Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heading Back to Work

A few months ago I decided to take a break from photography.  After 6 years, I have felt that I need to take a step back and figure out if I want to continue pursuing my business or go in a new direction.  I have loved it, and it has provided our family with a way for me to stay home and still bring in some income.  Yet at the same time, I have been feeling the itch to get out of the house more and learn some new skills.

It is a strange thing to try to enter the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom.  First of all, I feel like I am a different person now than the last time I was working.  Before having kids, I was a working woman.  I was a fast-paced, multitasking workaholic.  Now, my priorities have changed.  Work isn't as important as family now. My family comes first, and that means that what I'm looking for in a job is very specific, and I'm picky.

Secondly, After you stop working for "the man" (big business), and  you work for yourself, going back to work for a company isn't always appealing.  When you become used to setting your own schedule, becoming your family's CEO, and having everyone look to you for decisions, it takes a whole shift in thinking to submit to someone else's demands and timelines.  And honestly, you can stick me in a new job, but I won't put up with crap anymore :)

As I've looked for jobs over the past few months, I found myself hiding the fact that I was a mom.  I was afraid it would work against me, and they'd be afraid to hire me because my kids might get sick and I might not be as reliable.  I felt almost sick hiding that, because it is who I am now.  I would find myself telling everyone I know that I'm a mom, except a potential employer.

A few weeks ago I pulled out my resume and looked over it again.  It was old and outdated.  I sheepishly put on there that I've run my own business for the past 6 years, hoping that it would hold some weight.  I pressed "send" and my sent my resume to a research company looking for part-time researchers.  They called me the next morning.

As I got dressed for the interview, I realized I did not have professional attire anymore. In a frantic rush, I actually stopped at Goodwill on the way to the interview and picked up a suit jacket.  It fit perfectly, matched perfectly, and was $9.99.  Phew!!

There were 10 of us in the room being interviewed, and an additional 5 didn't show up.  I felt insecure next to these executives and others who were clearly more qualified than me.  I was the 2nd youngest person in the room, which I did not expect, but I knew they probably wanted people on the younger side, so that gave me some confidence.  The next day, 15 more people were interviewed. A few days later I got the call - I got the job!

Today I went for the training, and joined 11 other people in a hot room for six hours of learning about our new positions (I originally thought only 5 of us were hired but it turned out to be 11 people total).  We will go into the four local high schools and conduct a research study for 3 weeks.  It is short-term, but only 2 hours a day for three weeks, and we don't all get assigned every day of the study.  It is perfect for me, because Martin can work his schedule around my short hours, and after it ends, I'll be considered for other positions coming up shortly.

As I sat in the room today, all I wanted to do was pull out pictures of my kids and show them to everyone.  My heart already missed them.  After all of the introductions, I realized I was only the 2nd person in the room who had children, and almost everyone was single.  Again, it was strange navigating this business world, and trying to hide who I really am.  I am a mom who was missing my kids.

It was quite the juggling act to arrange being gone for 7-8 hours today, especially having 2 kids with totally different schedules. Yet we were able to get help from numerous friends and we are so thankful for them. However, I cannot imagine doing this every day.  I don't know how other moms do it.  I came home exhausted, and only got to see the boys for two hours before bed.  When the boys came home, I found out that Micah had been given the game ball today during his t-ball game, and I wasn't there to see it.  That made me sad too.  However, looking at the bright side, today was only 1 day and opens the door for the perfect job for me right now.

This is just a temporary position, but may lead to something more in the near future.  Are my stay-at-home moms days over?  I'm not really sure yet, but I do know that my heart will always be here.


  1. It definitely is different to work after being home. I can attest to that :)
    You are a brave girl for stopping at Goodwill on the way!! I love that about you :D