I had two job offers last week. One was for a fairly senior position, managing a couple of heritage sites and all the associated staff. It’s a role I applied for twice prior to the arrival of Chublet and just missed out on each time. It’s a high paced, full of interesting challenges job that is just the sort of thing I’ve been working towards since I started my career. The other job was almost the complete opposite. It’s an admin / front of house position with a local art gallery. It’s two days a week, has very little responsibility, no management and is the sort of thing I was doing 10 years ago when I first started in the cultural sector.
Much to my surprise, when I really sat down and thought about the jobs and the requirements of them, I came to the realisation that I actually wanted to take the lower graded position. My deeply held desires to prove myself at that management level, to feel alive with the buzz of a fast paced, high demand role have disappeared for the moment. I was still very excited about the possibilities of the job, of the changes I might have been able to make, of the innovations I could have work-shopped with an amazing team; but the idea of doing the hours required to achieve that, of bringing work stresses home most nights, of logging in to my email over the weekend to try and catch up on work, of always being on call, made me worry. It made me realise that I didn’t want to be that mother, and that at this moment, my time with Chublet is too precious. I want to be able to focus on her on my days at home, and I want more than just the weekends with her.
I’ve read a couple of articles recently that look at stay at home parenting with some interesting conculsions. Sam de Brito suggests that he loves being a SAHD as he lacks ambition that irked me, and I think this response from Andie Fox is closer to where I am at. Right now, due to the decisions I had to make over this last weekend, I’ve realised my priorities have changed. For now, I want to be able to split my time between working and mothering fairly equally. I want to be able to spend the days with Chublet without worrying about work. I want the enjoyment of work and feeling like I am achieving against measurable, known targets, but I also want to be able to walk out the door after the day and leave all my work things behind that door. So that when I come home to Chublet I can focus on her and on my family. However I still dream of one day achieving great things in my career. I do still want to get to that senior management position, I want to be able to work in a way that I can influence the shape of the organisation in some way, I want to know that I can make a difference. But as it turns out, I don’t want that at any cost. As it turns out, I want a stable, happy family life more; and for this family, right now, that means I take a part-time job at a much lower level.