What a way to make a living?

August 14, 2008 at 8:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

To answer Mrs C’s question from yesterday’s post: No, Baby O didn’t manage to break free of the Bumbo on his own.

Instead he gave up on trying to get out himself and fussed and fretted and then looked at me and squeezed out some real tears. And of course I picked him up.

Sigh.

I told you, the kid’s a master manipulator already.

______________________

Warning: The following is about my job search, and my feelings about getting a job and starting Baby O at daycare. I want to reiterate that staying home with Baby O is not an option for me OR J. So I will ask you to make nice and NOT judge us for our decision.

I haven’t really talked much about it, but I’m in the midst of interviewing for a new job. A few weeks ago, I decided to put my resume on a job search site, you know, just so I could start the process.

I got SEVEN calls from recruiters that day.

The first recruiter who called me was the one with whom I worked back in 2006 when I was thinking about leaving my firm. Given that he got me three interviews and three job offers back then, I’ve been working with him exclusively.

My first interview was a couple of weeks ago. Straight up corporate accounting job; handling month end close for a retail company. Really nice people… but I came out of the interview BORED.

But then. The recruiter submitted my resume for two different positions – one for a Financial Analyst position in Business Development (read: mergers and acquisitions) at one company, and one for a Director of Financial Reporting position at another company. Both companies are publicly held, and growing like mad. Both are in the life sciences industry, which was my specialty at my firm.

And both jobs were “a little bit of a stretch” according to the recruiter.

So imagine my surprise when BOTH companies were interested in me. I had a phone interview with one on Monday. (Which, as an aside, whenever anyone asks me “how are you under pressure?” I now have an answer. Picture me, standing in my second floor BATHROOM, on the phone with a senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions, while there’s a SCREAMING baby downstairs, strapped into his carseat, wondering where the hell I am. Those last few minutes were the worst – I just wanted to get off the damn phone and comfort my baby. Trust me, it’s an experience I never want to repeat.)

And I had an in-person interview yesterday for the Director position. It was the most un-interview I’ve ever been on – he and I just chatted about the accounting issues at the Company. We did talk about my background JUST a bit, but I can’t remember him actually ASKING me a question.

For the first time in what seems like FOREVER, I came out of my meeting with the Controller excited. I WANT this job. The company does good things – makes medical devices which assist heart attack victims. The Controller is great. The job will be heavily focused on the areas in which I am familiar, but there’s enough complexity in the issues which will keep me challenged. Management of the company are old GE guys, so there’s a big focus on results and analysis.

And on top of it, the Controller has two little girls. And he and his wife share drop-off and pick-up duty, so he understands the whole working parent thing.

And the title is a huge one. Director of Financial Reporting. Me. A Director of Financial Reporting.

HA!

The whole time I’ve been interviewing, I’ve been really torn about the whole thing. There are days where I absolutely love being home with Baby O, and I cherish every moment. But then there are days when I just get so resentful of J – that he gets something for himself, that he gets to go to work, that he can escape the mountain of DOMESTICITY which I can’t. There are the days where Baby O fusses and frets, where he fights going to sleep for EVERY FREAKING NAP, and then cries when I let him stay up because I’m tired of fighting with him too.

Those are the days where I look forward to going back to work with some measure of excitement.

And again. We cannot afford for me to stay home. There’s just no way – we cannot pay our bills if I don’t have a job. One income will not work for us.

So early on, I decided that I wouldn’t take a job unless I was really, truly excited about it.

That’s how I found myself yesterday. I was practically giddy when I emailed my thanks to the Controller. This was a job which would be WORTH putting Baby O in daycare. The best of both worlds – lots of challenge and responsibility, but also some flexibility so I COULD attend to my family.

And oh yeah. The company is 25 minutes from my house, too. Regardless of the time of day.

And when I didn’t hear back from him yesterday afternoon, I started to worry. He didn’t ask me a question. Should I have sold myself better? Not sold myself? Focused the interview on MY experience, instead of asking questions about the accounting issues there? Did I assume too much when I emailed him and told him that I was excited about the opportunity?

But then last night, I had an email from him, telling me that they would be in touch for the next step of the process.

I happy danced my way to bed.

Now, see. I’m not going to lie to you. I WORRY about Baby O’s transition to daycare. I know he’s going to be fine in the end, but in a way it would have been a lot easier on HIM if I had gone back to work at 3 months post partum. Why? I’ll use yesterday as an example. I left him with my SIL, who told me that he cried for a half hour when I left. He didn’t bother taking a bottle while he was there, nor did he nap.

Granted, my nephew was awake the whole time, and she told me that once Baby O calmed down (and he did calm down on his own), he was interested in watching D and play with his toys. And my SIL also put him in D’s exersaucer, so he got some good playtime, too. And when I came to pick him up, he seemed fine in K’s lap, hanging out, watching D eat his cheerios.

So I’m not really sure what I’m worried about. I suppose I just want the best for him. And a little part of me I guess feels like HE is going to be upset that mommy isn’t always there for him anymore.

Or maybe it’s my OWN sadness that I can’t be there for him all the time.

I don’t know.

Either way, we’re going to be fine. As my friend D says, we’re not the first people to put our baby into daycare. Baby O WILL adjust, as will I. It’ll just be a bit of a … transition. That’s all.

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17 Comments »

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  1. The transition to working mom is almost as big as the initial transition to being a mom, but so many people do it successfully, and I know you will, too! You may even come to — GASP! — *like* what Baby O gets out of daycare and what you get out of working. πŸ˜‰ Crazy thoughts, I know! Just know that it WILL be a transition and there WILL be some rough patches along the way as you work to find your new identity. The journey does get easier as time goes along.

    Good luck with these positions! I hope you have some good news coming soon. πŸ™‚

    D

  2. Can I just say that I could write this post. Right down to the phone interview with a screaming baby (only mine was upstairs in his crib). I had an interview last week and another today. Today will be my first time leaving him with someone other than a family member and I am really hoping it goes ok (for both of us). I, too, am very worried about his transition being tougher now than it would have been at 12 weeks. Everyday I can see his attachment grow and his concern when I leave the room is becoming more obvious.

    Good luck! Maybe after Labor Day we will both be working mommies. Isn’t it weird how our lives have really paralleled one another through this journey?

  3. the only qualification you need for the so-called “stretch” jobs is that you are smart and can figure out what you need to in a flash. and that you will. period. and working for a company that sees that–priceless.

    i am glad that you are getting the attention that you and your experience merits. go you.

    as for daycare, i have to go back to. within 3 week. if i can. part time with help.

    and my mom and k’s went back after 6 weeks. k even insists that our child not be with a solo childcare provider but a daycare provider within a year.

    sociliazation is everything. you can be as smart as all and not be socialized and you won’t get far in life.

    i think a childhood spent in daycare made me a self-starter and independant woman who can network with the best o fthem. i also think that’s how i am able to bring in more $ than my peers who are less social. and who have been practicing much longer than me.

    and that crap about ‘the abby won’t know who his mom is” is a load of crap. babies know who mama is regardless of whether they are in childcare or not.

    no judgment to the SAHM and soclialization is possible. honestly, after keepoing my sister’s two kids for 3 days, ican tell you, my job is less stressful and easier. : )

  4. spellong errors are due to a rush. not childcare. : )

  5. I know that I will be a better mom if I go back to work. Sure – it maybe hard at first… but I expect to adjust. I watch my friends and even my SIL who have stayed at home – and you can tell that they wish they had a ‘break’ from it all. And I’m excited for daycare – the people at the place I’m going to send my baby too I visited numerous times – and you know how crazy I bet you feel by 4 PM, when Baby just JUST WON’T STOP CRYING!!? Imagine having 2 or 3 other people to hand him off to when you couldn’t take it anymore. Sometimes – I think maybe our babies are better for the ‘different’ attention they will get in daycare.

    Besides the fact that I also couldn’t afford to not go back – I do think a happy mom means a happy baby. And you sound SO excited about this job! good for you!

  6. I hope that you get this job… and I am sure baby o will adjust.. Lyla did, it was hard but we both did. I come to learn that daycare is not all bad after all.. she loves her babysitter and the big kids that play with her all day long. I love my baby but I like working too (I just wish it was fewer hours)… Good luck!

  7. I hope you get the job. T will have to go to daycare as well but will at least have a month with his dad first.

  8. The stuff about being resentful, and your complete world of domesticity, that’s so totally me. Not now obviously, but when we thought this would happen for us easily, we thought I’d have a lot of those days where I’d be pissed for being stuck at home. Not cuz I wouldn’t love our kid, but cuz it’s in my nature to work, it’s in my nature to get stircrazy, and it’s in my nature to get jealous of him getting stuff I don’t;-)

    I hope you get the job. Director, wow:-)

  9. I really hope you get this job, and don’t worry, it will all get easier as each day goes by.

    And I am sure this, as IF, will make you a better mommy because you will be and feel happy with your life without a question and that self confidence and happiness will really pay off during the time spent with Baby O.

    I truly believe that it is way more valuable, quality time than quantity!

    So, keep up the good work knowing that you are doing the right thing! πŸ˜‰

  10. Oh yeah. Phone calls with screaming babies. All.The.Time. What do you DO? It’s just the way it is sometimes. It sucks, though. I hear you on that one!!

    I’m glad you’re excited about the job!! It’s good to look forward to it instead of 100% dreading it. You and Baby O will be fine…really! In some ways I’m sure it’ll even be GOOD for him. Attachment issues, peer play, etc. There are drawbacks to ANY arangement, so don’t feel bad!

  11. I am so excited for you, Serenity. You and O and J are going to be fine. Life is all about change and transition and you are going to master it – there may be a few bumps along the way, but you’ll do great!

  12. Good luck with the job search. I’m a SAHM and I really enjoy it. But I can see why many people enjoy working as well. I didn’t have a “career” before I had kids, I just had jobs…so maybe if I’d had something I was passionate about outside of the house, that I’d spent years working towards and studying for, then I might feel differently about being a SAHM. But I’ll never know since I’m not in that position!

    We’re lucky to be able to afford to have me stay home with the kids. And honestly…I don’t know how I’d be able to afford daycare for 3 kids if i went back to work anyway!! So I guess its a good thing I feel fulfilled looking after them, and don’t feel the need to work outside the home(and I don’t judge the people that do…different strokes for differnt folks). Although I think when they are all in school full time I will look into a part time job during class hours, because going from 3 kids to none at home during the day sounds too quiet!!

  13. Everything sounds so promising and you sound so up-beat! Good luck & Keep us posted!

    Teri πŸ™‚

  14. I just know you’re going to show the world it’s possible to ‘have it all’! I can’t wait to hear how it all plays out!

  15. Good luck with the transition to day care when it happens. Good luck with the job too, hope it all works out great for you!

  16. first CONGRATS on all the interviews, I truly hope you get the job you want. Going to work is always better when you are loving what you do. πŸ™‚

    and as for Daycare, we actually just changed the daycare of the boys and it’s SO MUCH BETTER, plus I worried sooo much about “will they know me?” , “am I making the right decision by doing this?” and you know what, my sons are so happy in daycare, esp this new one. They are smiling and laughing and growing and learning and I get to get out of the house and talk to grown up people and dress up and feel good about my place in the world, it helps me have more to give back to them. It really does. Sure, I’m tired, sure, you’re overwhelmed somedays, it’s going to happen, you’ll question that decision on days that aren’t going swimmingly, but I can tell you that my boys are so much better for this experience. Baby O will be just fine and he’s going to love you no matter what, you’re MOMMY πŸ™‚

    Good luck sweets, I’m crossing my fingers.

  17. Before I started my company, when my boys were very young, I was a “home daycare provider” (fancy title for babysitter) and I will tell you that after the parents drove out of the driveway, the kids were FINE! All the tears when they left were for show and to make the mom’s feel like crap. In minutes the kids were laughing and playing and the older kids helped “play” with the babies. I only had 5 kids max at a time (I am NOT crazy;) and the moms adjusted great once they saw their kids at the end of the day were happy, well fed, clean and easily made the transition home.

    I will not lie though, there were a few times when the kids called ME mom but those kids had parents that really were not into being parents at the end of the day and I know the kids picked up on that. One even refused to leave and it broke my heart. She flat out told her mother she wanted me to be her mom. O.U.C.H.

    No matter what splitting yourself up between roles is hard but you do what you have to do for your family and nobody can decide what is best for YOUR situation. It is a balancing act and there will be times you will have melt downs but all of you will survive.


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