just bringing home the money.

I appreciated that. I really did. And he's doing a lot more than just that.

So I'm torn.

You see, I've always been a career gal. Even when I was a young girl, I envisioned working full time, outside of the home after I had my family. It was the model I grew up in; it was what I aspired to. Not just a job, but a career, with a path and succession planning. I did it after I had my son. I never even contemplated being a stay-at-home mom. Not until I became pregnant with the girl, and the company situation presented itself. It just made sense NOT to work. The career, in the whole scheme of things, was not as important. And truth be told, there's not much I can complain about this whole at home gig.

I have this colleague, though, who I'll call "headhunter". Who's good at what he does. In fact, he's great. I've used his services over the years and have found great people from him. He keeps tabs on me, he calls me up regularly to get a pulse of where my head is at, if and when I'm planning to hit the career trail again. And up until now, it's been easy to say, "not quite yet; I'm still looking for that work-life balance..." I have been lucky too, that I've had a few work projects over the last couple of years.

But the headhunter has done it now. He's presented me with an interesting opportunity. Close to home, perhaps not as fast-paced as what I'd had before. Something that might be worth investigating, if only to brush up my resume and practice my interview skills.

So my head is spinning. I should just go for the experience, right? There's no pressure, it's not like I'm absolutely needing this job. The scenarios are already flying around in my mind, though, all the "what if's". What if the interview goes well and it's something I might want to jump back into? What if it's such an amazing company and culture that I can't turn away. What if they DON'T want to hire me, what about that?

And what about my kids and their care? They're not ready for me to go back. Would we need a nanny? Am I actually ready to go back; but what if I don't and I wait too long? What about wanting to do my own thing, drumming up more of my own business so I can avoid the daily grind? The appeal of a regular paycheque, of again using my brain, education and experience is there. But then the reality of having to deal with management headaches and potential travel also needs to be factored into the equation. Do I even want to go there?

Hubs thinks I should look into it, nothing ventured, nothing gained. He's fine with whatever I want to do.

My head just hurts. This is supposed to be summer vacation isn't it? Why isn't it fun yet?


And here is a pretty song, just because I like it...


Kami's Khlopchyk said...

That is a big dilema! But I think your hubby is right, you can't NOT look into it, you just can't. See where it goes, you will know in your heart if it's right.

Good luck!

Knatolee said...

I vote with Hubs. Check it out, no obligations! But I can imagine it's quite an emotional decision, when to go back to work. Just listen to your heart. Either way, your kids will be fine because they have fine parents!

C said...

I agree with what Kami said. I can understand the emotional dilemma too. Can I tell you that this post made me cry!?!?!

Your Hubs is sooooo sweet! Mine was asking me when I could start teaching again...and Little One was only 5 months old when he asked!!! I guess being married to a farmer, they need their wives to work their asses off in the home AND out!!! Gah.

Anyway, keep us posted on what you decide to do :) You'll do what feels right for you and your fam and you'll know it when you do :)

Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

Oh hon, I can *SO* sympathize with you!!! I agree with hubs - go, interview. Check it out. That won't hurt anything.

But keep your priorities at the forefront of your mind. *IF* things work out that this company can work with what YOU want, then go for it. If not, it was just a good idea.


melissa said...

the interview won't commit you one way or the other. do it! you never know!

Kori said...

Interview, open yourself to the possibilities, and listen to your gut. If it is telling you absolutely not yet, listen to that. By the same token, if it is saying hells yeah, go for it and hte rest will fall into place. Amd good luck, because no matter which way you go, there will be sacrifices, and it is a tough, tough decision to make.

Life As I Know It said...

OH, I can relate (except for the part about having an opportunity in front of me ;)).
I said I would be home for one year after youngest was born. And he turned 4 in March! Now I'm panicked over HOW to go back to work and what I want to go back TO.
Good luck with your decision. You could always try it out, see how everyone adjusts, and no pressure if it doesn't work out. And GREAT if it does!
In any event, follow your gut feeling! and congrats on the opportunity!

Tooj said...

I always told my sisters, my brother, interview never hurt anybody. They don't like you? You're back where you started. At home. Still enjoying it. :) If you don't like it? You're back home. Still enjoying it. Testing waters can be a very healthy part of the "what if" strategy. You might get there and just "know" that excitement of the workforce and a potential job is what you want. You might get there and feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and know you still need to be at home a bit. But an interview won't be a deal breaker either way, right? :) Happy Tuesday.

Kim said...

I think you should def check it out.. if you don't your stuck with the "what if".. actually a ton of your comments left you great advice..I want to say.. woo hooo for still having it!! :p

petite gourmand said...

Oh boy can I relate to this post-big time.

All I can say is go with your gut.
If you feel ready then I say jump right in.
Then again if the hubs travels a lot, I can totally understand (and I mean totally) understand why you would want to stay so available to the kids.
It's such a difficult decision-to work outside the home or not.
I'm with ya sister.

I'm just super grateful to have both options as I'm sure you are too.
Keep us posted and good luck with whatever your decision turns out to be.

Tara R. said...

I vote for going on the interview too. There's no commitment attached to just talking with them.

I was SAHM for 12 years before going back into an office. Now, the funny thing is I'm considering working back at home.

Momo Fali said...

I agree. Go on the interview and just get a feel. You may be completely turned off, or it could be just what you've been looking for. You won't know unless you go, though.

Jocelyn said...

Hubs is all reason on this one. Feel it out; if it comes to an offer, THEN you worry and dither.

Plus, can I just say: my mom went back to work full-time when I went off to school. I have never for a moment begrudged her that--in fact, my college admission essay was all about the amazing independence I'd grown up with and how my parents were so wonderfully NOT in my face...because they were off doing their own stuff.

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Anonymous said...

I grew up with the Wonder Woman prototype--woman had to be super woman at everything--in the workplace, in the athletic arena, at home. I now realize I only have to be great at what I'm called to be. There's a time and a season to work. I found that when they're all in school, that's a really good time because you have sooo much time on your hands. My suggestion is pray about it. When you have peace with an answer, you have the answer:) Best of luck. These decisions are the toughest:)

Momisodes said...

It's scary how parallel are lives are sometimes. This is a big step, but there is still uncertainty if there are more steps to follow. I'd say it never hurts to explore. You never know.

I was in the same boat with a job offer nearly 2 years ago. After many headaches and Advil, I went for the interview. Turns out, the position and salary wasn't all it was cracked up to be. So no regrets.

Huckdoll said...

You know me. I've done the stay at home mom gig, the full-time gig and now, the part-time. Having a foot in the door within my industry is crucial if I want to climb the corporate ladder in my later years, so having that on my resume, learning changes in law, etc as they happen, staying fresh and keeping the wheels of my mind moving - are all very important to me.


I get what you're saying here and I can completely relate. I've been all over the spectrum since the girls have been born and in the end, it's all about what your heart and gut tell you to do, Karen. Hopefully, what's best for YOU, what makes you most fulfilled, will be what's best for your family.

It's taken me almost four years to find the perfect arrangement with respect to my career and family balance and it's really working for all of us.

Good luck in deciding what to do.

Kristin said...

I'm hoping that someday I'll be able to make enough to make a significant difference to my family from home. Sigh. Good luck with whatever you decide is best!

louann said...

Oh wow, I really honestly don't know what to say.

I think the important question is what is it that you really want? Your hubby is very supportive so it's pretty much what you want.

Of course you have to think of you children. But you also have to think of yourself. THe kids will grow up and will have their own lives someday.

I'm so sorry Karen, I may be confusing you even more.

Post about what you decide to do soon!

Ed said...

OK--I'm late to the party here (it's been a busy summer) but my 2 cents says it never hurts to look. Go for it and have fun.

Mrs4444 said...

You are in a great position; you don't HAVE to work, so if they want you bad enough, you might be able to get them to agree to certain parameters (certain hours, etc.) I say check it out.

Natacha said...

It's taken me a while to start catching up on my fav blogs but I can feel your confusion. I am on mat leave with my first and only have 2 months left. I had to go into work for a meeting and right away found myself jumping back into the work grind and volunteering to take on all this stuff when I get back, but as soon as I got home and saw the little one I realized how much I missed her and didn't really want to be at work, it's so hard, i don't know how to exist at work not being the keener go getter, but I don't want to be that person...or do I???? So hard to be both people.

Christy said...

So I am a little behind on the reading, but you hit me over the head with this one! I always envisioned myself as the career woman with the family on the side type. Now approaching 4 years out of my degree, and my 'career' not going exactly as I had planned, I am lost for lack of a better word. I am adoring my mat leave, and not wanting to return to my 'job'. Do I stay home, return to the daily grind, start my own business, go back for a master...Sorry I am now rambling :)

Trust everything will work out for the best.


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