Friday, November 16, 2012

Changes around the bend

A little over a month ago I looked at my fast-growing children, at my ever-messy house, at my piled and cluttered desk at the office and realized I wasn't making it work. On the surface it seemed like I was doing a great job at it all: I was complimented on my ability to "balance" working and motherhood but on the inside I was floundering and falling. Juggling Noah's visit to the neurologist with the unknown of the diagnosis (at that time) coupled with an expected raise not coming through made me stop in my tracks and re-evaluate what exactly I was doing.

What I was doing was barely treading water. And because this is my place to be my honest self, I'll tell you that I didn't spend eight weeks in actual therapy to not learn anything. I learned that I Cannot Do It All. I can't. No one can. And when you finally realize that you can't, you have to make changes. My kids needed me more than I was available. My house, our haven, was looking rough around the edges and poorly cared for. My work was suffering because I couldn't give it the full attention it deserved. Some of you can make it all work and work WELL and I deeply admire you for it. I am just not that person. I admit it and now I own it.

I am lucky though because I now have a choice. Three years ago I didn't have a choice: it was go back to work and help Tim support our family or risk losing too much. So I went back to my former job and it was fine and we made it work and Tim found an amazing new position. We had another cute baby and hired a nanny and chugged along. But it didn't feel good, it didn't feel right, it wasn't working the way I wanted it to work. Tim and I had many a conversation under the cover of night when the kids were quietly sleeping. Do I stay at work? I'm barely making enough to cover our childcare costs (remember: big city=big childcare costs). Do I WANT to work? Yes. All the time? No. Am I doing what I love? Eh. Not really. But it's a great company with a great staff and I wouldn't get the same thing at another company. I fought it and wrestled with it but the decision was made: I had to quit, the numbers just weren't making sense, and it was time to take a break to figure it out.

So I did just that. On Wednesday, October 10th, I quit my job. You would think it ends there, right? Oh no, no, no. My boss refused to accept my quitting at face value. He told me I wasn't allowed to quit, I was too valuable, they weren't letting me go without a fight. I believe I responded with "so...we're negotiating?" and his answer was "give me your best case scenario and let me see what I can do". Believe me when I tell you there is NOTHING like being told you are too valuable to lose to put some pep in your step.

Long story short(ish), I negotiated my way into a part-time position (Mondays and Wednesdays in office, Thursdays from home) and for a higher pay rate. Yes, I lose my health and vacation benefits (Tim's able to pick those up, yay!) but for what I give up I get back in more time at home with my kids. Plus this means I'll actually start to make money instead of throwing it all at our nanny. You guys, I'm really, really excited. THIS is what I have wanted for so long. THIS (hopeful) balance of work and home, me and us. THIS melding of all my responsibilities into something that works FOR me, not against me.

I acknowledge that we are incredibly lucky to be in a position to make this decision, that this is a choice and it's not a choice everyone gets to make. And on the eve of our thankful holiday, I am grateful, oh so grateful. I think these guys will be too.



Me in my fancy Blathering outfit...way outside of my comfort zone but I loved it so much (plus fake eyelashes! Who am I?!?)
Blathering recap to come soon.

22 comments:

Jessica said...

Congratulations! It's not working for me, either. Both home and job are suffering. But changes are coming for us, too, so I hope everything turns out!

Hillary said...

Sara!!! This is great news. How awesome that they'd fight for you like that. I'm so ridiculously happy for you.

PS That outfit was fabulous.

Sara said...

Can't wait to hear all about your changes, Jess!!!

Thank you, Hillary :) I felt like I was celebrating with 60 friends in NOLA...thanks for being there!

Laura Diniwilk said...

OOH, you just described my DREAM SCENARIO. I am so happy for you, this sounds amazing! Also, I thought your outfit was stunning, I never had a chance to tell you in person. You definitely look like someone who has her shit together and is doing it all, so you give me hope that someday I will get MY act together and find some balance.

Michelle said...

I'm just so happy for you that you found something that works. That is an amazing feeling.

And you looked fabulous in that outfit. You are adorable.

Sara said...

Laura, IT IS ALL A FACADE. No, no, I, in fact, do not have my shit together. I am an excellent faker. But you! You will find your balance...I have The Faith.

Sara said...

Oh, Michelle, I think YOU are adorable. And hilarious. I want to keep you in a box on my shelf.

Jennifer said...

How AWESOME that your boss was like No. I reject your quit. Sorry. ;) I am so happy you were able to work it out & find a middle ground & I am so excited for you! Working part-time is truly a blessing. I love my job but I also love the days when I can just hang with the kids for a while. Best of both worlds (that's not to say that it's easy, but neither work nor kids would be on their own either!)

I absolutely loved your outfit last Saturday btw. You're so adorable I want to put you in my pocket :)

Sara said...

Jen, we are so going to rock this part time thing, aren't we? And I am going to put you on the shelf with Michelle, ok?

clueless but hopeful mama said...

How amazingly awesome is this?!? This is so many people's dream scenario- part time, more money, more time at home.

If I could find something like that I would be so excited.

Congrats!

(And I wish we had gotten to chat at length in New Orleans. I never even got to see the false eye-lashes. FANCY!)

Erica said...

Congratulations. This sounds great!

Heather said...

Exactly what I've been struggling with the last few months, only I took the plunge and quit a few weeks ago. I'm excited to be with my little girl on a daily basis, but also nervous as hell for the new change.

Good luck! I worked PT for the last year and it really was a nice balance in work and family life. Have I loved my job a bit more or my boss come to me with more money, I might have made the same decision as you. I hope it's the perfect mix for you.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

This is amazing and so awesome for you. My mouth dropped open when I saw the quitting part, I was like NO WAY! What a perfect, happy medium.

Jennie said...

One, you looked so damn awesome in that Saturday night outfit. (In fact, I recommend you post your next SL post of just a breakdown of that awesome look.)

Next, I'm so thrilled for you, Sara. Oh do you deserve it. I know how hard you work and I am so glad you exhaled a little bit with this new arrangement.

XOXO

CharlieSue said...

Oh, SARA! I am absolutely THRILLED for you- I'm excited they fought for you and that you can see if a work change that lets you use THOSE skills will work, I'm excited for your family, I'm excited for ALL OF IT. THIS IS THE BEST.

PS- That dress from Sat night? YOU LOOKED AMAZING. I secretly wanted to steal it. AM BAD PERSON. (Also, not your size, but MEH! DETAILS!)

bessie.viola said...

Sara! Oh my goodness, I am so happy for you!! This sounds like the very best of both worlds, and I can't think of anyone more deserving of the opportunity. How awesome that your boss values your work THAT much - you are a rock star, lady, and don't forget it! I am looking forward to hearing more about your new schedule and how it all works out for you.

PS the outfit is fabulous and you look amazing!!

Anne said...

(I am very behind in my reader, thus the very late comment).
Yay! I'm SO SO happy for you. I'm glad you were able to find a balance that feels good to you. Also HOW CUTE IS THAT OUTFIT? That deserved all-caps. You are almost as adorable as your children, and that is saying something. :)

Marie Green said...

This is so awesome, Sara. I'm so happy for you! I love stories like this: you decided what you wanted and needed... and then GOT IT. Sometimes I think we're all just too afraid to ask for what we need. Go you! (Even better that they wanted to keep you part time! I love that they wouldn't let you quit!)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

And so a new chapter begins. So very excited for your ability to balance work and LIFE in a way that suits you best!

Auntie G said...

So happy it's all working out - hope we'll be able to catch up in person again soon!

Becky said...

Only a month late, I wanted to say congrats!