The choice every working mother faces has finally reared its ugly head. Domestic Engineer - or Career Mom.
I've been lucky enough to be able to work from home these last few months, watching every smile, cough, cry, poopy diaper... but yesterday I was asked to come back to the office effective March 1. When I thought of someone else watching, raising, teaching, caring for my daughter that was not me or my husband -
... Then I thought of returning to the office. I'd have to fork out childcare bills and gas. The smallish web e-tailer wanted to grow to ten times their size, and they wanted this to happen overnight. They wanted to change the infrastructure and appearance of the site and the company as a whole, but were unwilling to change their micromanaging ways, creating more work for the overworked and not willing to employ additional help. Dissention was beginning in the ranks. Employees that were once joyous, harmonious and happy, were now turning bitter, overworked, exhausted, and frustrated. Salary employees were being treated like hourly, and growing more noticeable by the day... clocking in, not getting paid overtime, getting docked for time short...
Then I thought - if I left, what would I lose? Granted, a decent chunk of money - but money that would largely go towards gas and daycare. I would lose vision benefits and 401k. There was no health insurance. Not even an option for it - and no sign of ever getting it. No yearly bonus. A weak raise every year (1%).
....Then I thought, what would be gained by leaving? Growing with my child. Time to work on my websites and my clients' websites (that - over the last month, are starting to come in), time to care for and give attention to my daughter, time to keep the house tidy, time to do all the little things I don't normally have time to do.
Everyone has been supportive, asking me questions, but never trying to sway me one way or the other. It's ultimately my choice, and undoubtedly, the hardest one I've ever made. But a few key questions became the telling points. Do I choose the office over my daughter? No. Do I want to go back to the office? No. Those answers really brought to light my true feelings. In fact, it feels like I quit months ago, but only now realized how much so, and frankly, I'd rather leave now, while I still respect my employers as people, and not to leave them full of resentment (something that is soon approaching).
So, now, I have to figure out how to make my websites profitable, get a few more contracts, and go from there. Our extra spending is going to have to come to a full stop once again, though the fancy living for the last couple months have been such a needed relief from years of financial turmoil.
So - if you know anyone that wants a website .... =)