Thursday, April 26, 2012

All Alone on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This day holds a special place in my heart because my "work" is a big part of who I am and I am very proud that my children know this. But as someone who works in a home office, I sit here all alone.

I've said before that "I'm Chandler" - my friends don't have any idea what I do for a living. And it really doesn't matter. My job isn't interesting to the layperson. However, it's a job I like. A job at which I'm currently in my second run. I'm ever so grateful to have a job in this challenging economy as I know so many other moms who want to work, but can't find it. I'm fortunate.

Remember the "woo" picture? I've added it here. You know, since I took it for work and I never do a blog post without a picture. 


But back to my point, something that I've never written about: Why I choose to have a career and be a mom at the same time.

The answer: Because NOT having a career just never occurred to me.

After I started having kids, I was actually VERY surprised at how many of my friends, some with advanced degrees, were opting to become stay-at-home moms. I certainly didn't have any issue with that. It was their choice and probably a really great one. But thinking back, I guess it was just never in my plan to do it myself. I hated college, but I worked my butt off to get the hell out of there with a degree. It never occurred to me that there would be a time when I'd be in a position where I questioned whether or not I'd be using it...not that I'm using my PR degree now, mind you.

I can't remember even one conversation I had with my husband in those early days when I was pregnant with Ryan deciding what our work plans would be. They just were. And yes, we DID want (but also pretty much need) the two incomes. It was a no-brainer. However, for me there was never that wish that I could stay home. Twelve weeks of maternity leave went by (very slowly I might add) and I was back at work. And that's what it was.

I found amazing childcare in the form of Miss Cherie, an angel on Earth who had my kids over the span of 7 years while we cycled them off to preschool. The job that I returned to after having Ryan was crappy, but I loved the one I returned to after Nat and Justin. So why not?

Right now, Ryan is with JakeRyan at his office, a big new shiny building where they have organized activities for the employee's kids. I'm at home working like every other day. Just me in my home office, wearing jeans and talking on the phone with customers. I wish one of the kids could sit by me and hear me sell my wears. I'd bore the hell out of them in 5 minutes, thus starting them on their career path to be sure that they have an interesting job like a doctor or astronaut or meth dealer. Anything not to have to sit in the office/playroom with a headset (held together with a binder clip) and talk about...whatever. I do love talking about whatever.

22 comments:

  1. Ha so funny and so true! I was the same, not going back to work never occurred to me, and I'm totally happy with the (sometimes crazy) balance of work and family, I wouldn't have it any other way!

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  2. I think it's something you just know early on - I actually knew even in college that I wanted to be at home when babies came, Master's Degree Schmaster's Degree :) Like you, it just never occurred to me that I wouldn't!

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  3. It's great that you are able to work but do it from home. I would love that. But like Erin, once I found out I was pregnant it just never occurred to my husband and I that I would go back to work. But that's not to say I wouldn't like to have a job that I could do from home.

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  4. I love how unapologetic you are about it. I checked out of my job (mentally) as soon as I found out I was having twins. Which worked out well, because I didn't like my job one bit. And now I get to do what I love for a living. Well, maybe not a living, but for coffee money. Cheap coffee money.

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    1. I really think it has to do with the job you have. Mine is so flexible. I have good bosses and great co-workers.

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  5. Thisis so awesome and it's like you took the words RIGHT Out of my mouth.

    I never intended to stay home. I don't think I can, to be frank. It's tough work being a Mom and there are days I would rather deal with whatever corporate America has in store for me than watch Baby First TV for another 15 minutes, ya know? I like that you said not using your degree wasn't something you thought about....I feel that way too. I would always be kind of shocked when people asked me if I was going to stay home with Luke. My response was always "well of course not!" I take pride in being a working mother and juggling it all, and hope that my son sees my work ethic and knows how important hard work is in life.

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    1. I'm just not creative enough to keep everyone entertained and stimulated for that long. School does a great job at that.

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  6. It's so awesome that you love your job. And so incredibly rare.

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  7. I have a Master's and I'm a SAHM. I love staying home,a nd I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I think that if I had the opportunity to work from home, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

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  8. I never considered not going back to work either, I always knew I would be a working mom, although I'm not lucky enough to work from home. My kids are at the company daycare so they come to work with the hubs & I everyday, hopefully it will teach them to work somewhere else.

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  9. I remember going to work with my dad. I loved it!

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  10. Hey you do what feels right for you, not what society or your Aunt Gertrude thinks is right. I think it's great that you love what you do, that's so important!

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  11. I still love the wooo-hoo picture. ; )

    Sometimes I think it's a shame my law degree is going unused, but then I remember the 6 years I did use it and am so very, very glad my husband works hard enough for both of us! I always thought I would continue with my career. It was a surprise to both of us (as well as our premarital counselor). You just never know. Until you know. I toy with the idea of going back to work part time but then fear my part time would be 40 hours a week. Instead I'm making a career out of volunteering. It's killing me almost as badly as the legal world did. You know the saying: No good deed . . .

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  12. LMAO @ meth dealer. That would have to be exciting.

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  13. I love this! The idea of not returning to work never occurred to me either. I love my job and what I contribute to society.

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  14. I'm also one of those rare people that actually likes their job. I wouldn't say love, but I really like it and I'm proud of it and I'm keeping it! I plan on going back to work full time after our little one is born and I'm comfortable with that decision. We didn't discuss any other options either. I think it's important for my kids to see both parents working hard and doing something they enjoy. Kudos!

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  15. I only stopped working a year ago to become a stay at home mom and my girls are 10 & 8. I loved working. I just let it take over our family. I was good at what I did so I never turned it off. I sucked at finding a balance. Also, it seemed for me that my girls' schedules got crazier as they were getting older and I started coaching so many of their sports' teams and volunteering for other things. I love that I still have things to keep my brain occupied but that I don't let it take the love out of our house anymore. I have always been so envious of people that can make it work. I just know that right now...I am not one of them. I was not going to be fired at work but at home...MAYBE!

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  16. First-time mom and new reader here! Would appreciate knowing what company you work for from home (if you can say) as we are reaching a point in our family that I might be able to stay home with the kiddo too.

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    1. Hi Carrie - I'd love to tell you, but I've vowed to let them stay anonymous :) But if it makes you feel any better I know we're not hiring! The kids aren't with me either. It's a full-time 40-hour gig and that + kids underfoot don't mix. Good luck finding something more flexible for you. It makes all the difference.

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  17. I truly have no idea what you do for a living - you're right about that. But I'd bet you're really, really, ridiculously good at it. I'm not that good at anything, so even with a college degree and a career, it seemed fun to try the SAHM thing. Two years into it, I'm uh, ready to try something else. :)

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  18. I've always felt the same way - I never considered not working after having kids. I like working. I actually think I'm a better mom for it. I think I'd be a bit of a crazy mom if I was so focused on everything my kids all day without the whole work outlet.

    And you're right - I've honestly never understood the people who assume - actually who just plan to quit working when they have kids. Why?

    My kids think my job is sitting at the computer all day and counting money (I'm an accountant). Close enough, right?

    My husband stays at home now. Because he hated his job, so that's a good reason at least. He's a better stay at home parent than I ever would be.

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