In the spirit of love and the end of Valentine’s Day long weekend, there are a few times in a working parent’s life when you really fall in love with your job. That love my be fleeting, but it’s real while it lasts. Here are 5 times I fell in love with my job, after I became a working parent.
(1) When I told my manager I was expecting my second child, he congratulated me and did not change any of my job responsibilities or future opportunities. He couldn’t have reacted better (truth be told, he reacted better than my husband who was apprehensive that we were expecting number two when it came to considering work – life demands). He didn’t ask me if I wanted to travel less or if I wanted to do a job with less demanding hours. He still coached me on how to get the promotion I wanted, even if the promotional evaluation would happen when I was out on maternity leave. I really loved my job those days.
(2) When I had a close business partner that had kids that were the same age as mine. Having someone else going through the same things as you are, in the same office you are, and figuring out how to make it all work just like you are, is inspiring. I don’t want to say “misery loves company” in this case, because it’s not all misery, but it sure helps to have someone be considerate in exactly the way you want them to be. This happened to me when I was in a job I dreaded – and I still dreaded the job, but having her there made me love it at the same time.
(3) When someone tells you “I don’t know how you do this job with kids”, or even better “I didn’t know you have kids”. This one is a double edged sword, I know. It implies that some jobs just can’t be done when you have kids, and I can understand why people fall on both ends of the spectrum on that issue. Most days, I’m still trying to figure out where I stand, and I hate to think that keeping my children “hidden” is something gives me pride. But there is a little rush when someone says this because it means that you’re doing your job on par with what someone would have expected in your life before you became a parent.
(4) When your company said all meetings need to be between 10am and 4pm, with rare exception. Oh gosh, when this happened I started crying as I read the announcement in my inbox. Even though I still ended up with a lot of out of hours meetings, I felt so much better about turning down the ones that would turn my life into hell before the day had even started (or just as it ended, in some cases).
(5) When my company offered to pay for childcare for outside of business hours meetings. Hooray! Whoever put that policy in place just “got it”. And it made my manager more cognizant of how much I had to work outside of hours. But most of all, it made me feel happy that I didn’t have to plop kids under the age of 5 in front of a TV and pray they wouldn’t need something when I had to take those evening calls. After all, it was their time the company was asking me to give up.
As many times as I fell in love, there were many times I fell into “hate”. Stay tuned for a future post entitled “5 Times I really HATED my job”.
Have Kids, Will Work