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Being A Mom Made Me A Worse Employee

March 19th, 2010 No comments

Yet again, it’s been a while since I’ve updated. I’ll admit that once my lapse hit a few months, I was almost too embarrassed to return. But I have. Because I have a pretty good excuse for slacking off since November.

After being hit by the recession in June, I was excited by possibilities. I think it was just because I avoided reality so well for a while. I kept my kids in daycare for nearly a month while I reinvented myself, pulling weeds in my garden (literally and figuratively).

I started doing a little consulting, mostly on temporary projects. Working with a few companies and individuals, I found ways to leverage my understanding of targets, contextual planning, and traditional/digital/social media to be able to work from home, with my kids.

Four months into it, I got a call out of the blue from an outstanding digital agency in the metro. I was floored to talk to them, let alone how quickly we wound up speeding towards a path of working together. Less than a week after my first (second and third) interview(s), I put my kids back in daycare and started a new full-time position.

My full-time day-job exceeded my expectations, but I found myself overwhelmed with both full and part time jobs, two kids and just too much as the CEO of my household.

To make matters more difficult, it was the beginning of the sick-season, and boy, did it hit our household hard! I found myself taking off almost weekly to tend to a sick child (or myself). When at work, I was worrying about if my kids were washing their hands enough and not sharing their snacks and drinks and what if they didn’t cover their mouths when they coughed and what if their friend sneezed in their face like they always do to me and how many more times was I going to have to call in this week and would my boss get annoyed with me and what if I just went in when I was sick and took down the whole office and spread the funk and…?

“Overwhelmed” perhaps turned into “worried sick.” After a panic attack left me hooked up to an EKG in a parking lot (ironically, in front of a Starbucks), I knew something had to change.

I considered leaving the part-time work behind, but it really wasn’t those extra couple hours per week that pushed my sanity over the limit. I thought about hiring a house cleaner, but the idea of a stranger alone in my house, doing my favorite (albeit most time-consuming and strenuous) chores freaked me out. I even tossed around the idea of hiring a personal assistant to help me around the house, pick up the kids or run errands.

I returned to work following a brief sanity-break, and turned in my notice.

In the end, all of those options still meant living with the one thing that bothered me the most: My kids would have to be taken care of – raised – by someone other than me. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to curb any of those anxieties about what was happening in daycare without giving up something bigger.

I’m officially independent. Today is my kids last (full) day in daycare. Being a WAHM (Work At Home Mom) is certainly not going to be easy. But neither was trying to juggle being a mom of two young kids and being good employee. Not that I was horrible, but having kids certainly made me less of an employee than I was used to being.

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