Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Choices and Changes

No posts last week. I've had a lot to process. Financial pressures have kept me applying for jobs outside the home. Last week, another interview. Followed by despair over the doubtful prospect of finding money rabbits to pull out of a threadbare hat. Kids fighting. Smoldering atmosphere in general.

Now, on personal and home-front levels, big changes are suddenly due to arrive this coming week.

Because late Friday afternoon: an email. A job offer from the interview.

The good: Wage is the minimum I can consider for a 9-5 office job and get adequate daycare coverage for kids. It's close to home. I could still take the kids to school in the mornings (which is huge, considering how the morning routines sets the tone for both kids for the whole day). It seems like a good company, with people I could see as good coworkers. The job is a new one for me, but it's still in my chosen and preferred area of work. There is job growth potential. I am hopeful for benefits we can use.

The worrying: I haven't worked a 9-5 office job in over 10 years. Routines? Huh. We'll have to make up some new ones, I guess. For the first time, I won't be Right There to work with James' teams. After last year's start, this gives me the shakes. I worry that I won't be able to remain as calm and patient as I have in the past. I worry about losing touch with my soon-to-be-teen daughter. Can you tell I worry a lot? Here's the big one: I haven't done this before and I am afraid of what some of the changes do to me, to us as a family.

I have worked for several years, balancing working for an employer with raising a family. Dear Lord, how I worked. Some years it felt like I was "on" 24/7, but I needed the flexibility whose flip side was writing reports, emails, and memos until 2am because for most of the day I attended phone conferences, made some web updates, and then tended to sick kids, cleaned, did errands, homework patrol, and had countless meetings for IEPs, teacher conferences, and paperwork appointments for James' services or my daughter's school situations. I combined vacations and family visits with Client appointments in a region 8 hours from us.

Then James hit the school system and my employer's flexibility diminished remarkably. Time to choose.

I resigned and focused on James and family. I was lucky enough to continue my work as a consultant. Then the recession hit all the non-profits I worked with, and money got even scarcer. I started looking for work about a year ago. Then James' school year started off bad and got progressively worse. My husband became ill, unable to work. We had to give up a car. We actually qualified for food stamps.

Time for change.

I know James' classroom and team support improved drastically. I am glad that my husband's health has improved so he can work, and that he's found some much closer to home. I am happy that James' sister is in a stable school environment for the next 2 years. I am grateful for the local support network that I've grown over the past year or so. Yes, the changes make me very nervous, but they are part of life. My friend posted this graphic on her FaceBook feed. How appropriate:

All I can do is try. But I am going to try really hard!

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