Posted by: workforcookies | March 12, 2009

Childhood shouldn’t have a price tag

I just told my boss to take $13,000 out of my pay check in exchange for one extra day a week with my kids. (Mind you, I’m still carrying the same workload and waking up at 5 a.m. on the days I go in so I can cram 35 hours into four days.)

Yes, I know the economy is ailing and , no, I’m not crazy—or at least I don’t think I am. I just want to see my kids more than the two days a week I do now: Saturday, the day that I’m groggy from a long work week and Sunday, the day I grocery shop, do laundry and get ready for the work week. 

My boss didn’t immediately warm to the idea of me working a four-day work week. In fact, when I first broached the topic, upon my return from maternity leave eight months ago, she said she wanted me in the office five days a week. I told her, honestly, that I didn’t know if I could work in a five-day-a-week situation. She suggested I cut my salary in half and do a job share. “Great,” I said. “Let’s do it.”

Not so fast…

“If I were your mom, I would tell you not to.” she said. Then later: “After talking to HR, it looks like a job share isn’t going to work afterall.”

My boss is incredibly successful in her career. She climbed the career ladder when women were struggling more to stake a claim in the working world—proving at every turn that they were committed to their jobs. She’s seen colleagues and dear friends receive punishing blows to their careers for making decisions that meant being in the office less and with their families more.

She is my boss, but on another level we’re friends. I truly believe she was looking out for my best interest when she advised me against cutting my week short by one day. I can only hope that as I try to nurture both my family and my career, future employers won’t deliver the punishing blow my boss has witnessed.  Time will tell.

For now, my children are growing. Everyday they are discovering bits of this world and finding a way to fit those bits together—like a giant jigsaw puzzle. This is happening now.

I’ve missed many moments already and they are gone forever, but $13,000 can buy me front row tickets to a few that haven’t yet happened. And even in this economy, I think it’s worth it!

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Responses

  1. I think this is fantastic. I’m glad you got this all worked out. Your kids will love every second. xxo

  2. You are very brave to take this financial risk. You put a lot of thought and effort into making your dream come true. Your children will be eternally grateful as will you. ………and may all your dreams come true.

  3. Amen, sista! Love you for this and a million other things.

  4. Who knows? You may end up earning MORE money this way. Because when you’re in a better state of mind, you’re more creative. And more creativity sells story ideas and … hopefully, books!

  5. […] Friday, the first of my official four-day work week, I happily told him: […]


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