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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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  • Reply Beeautiful Blessings

    Love this- good for you for asking for what you need. I was able to work a 32-hour flex schedule until my Charlie was 6 months, and I'm so thankful for that, but working 40 hours (with a one-hour commute) has been crazy difficult. I feel like I never see my baby and it's heartbreaking. Solidarity, sister <3

    March 31, 2016 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Becca

    I love that you took action to make things work for you, and I love that your boss was so understanding and cooperative. I've heard so many horror stories when it comes to new moms at work (and a lot when it comes to taking off work for IVF) so it's nice to hear this one!!

    March 31, 2016 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply Kate Brown

    This is amazing news! It takes guts to do what you did, and I'm so happy you're finally feeling like you've got your groove going again!

    March 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm
  • Reply Katy Coffee

    I love this!!!! Amazing news and glad that you're able to make life work a little better for your little adorable family!

    March 31, 2016 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply The Grits Blog

    Aww yeah!! This makes me so happy for you!!! I wish I could do something like that 🙁 I am lucky though – I literally never work overtime and Gracie's school is a mile away so I get to her quickly if I need to.

    April 1, 2016 at 12:00 am
  • Reply Amberly

    When I'm done with school, I will have Fridays off again and I am so looking forward to it. That extra day makes a world of difference. I'm glad you were able to find a way to make it work for your family!!

    April 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    You go girl!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    April 4, 2016 at 2:06 am
  • Reply Brittany Rasmussen

    I went down to 30 hours when Porter was 6 months and it has by far been the best thing I've done for myself, my family , and my marriage! It's worth all the financial sacrifices we've made and I'm so happy you get an extra day at home with your baby girl. You're doing a good job mama!

    April 6, 2016 at 4:34 am
  • Reply Lisa @ Naptime Chai

    Gosh I can imagine that was a stressful thing to talk about with your boss, but I'm so glad it went well! I think it's awesome you figured out a solution that will work better for your family!

    April 6, 2016 at 5:15 am
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