When Suzanne realized her marriage was over, she was working part-time. She knew that if she was going to support herself and her child who was just two-years-old at the time, that would have to change. Here’s Suzanne:
Putting my son in daycare was hard. I’ve always been kind of a neurotic mother, so it was difficult for me to leave him with anyone other than his grandma, which is who he would stay with when I was working part-time. It was hard to leave him with what was a stranger and then obviously juggling it. He would have to get up early. He was in daycare everyday by 6:30 a.m. and I worked long hours. It would be 5:30 or 6 o’ clock by the time I picked him up. That was a long day for him to be there and for me to be away from him.
As an executive recruiter, I had to travel quite a bit and the first couple of times I went away, my son stayed with his dad. But it seemed that something would always happen when he was there. Kids do stuff, we all know that but one time when I was traveling, he jumped off a sofa and ended up in the emergency room with a sprained ankle. It was just continual … whenever I traveled something would always happen.
After a while I told my ex that I wasn’t comfortable leaving my son with him and after that he stayed with my parents. My son is very close with his grandparents. I think my ex was relieved. He enjoys being with our son but it’s not something he’s ever made a top priority.
After about two years, I started to think about changing my job. It had been basically two years of a rat race. I felt I was really missing out on being with my son. I am very career-driven, I always have been. I enjoy working. I probably would not make a very good stay-at-home-mom where I didn’t have anything else to focus my time on but my kid. I love him to death but I couldn’t be an all-day daycare provider or even just a SAHM. It would be very difficult for me. I need an outside interest. I need to feel I’m accomplishing something.
Then someone approached me about this sales position with CareOne Credit working from home. I thought,
“Wow! This is a great opportunity. I still get to have a career, feel like I’m doing something, earning money to support us but I don’t have to leave the house.”
When I first started, my son was just four and he did still have to go to daycare because I couldn’t do my job when he was home. It just never would have worked. So he still went to daycare but he was there for about five hours a day as opposed to the ten or eleven hours he’d been spending there before. Once he started school, he didn’t have to go there at all. I could get him on and off the bus and work around him having to go anywhere. It was so nice not to have him in the daycare situation everyday.
I’m a social type of person so it is hard for me to be at home, by myself all day. When I was in sales, I was talking to people every day but it was different because without the face-to-face contact you don’t see the body language. In the position I now have, I don’t talk to anybody. I’m not on the phone at all other than a few phone interviews or participating in webinars, maybe some instant messages with my coworkers, email, tweeting but I don’t physically talk to anyone. That’s very challenging for me. I basically go nowhere except dropping my son off to school and picking him up and the gym.
The Divorce Coach Says
I believe there is no such thing as a perfect job. There are negative aspects to every work situation. Our challenge is to find the situation that best suits our needs and to recognize that as those needs change, we may also need to make adjustments to our work situation.
Suzanne knew she needed to work full-time and even though it was not ideal, she went back to her former job. Her present position sounds like it’s a much better fit with her son’s needs but it’s very isolating for Suzanne. If I was in Suzanne’s shoes though, I would have happily made the same choice.
I also want to give a shout out to Suzanne’s parents – that support network is so important. I didn’t have family support nearby when I was married (and still don’t) mostly because of my decision to live overseas. I hope, when the time comes, my children give me the opportunity to support them 🙂