Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Working Part Time - The Best of Both Worlds

If you are a first time visitor from E Myself and I - welcome!  I hope you like it here.  To read a few of my favorite posts, go here, here, and here.

For my regular readers, I'm honored to be a guest poster on my good friend Elizabeth's blog E, Myself and I where she has been doing a working moms series.  I chose to write about working part time.  Check out her blog for all the other fantastic posts in this series.

Like E, I love my job. I'm a physical therapist.  I spent 7 long hard years in college and graduate school earning my doctorate.  I've since earned two additional certifications in orthopedics and manual therapy.  I still have LOTS of student loans to pay off.  I'm lucky that I work for a great company that I've been with my entire career.  I love my clinic and coworkers, I (mostly) love my patients, and I love what I do.

As we thought about starting our family, I knew that I didn't want to quit my job but I also knew that I didn't want to leave my child in the care of someone else the majority of the week.  I was working 10+ hour days - leaving the house at 7 am and not getting home until 7 pm.  If I kept that schedule then I would only get to see my child for 30 minutes 4 days of the week.  I knew that I would want and need to cut my hours to feel like I was raising my child but still working the job that I love.  Fortunately for me, the healthcare industry and my company allowed me the flexibility to work 20 hours a week (two 8 hour days and a 4 hour day).

Sidenote: I always ask my patients about their job during my evaluations.  Now, more than ever, I phrase the question "do you work outside the home?" because I know how much WORK being a SAHM is

Here are the reasons why I LOVE working part time:

-Its good for me to get out of the house.  Two and half days of the week I get to be a professional, dress in something other than yoga pants, have adult conversation and not worry about nap schedules.

-Its good for Sawyer to be under the care of another person that isn't mom or dad.  Plus, our nanny has a little boy who is 2 months younger than Sawyer so he gets some socialization with others.

-Sawyer gets to see me leave and come home.  I LOVE the gigantic smile on his face when I walk through the door and we haven't had any issues with separation anxiety yet (knock on wood!)

-Working gives me a chance to miss him.  I think that if I was a SAHM I wouldn't appreciate how much I miss him when I am away.

-I don't have to miss out on his milestones and development.  Being home the other four and a half days a week, I haven't missed watching him learn to crawl and walk, knowing his favorite books and foods.  We can do activities like toddler classes and playdates.  We can play peek-a-boo and tickle monster - I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

-My salary allows us to do the "fun" stuff.  We are blessed that my husband has an excellent job at Microsoft that pays well and offers full benefits.  We would probably be fine on his salary alone.  My income allows us to do things like travel to visit grandparents, pay for my Starbucks habit Stroller Strides classes and toddler groups, and most importantly my Starbucks habit baby sitters so mommy and daddy can have date nights*.

*My husband pointed out that this is a theoretical benefit as we've only had date nights when grandparents have been in town to baby sit.

Sure I have those days when I wish I did one or the other.  There are days when Sawyer is cranky, has had multiple diaper blow outs, pukes on me and refuses to nap when I wish I was at work.  And there are days when I'm overwhelmed with new patients and paperwork when I wish I could just stay at home with my boy.

Life is about finding the right balance.  For me and my family, working part time is the perfect balance.  I know how lucky we are that we even have the option and that I love my jobs - BOTH of them.  Being a mom is hard.  We should celebrate all moms for the job they do whether they work inside or outside the home.  Lets face it, motherhood is much more than a full time job.  There are no coffee breaks or weekends off - just a heavy reliance on the Starbucks drive-through. 

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