As if I need another job

In my previous life, before I had Baby Evan, I worked in a real estate office. It was a job that literally fell into my lap and just seemed to fit. I started just answering the phones but when my boss offered to pay for my real estate licensing class I jumped at the chance. Eventually I was able to do a lot more, from writing contracts to holding open houses and managing all the advertising and paperwork for the office. It was just the right balance of creativity, busy work and down time for me and if things hadn’t changed I would have happily worked in that office for a long time.

Unfortunately, the housing market took a nose-dive, the small family real estate company re-branded itself as part of a large corporate entity, and I struggled to tolerate get along with all the agents in the office. Combined with my early pregnancy all day morning sickness and general malaise, office work no longer interested me and when the owner said they couldn’t really afford to keep me any longer I was happy to leave.

The only part of my job I’ve really missed (besides the paycheck) is my old manager. Her sales and listings created about 80% of my workload and we had a great relationship both inside and out of the office. She was a mentor and a friend and I spent a great deal of time with her and her family and consider them some of my favorite people. We’ve kept in touch for the past year and so when she called last night I was happy to hear from her. Turns out she left our old company and now is the office leader for a large, well established broker just down the street.

“And,” she said, “I’m looking for a part-time assistant. Any chance you want to job?”

I would LOVE the job. It’s only 12 or 15 hours a week. I would be working as her personal real estate assistant making a dollar an hour more than I made before. I could make more than enough money to support my knitting addiction habit and contribute a little to the household budget. I could channel my creativity into something productive instead of making an insane number of first birthday crafts. I could feel productive and helpful and purposeful.

But I have a baby that still doesn’t eat or take a bottle. E’s schedule is too unpredictable to count on him for childcare so I’d have to pay for a sitter. Even if it was just 4 hours it would be more than half my paycheck. Spending time with Baby Evan while he’s still young is worth a lot more to me than making a couple bucks an hour and I’d probably be a pretty lousy employee because I’d spend all my time thinking about what I might be missing. So it’s probably for the best that there is no conceivable way I can take that job right now. I even volunteered to work from home – for free – until she found someone, but I don’t have access to their computer system or the training I need to use it.

Truth is, I’m bummed.

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6 Responses to “As if I need another job”

  1. I was supposed to start back full time at my job in January and had a major freakout about a)missing moments with the baby and b) paying for childcare. It just didn’t make sense for me to bascially work just to pay for childcare, when I really wanted to be home with the bub. So, I’m lucky that my boss was understanding,and the non profit I work for was flexible and agreed to a 30 hour work week (and I can still keep my benefits, etc.)

    But my boss is really high maintenance and some days I wish I could just stay home with the bub and not have to work. then I remember my job gives us our health ins.

  2. MKP says:

    I wouldn’t beat yourself for shaking this opportunity’s hand politely and bidding it farewell. While there’s something to be said for the kind of position that basically just pays for a babysitter so you can get a few hours of Grown-up Brain time…. you’re totally right that this is your first kid, it’s his first year of life, and you’re fortunate to have the wherewithal to soak it up and enjoy it.

    Further down the road when Evan’s older, or if/when you expand the family and feel more comfortable taking time out for work, you still have this great connection to reach out to (or network with for other opportunities) when you’re ready.

  3. MKP says:

    erm…beat yourself up* in the figurative sense :P

  4. Meghan says:

    Think of all the money you are contributing to the family budget by being home. That’s hundreds of dollars every week not being spent on child care. That is helpful. Being social manager for you and baby e is being purposeful. And learning a new skill (knitting) and practicing that could lead to your own business on a craft website or such (and even if it doesn’t) you are still being productive. A paycheck isn’t always the best measure of worth especially when it comes to family life.

  5. Cindermommy says:

    I am struggling with the work issue as well. In our grand life plan, I should be going back to work this fall… but childcare for 2 kids in Philadelphia costs as much as college cost for me, so I am reluctant to do it. (Work to pay for childcare just seems silly to me) If you are happy with what you are doing now, and it works for your family, I wouldn’t worry about it, at least not right now.

  6. lalaland13 says:

    I have no doubt that the right job will come up before too terribly long and when the situation is better. I’m sorry you’re bummed, and please stop giving yourself a guilt trip about either not wanting to be there with Evan or wanting to be there too much or whatever it is. You are fine. He is fine. Whenever you go back he will be fine as well. And hey, since she likes you so much, maybe she can help you stay connected to the world of real estate? Can’t hurt.

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