Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ch-ch-Changes

Ok, so I know I haven’t written in over a month. My excuse is that I’ve been busy, but one of the real reasons is that I felt like I didn’t have much to say. Everyday life ceased to be interesting, and that’s when I realized something was wrong. Since when could I not find humor in the mundane?

I’ll tell you since when – since I became overwhelmed with everything.

My job title is “marketing coordinator”, but what I really do is herd cats. I have to wrangle a bunch of men, many who are arrogant and have no clue how to manage people – I have to get them to meet my deadlines so that I can meet theirs, and I have to do this while maintaining a good attitude, hiding my frustration and stress (because like skittish animals, it freaks them out if you show fear) and generally hap-hap-happying through my day.

I didn’t notice it at first, but I was losing the happy. Work was making me lose sleep and feel sick with dread in the mornings. I couldn’t not show my stress and frustration, and as predicted, the guys didn’t know how to handle that. On top of that, my boss left the company and I was unbelievably bummed about that, especially since I didn’t really like the new guy.

At home, I was also flailing. The planning and patience and organization it takes to parent the children was suffering. Every evening was a rush to pack in sports practice, violin practice, homework, dinner and oh yeah, maybe some down time to chill before everyone gets herded off to bed so they can wake up early and we can start all over.

I started to feel about my job like I felt almost 3 years ago when I had a total breakdown. I told Chris that not only could my mental health not take another episode like that, but that now it would affect him and the kids and that just wasn’t going to work.

We talked about it, and came up with a solution. I would cut down my hours to half time and then work mostly from home. I could stay home with Abby until she goes to afternoon kindergarten and be home when she and Riley got home in the afternoon. No more day care costs, which essentially take up ¼ of my paycheck. No more having to rush home to make dinner, no more piles of clean but unfolded laundry, no more trying to get homework done in the short time between getting home from work and bedtime. No more worrying about who would take a day off to stay home with a sick kid or saying no to going on field trips because no one can take off work.

I talked to the big boss at work, who was really understanding. He saw that I had been struggling and he understood that trying to do it all is hard – especially since I am still fairly new to the whole parent gig. He told me he wanted me to be happy and we’d work it out. And we have. I will work 20-30 hours a week, mainly from home. I can come into the office for a couple of hours in the afternoon while Abby is at school, and because I have other mom friends who stay home and since my own mom doesn’t work, if there is an emergency, I have backup.

Right now, we’re in the process of finding someone to take over my other hours. This is a good thing, because I was basically handling a lot more than I could, well, handle. Once we find that person, I will set up my office and start working at home. I gave the company until the end of the year to find someone so that we’re not in limbo forever, and so I’m patiently waiting until that happens.

In the meantime, I’m slowly finding the happy again. Chris is the best – he’s so supportive and loves me so much and makes my life so much better just by being around. And I’m feeling better because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – I can look at the chaos of our house and our lives and know that I’m doing the best I can right now, and that it won’t be like this indefinitely. It’s so comforting.

So. That’s it – the beginning of the next chapter. Let the bedazzling begin!

Just kidding.

8 comments:

Whinger said...

This sounds like the best possible solution. Congratulations on making it happen!

-J said...

That sounds like my daily routine - work all day, go home, eat, pass out, wake up and do it all again. And I never blog anymore either. I hope I don't have a breakdown too. :-(

I'm glad you worked it all out.

Knot said...

Man, I've never heard it work out so well.

Knot

Mindee said...

I loved being home when my kids were little. Actually I think I should still be home. There really are a "hojillion" things to do in a day to keep a household running smoothly.

Right now, the Crock Pot is saving my sanity. I have a whole slew of recipes I've tried out if you need some.

Alice said...

damn you, i'm going ot have that song in my head all day now! :-)

dude, that's awesome. excellent solution. more time at home; less time being stressed; less money spent on childcare; more time with the kiddoes. not too shabby :-)

willikat said...

aw, my heart goes out to you. but also, i laughed about the bedazzling. i'm gonna start using that line.

Marissa said...

I am SO glad to hear that you are making this situation work for you. Isn't it incredible when we actually stop to think of a solution instead of waste our energy just lamenting the problem? Yay to Chris for being so supportive and helping you come up with this perfect solution!! So good to hear from you again.

Mindee said...

I thought I'd help you along with new post ideas.

I tagged you on my blog this morning. :)

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