I told myself that I was going to give myself at least a month to transition back to work before making any decisions on my work schedule. For the first two weeks of work I was absolutely miserable. I’d come in late, leave early, curse my career choice, and daydream about switching to career with more flexibility.
I’m a marketing manager. I run marketing programs that drive leads to a sales team. I also manage the person who runs the corporate trade show strategy. In the past I’ve traveled at least every other month for 2-3 days at a time. Now the idea of traveling, being away from Gwen for 2-3 days gives me anxiety.
Before the end of my second week back at work, I booked a meeting with my boss to talk about my options. I was a nervous wreck. I’ve known my boss for over 10 years. I worked for her at a prior company and then followed her when she got a new job. But it still didn’t make the situation any easier. I cried. I wasn’t rational. I was panicked. I told her that I didn’t want to manage people anymore, that I wanted to take a step back, that I want less responsibility and less hours. But my boss, knew me better. She was very understanding and told me that we would figure it out, whatever it may be. She told me that I had options but to take the month to settle back in and think about what I truly wanted. Over the next few days, relief set in. Even though I didn’t make a decision yet, I didn’t feel trapped anymore. I felt like I could think a bit more clearly.
Tomorrow will be a month back at work and I have to admit it has gotten easier as everyone had told me it would. However the reality is that I will never get this time back with my daughter. Time with her is more valuable to me than advancing my career right now or working full time. My husband is on board. We made that decision together. So tomorrow, I’ll meet with my boss again to tell her that I would like go to a 4 day work week. That will inevitable mean a 20% pay cut. We may not save as much money each month, but believe it’s the right choice for us right now. I’m exited for this change and look forward to the extra time with my daughter.
Peace and love