Let down

I found out on Thursday that I didn’t get the part time position that I had applied for, but I did get a very generous offer for the full time one. I haven’t seen many other positions out there that are a similar number of hours to the part time job, so it looks like I’ll be going back to work full time.  I’m so sad about this. I loved the time I spent with Tadpole on Fridays, and wish that I could have that same set-up with Sprout.

I’m trying to remember that there’s nothing magical that happens on Fridays that couldn’t happen another day. Most of what made those days with Tad fun were the one-on-one time that we had, and paying a particular kind of attention to him. There’s nothing preventing me from spending one-on-one time with Sprout, or from taking her to library story times or going on light rail adventures on a Saturday or Sunday. I can still pay attention to her on other days.
And the job that I’ll probably take will be 9-5, with no evenings, which is a nice change.
And this job decision is not permanent. I plan to keep looking, and may end up back at part time in a few months or a year. Or I may find a position with a school system, which will let me have extra time with the kids in the summers and on winter/spring breaks.
And there are some things that we can do with a little bit more money which will be really good for our whole family.
And the position wouldn’t start until early- to mid-March, which will give me a few extra weeks with her now.
And I’m certainly not the only person to be working this kind of schedule and wishing for more time with my kids.
And the big thing that Roo was reminding me about last night–when I look at the big picture, we are really really lucky. We have a cozy house, and I’m not going to be unemployed long-term, and we have extended families who we’re close with, and Roo has a job that she loves. And we have each other (just celebrated 13 years together!), and two healthy happy kiddoes.



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11 responses to “Let down

  1. Sorry. It always sucks to not get the job you wanted – and I’m sure it must be even worse when it means less time with your kids.

    Regardless of how lucky you are, it is still ok to be sad about this!

  2. Melissa

    I’m sorry you were not able to get the part time position. When my daughter started kindergarten we were able to cut back my hours from 40 to 30 so I can pick her up from school. While those specific 2 hours each day are not all joy all the time, I love this schedule. I can imagine how hard it is to have to lose a work schedule that really worked for you and your family. I’m sure you have lots of ideas for how to make the full time schedule work, but I wanted to pass on the title of a book I read that helped me look at my work/home balance differently and led me to asking my boss to allow me to work 30 hours instead of 40. Good Enough is the New Perfect. It is not a book about settling for less, it is a book about how finding a solution that seems like it is good enough, can actually be the perfect balance. Also, if you have a little extra since you are working full time, consider hiring a cleaning person. For me and my wife having someone come clean every two weeks frees up a lot of time on the weekend that would have been spent cleaning and instead gives us more family time.
    As another mom that struggles with wanting as much time home with my kid, soon to be kids, I just wanted to share what has helped me on the chance it might help you. I hope that the 9-5 schedule works out to be a good fit for you.
    Melissa in Durham

    • Thanks for commenting! That book sounds really interesting–I’ll have to check it out. I’m glad that you’ve been able to work out a schedule that’s the right balance for you–and it gives me hope that that’s still possible even once the kid(s) are in kindergarten. I hope to end up back at part time at some point, and had been assuming that it wouldn’t get me much extra kid time once Tad was in school five days a week. But that afternoon time must be nice to have too.
      And I like your suggestion about house cleaning. We started having someone come soon after Tadpole was born, and it has been super helpful. I have all sorts of complicated feelings about someone else cleaning up our messes, but it has been lovely to get that time back.

  3. Congrats on the job offer! Yes, indeed, so many good things in your life (we also are always reminding ourselves of this), but as the above comment says, ok to be a little sad about it too. The loss of the extra time with Sprout, I mean. But as you say, it’s about that particular kind of one-on-one attention, which you can create on weekends or other days. And who knows, maybe you’ll find some more flexibility in the new position than expected.

    I think that I may be spending my own maternity leave this summer much as you were, on the job hunt, in hopes I can find something part-time or at least better paying than what I have now (which isn’t really enough to cover all the child care costs we’ll incur).

    • Yes, I’m definitely still sad about the schedule change, despite all of the other things that I’m grateful for.
      Sorry to hear that you’ll have to be job hunting while on leave too. It’s so frustrating that childcare costs more than you bring in! For me there have been times when it was nice to have a project and to be using my brain for something other than keeping track of nap schedules. But it has also been tough to figure out last minute childcare when I needed to go on interviews. Good luck with it all!

  4. I understand where you’re coming from, believe me. I work 8-5 M-F, and it can be long. My job isn’t really one that would lend itself to a part time schedule, and even if it would, given that PB works part time, we couldn’t afford it. I was not looking forward to going back after the baby was born, but now that we’ve settled into the routine, it’s not so bad. It’s not perfect, but it’s okay.

    It helped to remember that I had had the same sort of apprehension about starting the job when Critter was almost a year old. The schedule at my previous job had been a lot more accommodating in some ways (and a lot less in others). But it was okay then, too.

    And by the time Sprout is old enough to be into some of the outings that you’ve enjoyed with Tadpole, you might be in a position to, say, take off a day, or even just part of a day, now and then. Or you might be at a different job entirely.

    None of this is meant to belittle where you’re at right now. It still sucks. But as someone who’s been in a similar spot, I can say that it’s not as bad as I worried that it would be. For whatever that’s worth. Big internet hugs.

    • Thanks! This is all helpful stuff to think about. It’s good for me to remember the long-term, and that there may be more time available for adventures when Sprout is a little bigger (and she’ll be more fun to adventure with by then, anyway). And I’m glad to hear that your transition back to work has been okay.

  5. I’m sad you aren’t getting to re-enter work on your own terms; I hope that changes soon. In the interim, I hope the new job is a good one!

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