Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mama gets a job

Pardon the posting hiatus; mama got a job! And just in time because Hannah's fun factor has plummeted significantly in the last few weeks.  The terrible twos just keep getting more and more terrible. Everything is a fight: getting dressed, brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting in the bath, getting out of the bath, putting on shoes, taking off shoes, singing in music class...you get it. It's insane. I lost it last Tuesday and just started screaming, not even saying anything, just screaming, "ahhh! ahhh!" like a deranged lunatic, like Hannah....

The morning after that, I didn't have the energy to fight.  I just wanted to get her dressed, and get in the car without it being a huge ordeal.  She, of course, didn't want to get dressed, so I put her clothes in my backpack and took her to the car completely naked.  I strapped her into her car seat in her birthday suit, climbed lethargically into the driver's seat, and headed for the highway.  I called Eric on my way downtown to the gym, looking for sympathy I suppose, but he just cracked up laughing. Hannah thought it was pretty funny too. She sat in the back saying, "nakee mommy! nakee in car!" I"ll admit that in hindsight it was a teeny bit funny, but I was way too burned out and beat up to find humor in anything that day...Anyway, by the time we got there she had stopped laughing at being "nakee" and said, "ready to get dressed mommy!" Yeah, I bet you are, I thought. I think it was a whopping 45 degrees out that morning.  I don't know how she made it that long.  So I parked, dressed Hannah, and then strolled her to the gym where I happily left her in the kids room while I jumped on the treadmill and tried to jog off my insanity before pilates, all the while thinking that maybe going back to work full time would be the easiest option because it would get me out of having to deal with the insanity of raising a very headstrong, spirited 2-year-old.

I could never do that though; I'm way too much of a control freak, and anyway, as hard as it sometimes is being a stay-at-home mom, I have no interest in crawling back into a cubicle and staring at a screen for 8-9 hours a day while I get fat and lethargic. Not to mention having to deal with commuting and getting dressed in something other than yoga pants on a daily basis. Yeah, no thank you.  Even on the worst days and when money is at its tightest, being a stay-at-home mom is way better than working, in my opinion.

So when the recruiter called a few weeks ago I told her I wasn't interested, that I'd only consider part-time, work-from-home options. I get lots of calls and emails from recruiters looking for a proposal writer, but I NEVER answer a call from a number I don't know, so why I answered that call that day is beyond me.  Said recruiter sighed and said my qualifications seemed like a perfect fit.  I thanked her and got back to my business.  She called back a few hours later and left a message saying that the VP said that part-time, work-from-home is ideal for this position and would I come in for an interview.  Since I never answer calls from unknown numbers and since I was particularly stressed about money after taking on a car payment, I agreed to an interview; I thought this might be fate and figured I better at least explore the option.


I shook the dust off of my suit and made the 45-minute commute to interview this company.   I liked the VP, I liked the company vibe, I liked that the majority of the employees work from home if not all of the time, then at least a great deal of the time, and I liked that they don't really have any other people who are just writers so although the position is for proposal writing, they'll be giving me tech writing, press releases, website updates, newsletters, and whatever else they need written.  I told him I had no interest in growing my career at this moment and didn't want to lead any efforts or be in charge or climb any career ladders. I just want to log on, edit/write, get paid, and then go about my day.  He offered me the job on the spot at the hourly rate I requested (which makes me think I should have asked for more or at least asked what range he had in mind, but oh well), and I accepted. 


I'm working 20 hours a week, and although I can work whatever hours I want from day-to-day, I am working from 1:00 to 5:00 most days.  That means I don't have to sacrifice my morning routine with Hannah; we can still go to the gym and to gymnastics and music class and keep up all of our activities.  What I'm sacrificing is my domestic time and my quiet time: the time of day where I clean and figure out what to make for dinner and then prep it and check emails and talk to my mom (and run up and down the stairs dealing with a child who refuses to nap)....On the days that I managed to finish dinner while Hannah napped, I would take her to the playground when she woke up, but on the days when I didn't, she'd end up watching TV while I finished dinner.  Now she has an awesome babysitter who arrives after Hannah's nap (or lakc thereof) and is solely devoted to playing with her. I think this works out way better for Hannah, and now I'm not stressed about her watching TV, which I hate.

Last week I managed to cram the cleaning and meal preps into other parts of the day (cleaned the bathroom after I brushed my teeth, before putting naked Hannah in the car last week), and Eric is helping out a lot more and seems happy to be doing so.

One thing that really helps is that Eric and I sat down last weekend and created a meal plan for the whole month.  Figuring out what to make for dinner day-by-day was a huge waste of time, but I just couldn't make myself plan ahead until I had too. I love having a meal plan--it's so much more efficient! My grocery trips are more efficient, and since I know what I'm making way in advance, I start prepping dinner the night before and at breakfast and lunch, that way I can throw it all together when I come upstairs at 5:00 each day.

So my first week went pretty well once I made it through all the technical glitches of getting logged onto my computer (which turned out to be a huge ordeal that required me to ship my computer to the tech support department in Fredericksburg, Virginia so it could be reset).  So far I like what I'm doing and I like who I'm working with, and I like how it's fitting into our lives even though it means I'm juggling toilet brushes with tooth brushes and doing all kinds of other crazy multi-tasking. Mostly I like that we are going to keep living on Eric's salary and use my income to pay off the student loan and the car loan which means that if no other emergencies come up, we should be out of debt this time next year.  Then we can start saving for a house with a front yard which is something I have ALWAYS wanted since I was really, really little.

I was definitely incredibly exhausted this weekend, but it's manageable. I have always functioned better with a busy schedule anyway. When I get a little free time, I lose a lot of productivity.

And now, some pics from a random photo shoot this week:




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