Going Flex Time
I work for a media company as a staff writer. It’s a great job and I’m lucky to have it. I get to write and interview people and I get paid to do it, which is awesome, because I need the paycheck.
But juggling motherhood, writing fiction and a full-time job has made me crazy. Like full on, nutso, balls-to-the-wall crazy.
I read an interview once with Lorrie Morre where she was asked how she handled teaching at the University of Wisconsin (whoop!), being a mother and a fiction writer. She said something to the effect of: “I feel like I don’t do any of them well.”
That’s exactly how I felt for a really long time — like I was stretched in three different directions and failing, miserably, at all three of them.
I’ve been trying to reduce my hours at work for over two years, since my son was born. It’s been a struggle, to say the least. I liked my job and didn’t want to lose it. But let’s just say there were several strong personalities and blankets of red tape to get through first.
If you’re a working mom, it feels like you have two choices: work part-time for crap money at Ann Taylor or work full-time in your chosen profession (which is really 60 hrs minimum) and feel like your jaw is going to unhinge like that girl in “The Exorcist.”
I don’t understand why flex time isn’t an option for all working mothers. Because flex time offers cost-savings to the company while retaining a worker’s skill set, years of service and unique talents. Which is a win-win.
I started my new schedule last week. So far, I went to the dry cleaners for the first time in over a year, did my taxes, played with my kid for hours and got some serious face time at my desk. Nothing terrifically exciting. But to me, it’s heaven.
It’s like finally, finally, there’s some time to live in here — time to breathe — and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.