Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am not a SAHM

I'm a working momma.

When Spark was a baby, I had a flexible work arrangement, but I still worked full-time, and I worked the majority of my hours in the office. I am not a fan of daycares, and I was fortunate at that time to have a wonderful sister who lives in the same city as me and who happens to specialize in childcare. For Spark's first two years, she gave him tender loving care when I was working. Then, he started preschool, and I rearranged my schedule again so that I could pick him up most days, getting my sister to pick him up 1-2 days a week so that I could work later if necessary. But, it was a good setup, too. I got lots of time with Spark.

After we had Flower, Buzz and I decided that we needed to make our schedules even more flexible. So, we crunched some numbers, talked about options, and I approached my supervisor with our plan: I would reduce my workload (and also my paycheck) by 25% and work about 50% of my time from home. My boss thought it was a great plan, so she pitched it to the higher-ups for me, and they were on board, too, provided we have 90-day checkins to be sure that everything is going well.

I recently had my first 90-day checkin, and according to my supervisor, everything seems to be working out fine. I'm happy, the boss is happy, and Flower is happy. My mom comes into town twice a month so that I can work in the office for three days every other week. It's a sweet setup. I get the benefit of a good job with good benefits, flexible hours, and time with my baby girl. This schedule also allows me to pick Spark up from his preschool and to volunteer more at his preschool. Yay! Everbody wins!

Except that we all have to remember that Martia is not a stay-at-home mom. No, she is not. She is a working momma who has deadlines, projects, schedules, and planning to do in addition to all the "mommying." 30 hours a week of it.

The big difference is that instead of adults stopping by my cube to chat for 5 minutes and breaking my concentration after a good 20-minute focused drive, I have a nearly crawling baby to track down after a good 15-minute push. Instead of walking to the cafeteria with a work pal, I set up the Bumbo and feed Flower sweet potatoes. When I'd rather just zone out for a few minutes or stare into space, I can't. Because Flower is sleeping, and that's when I have to work the hardest.

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