I am working today, as our office is open even though it’s MLK day. I love the idea of making this day a “service holiday” as suggested here; maybe someday this will come to fruition in FL. But apparently not yet. I had mentioned yesterday that I wanted to share some of my thoughts on work/life balance, and where things are now.
work/life changesJanuary 16, 2017
at work this morning. I do enjoy the fresh clean slate of a Monday!
I am now 3.5 years out of fellowship. Annabel is in pre-K, 3 months away from turning 5. Cameron will be 3 next month. I remain undecided about future offspring (leaning towards pro).
My work hours are currently 8:30 am to 5 pm, 5 days per week plus call, which is 20% of the time. On my call weeks, I round on the weekend in the hospital and am responsible for any phone calls that come in to our emergency service during those 168 hours. We have no fellows in our program, so that often means speaking directly with parents in the middle of the night, just like in training. I also have a 20 mile commute, which takes ~35 minutes each morning and 35-50 minutes each night. I am away from A&C from approximately 10 hours most days.
Josh is an amazing husband and father. His job however takes up more time than mine does. On most Mondays and Fridays, he doesn’t have to go in until close to 9, which is fantastic! But the rest of the week he is usually out of the house by 7, and doesn’t come home until somewhere between 7:30 and 9 pm. Sometimes it’s later. His weekend calls are pretty all-consuming; he’ll be gone by 8 or 9 in the morning and hopefully home by dinner. Overnight cases are not unusual. His call is ~1/4 with some extra vascular backup shifts thrown in there for good measure.
All of those details are provided to illustrate that — well, the two of us combined work a lot. This is NOT in any way designed to show that our lives are hard. In fact, I will freely admit that they are the opposite. We are really really lucky to have great jobs, to live near family, to have a wonderful nanny. We outsource a lot — mostly so that we can spend more time just being with A&C. We are definitely not flush with extra cash but are managing to save some. We could easily continue our current routine indefinitely.
I took an objective look at things, and decided that I didn’t want to. I asked some questions that I previously wasn’t bold enough to ask. And so, as of April 2017, I will be working 80% time — 4 days per week. I will get one less commute and one more day of being a mom*.
I am not doing this for A&C, who seem to be doing just fine (C still hasn’t made it to the potty but I’m pretty sure it’s not related to my work status). I am doing this for me. Because I was tired of feeling time-starved, desperate for a quiet moment, always behind on my lists. Because I feel like A&C are growing up far too fast, and I am missing too much — I want to come on field trips, take them to some of their activities, just BE THERE more. Because I want to love and enjoy my life, and I think I can still do the things I want to do AND be happier (and more rested) with this change.
Things absolutely may continue to evolve. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few months — who knows!? Maybe someday my percentage will go even lower (though I don’t think so at this juncture). Please know that I realize that I am incredibly lucky to have been able to make this choice. That said, I didn’t feel there was any reason not to share.
So there you have it. One major change underway in the new year, and it has been warming my heart for some time now just to see those days on the calendar. I will absolutely keep everyone posted about how things go!
* I haven’t figured out exactly how I will change our nanny’s schedule, but I think we will probably swap some of these days with weekend call coverage