We’re doing maintenance. If you see this, please disregard it!
Wendy talks about the juggling act and about job sharing – with co-workers and her husband.
“Are you working?” I’m not. I’ve been getting that question a lot lately.
My last freelance gig wrapped up 8 months ago. Since then I’ve gone out on a handful of interviews and recently launched shesayspost.com with a good (also unemployed) friend. And you know what? This has been a really fun summer.
Almost 3 years ago a long-term freelance job with a very busy ad agency fell into my lap. I actually left a very rewarding job at a local school so I could take the agency job. I would be working from home, part-time and making more than twice the money. Kind of a no-brainer. Prior to that I was a stay-at-home-mom – by far my favorite full-time job. But the economy slowed and life got complicated.
Going back to work in advertising was amazing, incredibly hard, rewarding and mentally exhausting. Getting myself up to speed on the tech side of the job was INSANE and made my brain hurt. Tears at the keyboard almost everyday. But once things started to click for me and really make sense – I fell into the rhythm of the workflow and flew right along with the rest of the team. Next thing I know, I’m cranking out 250+ coded email blasts a quarter. But along with that kind of work load come crushing deadlines and no time to put my very tired brain cells on anything else.
Needless to say it made things a little crazy around the homestead. No food in the fridge, no clean clothes (I know, my kids are old enough to wash their own clothes but there was no time to buy laundry soap!) and I am chained to my computer. So as the job slowed down I was kinda happy to be able to focus on my previous gig – SAHM.
I was always proficient at that job but this time around something was different. My kids were older – 2 teenagers – and it was so cool when I realized, Oh, they kinda like hanging out with me. All summer long we would talk about our week, crack each other up quoting John Oliver on The Daily Show and get super excited about our new favorite snack – a huge bag of green grapes in the freezer.
While I continue to look for that next great part-time gig, I have to say it’s great to be back doing one of my favorites. It doesn’t pay much… but when was the last time your 16 year old son actually wanted to hang out with you and eat frozen grapes?
Ahhh, Preschool. Remember back when this was all we had to worry about? Check out Ann’s very funny take on parents, preschool and firearms at the dinner table.
While parts of this essay made me squirm, I think her take on SAHM is super valuable. What was your experience?
A single woman in a mom’s group…
Many of the women I most enjoy in L.A. are in my book club, which came from a mom’s group. I am the only one who has no kids. Often at book club meetings they wind up talking about their kids, schools, houses and other problems that involve people nicely adjusted to normal life and and property owning. I, on the other hand, live in a one bedroom rented apartment—when something goes wrong I call the landlord. (I don’t need no stinkin’ Home Depot!) I don’t have any impressive job to counter with either. What I do have is free time.
I am interested in a lot of their conversations that are off book topic. They are smart, funny, and care about the world. Still, sometimes I feel unimportant, uninteresting, like I don’t have that much to add. Also sometimes I think they don’t realize how securely situated they are. They have for the most part healthy children and own houses on the west side of Los Angeles for christsakes! Of course I get to benefit from being invited to their houses and getting to hang around their kids without having to discipline and shape them. And most things about my life I like. Still, the grass is greener sometimes… maybe because they have yards?