Last January, I landed the perfect job. I began working as a content manager for a social media marketing company. Job in my field? ✓
The best part about this job? I could work from home. Dream job? ✓
It seemed like such perfect timing. I didn’t know it, but just 3 weeks after starting this job, I became pregnant. It was a welcomed surprise. Although we were extremely happy, it did mean that we had to come up with a plan.
Had I been working my previous job, we would have had to invest in daycare or a babysitter.
Thank God I had this work from home job. How perfect! I could work and stay at home with the baby. Win-win.
Would I Be Able To Manage It?
My fiancé and I talked about it and I knew that I’d be able to handle working while taking care of the baby. Did it mean that my work day would be longer? Yes, but that would be okay with me.
My boss and I had come up with a game plan that would make it easier to manage my schedule with a little one. She had previously been planning to put me into a new role that required more managerial, back-end work rather than day-to-day tasks. This type of work would make it much easier to plan out my schedule around the baby.
Even though this was the plan, I can remember that there were some tough days when I was still doing my normal kind of work. My schedule was jam-packed. I was working 10 hour days almost every day. It was incredibly frustrating. I remember thinking to myself: I won’t be able to handle this much work with a baby.
I held on to the hope that when I came back from maternity leave, my workload would be different and I would have more manageable hours.
My Workload Today
When I came back, I was slowly working up to a full workload. My manager did give me tasks more aligned with the managerial side of things. But, I was still given tasks that I had been doing before (which was okay, I had expected to do some of that still). Now, I’m pretty much working with a slightly lesser workload than when I left and have taken on extra tasks.
For a while, I’ve been okay with that I have had some late nights. I understand that it will take me longer to work. After all, I have to take breaks every 3 hours to feed my son.
But, it’s starting to get frustrating.
A Sobering Realization
For some reason, I began this week with difficulty. Monday was a hard day for my son. He was very fussy. He wanted to be held. He cried a lot. It was abnormal for him. It put me pretty far behind on my work and it made me feel very stressed.
I began thinking about what this job was causing me to miss out on.
- Exercise: I just had a baby. While I’m back down to the weight I was before birth, I’m still at a place where I need to lose weight. Aside from that, I want to be healthier. I need to exercise to get there. I’m also looking to tone up for my wedding this October!
- Writing: I’ve talked before about my desire to become an author. I haven’t had the time to devote to my work-in-progress ideas at all lately. This is my dream, and while I can’t pursue it full-time, I still want the opportunity to pursue it.
- Blogging: I love blogging. It’s so much fun. It’s a great way for me to hone my writing skills, connect with like-minded people, and have a good time! I’ve been trying to manage almost like a business, and I’m failing. My hope is to be able to monetize my blog. But it needs a lot of work before I can get there.
- Cooking: You would think that working at home means having fresh meals daily. Are you kidding? I rarely ever have time to cook.
- My Son: I don’t feel as though I’m providing my son enough of me with this work schedule. It’s very heartbreaking. More on this later…
My day, from 8am-7pm, consists of working and taking care of the basic needs of my child (eating, diaper changing, etc). That’s it.
My family keeps asking me if I’m doing this or that for the wedding, or if I’m reading to Quinn & taking him for walks. I try to explain it, but they don’t understand. I have zero extra time in the day to do any of those luxuries. Yes, it’s sad to say, but those things, as important as they are, are being put on the back burner.
That’s not okay.
I’m left wondering, is this really all worth it?
My Son Is Missing Out
I know that I am extremely lucky to even be able to keep my son at home while I work. Not many parents are able to. I know my fiancé wishes he could.
But, I had a pretty upsetting thought this week. I feel like I’m not providing my son with the attention he needs right now.
Because I’m working so much, I’m not able to do things like play with him, read to him, take him for a walk, or even get tummy time in.
He deserves to have those things. He deserves better than transitioning between the swing and the pack & play all day.
He deserves to have a mom that can be there for him. I’m not doing that right now.
I’m thinking about the future, too. My fiancé and I have talked seriously about homeschooling him when the time comes. Sure, that’s obviously a good 5 years away. But, it’s still something to keep in the back of my mind.
Time To Make A Change
As much as I love my job, (and I do love my job!) I need to find something new. I know that I could easily go part-time with my company. But, I simply can’t afford that.
What I make in my current job is below average for the industry. Every now and then, I’ll get salary figures in my email and I’m a bit shocked at the gap. But, I never did anything about it. I know that the job market is hard. And I love my job. Why bother leaving when I’m making a salary that’s meeting my financial need (even if it doesn’t leave me with much residual income).
My hope is that I can find a part-time gig that pays close to my current salary. I think it’s totally doable. I’m even considering freelancing. Sure, this may be difficult if I can’t find something consistent, but it’s an option, especially if I find something part-time that doesn’t pay the bills. I can do gigs here and there to earn something extra.
The Job Search Begins
So, I’ve sort of passively begun job searching.
On my LinkedIn page, I’ve selected the option of being open to recruiters.
I still get updates from Indeed.com for jobs in Social Media. Really, I just never got around to turning off the job notification. But now I’m actually looking at the emails. (I even applied to a job this week). I also updated my profile to adjust what I’m looking for.
I’ll likely get back on the freelancing site I used. That’s actually how I found the job I’m at right now! Although, the company did some pretty major updates right around the time I stopped using it, so I’ll have to figure out how to work it again.
I’m pretty optimistic that I can get this all to work out. I feel confident that I’ve gotten some great job experience in my field. That was a bit of a hurdle to get over when I had been looking for jobs previously.
I keep thinking about my ideal situation. I know it’s just an ideal, but if I can get there, it will mean I’ll get to do all the things I want to do to complete my “perfect” life.