M. Giant's
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Friday, April 17, 2009  

My New Schedule

Trash wants to tell you about the joys of working two days a week. Meanwhile, I still have to schlep all the way to my office in the southeast corner of our house every damn day.

My company recently went through a downsizing – a.k.a. layoffs, firings, restructuring, resizing, and whatever else they're calling it these days. The move wasn't a shock, as our employer had let us know in advance how the future was looking (shiny, of course) and also, I have been known to read the newspaper. Besides, my job is a research librarian – I am responsible for watching trends, staying on top of the current economic news, and analyzing sales and market movements. I realize that these are not the golden years.

M. Giant and I discussed the possibility that I might lose my job, and tried to determine if it would be such a bad thing. If we could survive on only one salary, should we try? I love my job, so that wasn't a consideration. We would want to keep M. Edium in school at least part-time, especially since we decided to wait on kindergarten for another year, but this is our last opportunity to have extra Mommy-and-M days, as we currently call Fridays at our house. I already worked four days a week, so I could have an extra day or two with him. It might be our opportunity to expand the one-on-one time.

Of course, living only on only one income is difficult today, if not impossible for many people. It can require a lot of budgeting and sacrifice on everyone's part. Also, I am not a good full-time at-home person. I'm just not. I was home directly after M. Edium was born, and I thought I might lose my fool mind. Of course, M. Edium was much less interactive – and much, much more likely to vomit in my hair – but still. Both M. Giant and I heartily respect those parents that can stay home 100% of the time and not 1) harm themselves or 2) go stark raving mad, but neither of us are those people. I'm great at part-time at-home parent, though, and we thought that a compromise might work for everyone.

So I went to my boss in January and suggested the possibility of moving to two or three days a week, instead of four. I acknowledged the difficulty as no one else does the same work I do, but I stressed that people were going to be laid off, and this shift in my schedule might save someone's job (including my own). They went for it, and starting in March I now work two days a week. Of course, because life works this way, my boss ended up getting laid off, but I was able to keep my new schedule for now.

It's been mostly wonderful, especially when we have friends in town and I don't have to adjust my schedule, or when M. Edium was so sick he missed a week of school. We changed M. Edium's schedule at school to Tuesday through Thursday, and he loves it. LOVES it. Interestingly, it has changed his entire outlook on school. He doesn't mind getting up as much, he does more work when he is there, and he is happier being home on Mondays and Fridays. It's like we accidentally stumbled onto his ideal schedule. He is happier at home, happier at school, and overall more content.

So now that M. Edium is thrilled, I use Wednesdays to run errands and clean, and we get so much more done and have evenings free, guess who is going back to three days a week in June? Sigh.

posted by M. Giant 2:33 PM 0 comments


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