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#write31 Day 27 Work

Writing about work on the weekend. Thanks, Jeff. I have been working for the same company for fifteen years and not planning on going anywhere soon. Golden handcuffs, a friend fittingly called it recently. When I interviewed for the Northwest location 8 years ago my future boss asked me where I saw myself in 5 years and I wanted to say home with lots of babies but bit my tongue.

I never dreamed of being a working mother, it just sort of worked out that way as my job has always provided our medical benefits. It’s a rare and dreamy thing to get full benefits working only 20 hours a week. Years ago they offered when therapists were in high demand. That’s no longer the case and we’ve only hired full time for at least 5 years. If I let the job go, I am certain I would never get it back. Even when I transferred to the Northwest from Colorado the position was posted for 24 hrs and I thought I have nothing to lose and told my potential boss I’ll come work for her if she changed it to 20hrs/week. I thought she would never go for that and I had nothing to lose. In a windfall of favor she did and I accepted. (she was laid off two weeks later for unrelated reasons) I had been at the right place at the right time.

After we moved I remember telling my husband I could do this forever- work two ten hour days and care for one kid. You have the best of both worlds is what I hear all the time when telling people about my work schedule/homelife. Part of my fully agrees and part me feels like I am not fully, truly vested in anyone thing. My fellow homeschool stay at home mama’s will always have more time for their kids and their work. Their rhythm and routine which most kids thrive on is more predictable from day to day and there is extra time for field trips, lesson prep, catch etc. Home mama’s can be present for kids sort of sick who want their mama but not really sick enough to justify cancelling a whole day of patients. On my work days my kids hop from bed to car, munch on frozen waffle while we drive to my friends house. After work I am totally spent (introvert working extroverts job) and many days it takes me day to recover before going back.

Since I only work two days a week I have less input and investment over what happens at work. I am less connected to my co-workers and am usually the last to know of any sort of change. It’s harder for patients to get an appointment with me. Taking a day off means I am gone for a week and it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. The pace of healthcare has picked up even more the last couple of years and in the end I don’t get to make many decisions. I do get a window into people’s life, unfiltered narrative of pain and struggle. I stretch tiny babies, wait for my 80 year old to use the bathroom, I adjust walkers and cheer people on in the gym.

It’s the sort of job where I’ve never questioned my purpose, I help people every day. Was I born to this? I am not sure. Parts I enjoy, parts have greatly refined me, parts are just part of the golden handcuff package if you know what I am saying. I am not sure what it would feel like if I did something else. I have never pondered it too deeply. The best of both worlds? Some days- yes. Others….not so much.

Do you work part time? Does it feel like the best to you?


2 Replies

  1. Heather T.

    I can totally relate to the not being vested in any one thing comment. Working part-time and homeschooling is hard, but worth it. I often think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence (moms who don’t work and have more time at home). But there are days too when I’m glad to be able to leave the kids in someone else’s care for the day and take “a day off” from home.

    1. Astrid Melton

      Totally hear you. I tend to see green grass but have also had quite happy days leaving the kids behind 🙂 Work tires me out more than being with the kids but it’s still a change which helps

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