Archive | March, 2010

Banging My Head on A Self Imposed Glass Ceiling

19 Mar

Well, I seem to suck at blogging in 2010. I admit I think Facebook has a lot to do with that. I use my witty one liners there, and then when I try to think of something fresh to say on my blog (which is read by many of the same people as I’ve befriended on Facebook), I draw one big blank.

One thing on my mind as of late is the Glass Ceiling. Now I don’t necessarily believe there is still the stereotypcial Glass Ceiling per its original definition, but I’m finding myself and many of my female coworkers imposing our own Glass Ceiling on ourselves. To explain, I find myself hesitant to put my hat in the ring for new opportunities, as I’m afraid what it will do to my work-life balance. This week, I applied for a new position within my company, and made it to the first round of interviews.

But all that caused me was a lot of heartburn. I went and talked to the woman who is currently in that role, and she said, “this job requires a lot of hours.”

I just don’t have a lot of hours to give. I leave work promptly at five, do 45 minutes of picking up kids, get dinner on the table, play with the kids, start bedtime routine, and then collapse in a vegatative state once they’re asleep. It’s just such a quandry. Am I being seen at work as stagnant, doing the same job for over 3 years? The competitive nature in me hates seeing people all around me taking new jobs and getting promoted, but the Mom in me keeps me focused on the prize… When I picture what I want my life to be like, it is working less hours, and spending more time with my children.

With that vision in mind, I met with the hiring manager, and explained to him that I’d be really good at the new job. It aligns with my skills and experience perfectly. I told him I wanted to be up front with him, though, that I didn’t have “a lot of hours” to give. Really, all I could offer was 8 to 5, but I could offer that I’d be really efficient and passionate and give it my all during those hours.

That wasn’t going to work for him. Evidently the role requires a lot of “off hours” global meetings. Let me just tell you how those go down in my house… 7am meetings where the hubby is still in bed, and both kids wake up just as I get on the phone, and they’re demanding attention. Or the 7pm call, where my hubby is still at work, and I’m at home alone with two kids who are starving, and I’m trying to talk on the phone.

It just doesn’t work. My husband’s schedule isn’t that flexible, and I guess I could pay someone to come watch the kids during those off hours calls, but that is MY time with MY kids, darnit. I have limited time with them as it is, and I only have childcare available from 8 to 5, so those are my hours — 8 to 5.

It’s frustrating that such a restraint, which wasn’t really a restraint on men in the workforce 30 years ago before women’s lib and globalization, is holding me back. There is definitately a part of me that says if I have to work, I want to be able to be good — be competitive — at what I’m doing. If I’m working 40 hours a week away from my kids, than it should be in a job that is challenging and rewarding, right?

So why is it that I just feel like I’m being held back right now? I watch other working moms that are shooting up the career ladder. I have to wonder how they’re doing it. It is at the expense of their family? Or do they just have a spouse with a flexible schedule who is able to take up their slack?

So once again, I do my work, and watch the opportunity pass. Am I just shooting myself in the foot? Or am I preserving my sanity and the health of my home life? I look at my children, and when I’m home with them, I really don’t regret my choices. But I’m learning that in this life as a working mom of two… I feel conflicted so much and wonder if this is only temporary, or will this resolve itself when the kids are older?

I Admit I Have a Problem

4 Mar

My name is Lynnette, and I am an addict. I am addicted to finding THE perfect childcare for my children. It’s a sickness, really. I think it stems from my innate Mommy guilt of not being able to stay home with the kids. It makes me a tad — OK, really obsessed with finding the best childcare for my kids.

Little Miss has been in a great preschool since September, but it is Waldorf style, which means they don’t believe in teaching actual cirriculum until first grade. It has been a perfect fit for her this year, as she has loved the songs, stories and art, but I’m starting to think the child needs some actual cirriculum before hitting kindergarden.

Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how loaded the Preschool decision could be. There are so many different options — religious, Montessori, traditional, Waldorf… And as much as I want to find the right preschool for my child, I also wonder if it really matters. What do any of us truly remember from our preschool days?!

I have similar issues with Little Man. We currently have him in a great in-home daycare, but honestly, having the kids at two different places is a pain in the rear. It takes me 45 minutes after work just to pick up both kiddos. It’s a ton of driving, and I’m paying more than if I just put them in a daycare/preschool that would take them both.

But I just don’t like the institutional feel of many of the daycares around here. I don’t want my kids in classrooms with a ton of other children, in rooms that smell of urine and disinfectant. The places they’re at now are places that I wouldn’t mind spending my days… Homey and cozy and loving.

Registration for preschool is next week, bringing this all to a head. I think I’m going to switch preschools for Little Miss, which has had me shopping preschools this week, even though I’m pretty sure I know which one we’ll be taking her to. I truly cringe at breaking up with our existing preschool. I thought I was done with breakups once I got married, but no, there have been numerous childcare breakups… The last time I did this, I broke down in tears.

Because as hard as you try, it’s hard not to become attached. It will be hard to transition Little Miss away from her friends and teachers that she loves, but our smart and sassy girl is a bit too sassy to let me work on the cirriculum with her much, so I think instead of beating our heads against each other, I’ll just switch preschools and have her exposed to cirriculum by certified teachers.

One of the preschools I saw today touted teaching Spanish and French, which on the surface was really cool to me. But then again, I realize that once she hits public school, that won’t be continued, so is it worth paying to send her to the most expensive preschool in town? I’m thinking not.

So anyway, I forge on. I play the preschool and daycare lists like a game of poker. I look forward to the days when the school decision is just made for me by the zoning for our public school. Then I can put all of my mother guilt towards not being able to volunteer or head the PTA, right?!