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Cutting back… #bestdecisionever

As I lamented in my last post… being a working mom is hard. Really hard. 
After writing that post, I laid awake all night. I was angry. Angry that I had to write it at all. Angry that I had to go to work the next morning and miss out on time with Holland. Angry that I live in a country that does not have adequate paid family leave that would have allowed me more time at home with Holland.

After hours of being angry, I started to craft a plan. My plan included cutting back on my work hours and accepting less pay. I went over numbers in my head all night. How many hours could I make work? How much of a pay cut could our family handle? I literally thought about it all night… as in, I laid awake from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. With a 5 month old baby in the house, that probably was not the brightest idea. Despite the lack of sleep, I woke up the next morning energized. I wanted to change my life and I had a plan.

I went into work early and typed up a proposal. I would work 4 days a week but I would work slightly lengthen days by coming in the office early. I would still take off at 4:30 p.m. each day in order to pick up Holland and have some time with her before bed. The 5th day each week — each Friday — would be mine. No work! In exchange, I would take a proportional pay cut. It was a paycut that would have consequences for our family, but it was a cut we could live with. I wasn’t sure that my boss, the managing partner of our law firm, would go for it, but I knew that the alternative was resentment and anger. No one wants a resentful and angry employee.

I presented my proposal and my reasons why. My boss really seemed to understand and agreed almost at once. He wanted to know if I was open to shifting my day off if something came up that HAD to be done on a Friday and I agreed.

This has been Week 2 of my new schedule and I feel so much better. I feel like I can breathe again. I do not feel like I am failing in all areas of my life. To the contrary, I more more energized about work. I feel like I am being a better partner to Adam. I feel like I am a less distracted mother for Holland.

All parents face tough decisions. Decisions suck. But sometimes — when you bite the bullet and stand up for what your heart tells you — things pay off. Working 4 days a week isn’t the “answer” for everyone and it may not be the “answer” for me longterm. But for now, I feel like this is the #bestdecisionever!

What is the best parenting decision you’ve ever made?

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