Monday, June 30, 2008
One of my BFFs is finishing up her last week at work. She's joining the SAHM ranks, "opting out", whatever you want to call it. I am thinking about her because just as I'm feeling stifled and a little bored with the whole SAHM scene, she's ready to jump right into it. My friend has been working full time at a job that requires work on nights and weekends, in addition to regular business hours, since her daughter was about 4 months old. She likes the work and the challenges there, but the environment and responsibilities were not conducive to her being the kind of mother she wants to be. So in order for her and her family to be happy, healthy and sane, she's going to be giving up full time employment to be the stay at home parent.
And then there's me. I am heading off to work again in about 6 weeks, after being employment-free for 2 years. Going back to work is not an immediate financial necessity, I'm going back to the office because I want to. I really want to. My son is ready to learn from other people and develop new friendships and relationships. Hopefully my partner will be moving to a 4 day work week in the near future. Our family is ready for the new challenges, at least we think so. Because I'm as lucky as I am blessed, I have the opportunity to go back to a position that is challenging and fulfilling , as well as to co-workers who make my life so much more interesting and teach me about everything from cooking to new street slang. Not to mention decent pay and great benefits that will actually help us save some money every month. I picked my new responsibilities and hours. I have one of the greatest bosses in the world, so I know that this is not a common situation.
But it is the situation that I asked for and with some help and encouragement from my partner, friends, etc., the situation I helped create. I think that together and individually we could make these types of arrangements more common for parents. But it will take us standing up and asking (demanding) it. There are organizations working towards a society, marketplace and government that truly supports families and mothers, just look at the list of links to the left. Moms Rising is one. MOTHERS is another.
So take a moment and explore these organizations' sites. You may be inspired to make changes in your own life to better attune your life with your true values/needs. You may also rethink your political leanings, because often candidates pay lip service to caring about women and families, but they vote quite another way.
How have you found balance in your life? Working part time? Staying at home full time? Starting your own business? Home schooling?