WARNING: Extremely long post ahead. Perhaps best to check back later.
Life has been running fairly smooth at Casa de Motherscribe as of late. GIRL loves going to school part-time and we're doing a Mommy and Me swim class at the Y on Saturdays. BOY is still going to school 5 mornings and will be doing his first full day in two weeks. It feels like he is ready and he's been talking about wanting to do a full day and play with his friends for weeks. E has his own home renovation contracting business going full throttle and has decided to start a professional theater company. He is handpicking his board and is very fired up about it. I am continually struggling with balance in my life, and feel on some days that I am succeeding. These first 4 1/2 years with the kids have been challenging for me. It is definitely what I wanted, but I didn't expect it to be so hard at times. Or so incredibly fulfilling either. I find being a mother so full of paradoxes! This may sound odd, but recently I have actually just begun to see what the fun of being a stay-at-home-mom can really feel like. Being available to take BOY to swim lessons, having time with GIRL on mornings when BOY is in school -even if it is doing errands together...it is special time. I feel like I am just getting into my groove. Maybe it is temporary, maybe not.
There was a time, after I got over the hurdle, when I definitely wanted to return to work full-time. However, things have changed in our lives a bit. E is working for himself again and we are not under quite the financial burden that we were before. And with GIRL starting the Pre-K program in the fall, I have been considering what it would be like to work part-time, since they will both be in school 5 mornings a week and 2 afternoons. I also haven't been thinking about outside work over the last few months because I've been focused on BOY and getting him through the rough patch. And he has gotten through! He's flying solo -with us there when he needs us. It is joyful to see his growth!
This week has been crazy with the preparations for Teacher Appreciation Day at the kids' school. We had 30 teachers to celebrate. We booked 2 massage therapists to come in and give the teachers 15 minute mini-massages, had all the families bring in flowers for the teachers and had a dinner catered for them last night. The dinner was scheduled for 5pm and at 5:05pm we were done. It was exhausting, but felt good to pamper the wonderful teachers who take such great care of our children. So, in the midst of racing around picking up supplies for the dinner at Targay and another store, I get a phone call....
It is my recruiter. I haven't talked to her in months! Did I ever get a job? Am I available? She has a job possibility for me as an Executive Assistant to a woman with her own company.
This is the job description: This is a personal assistant to a very educated, particular and fast paced person. LOTS of travel arrangements for the executive in ____ and an additional executive in Austin. Must be computer proficient however uses mostly Outlook for calendaring as R does her own PowerPoint presentations (80 pages plus) and Word, and Excel but wants this person to know the programs in case something needs to be reprogrammed. As the former President of ____, she now does high level compensation deals. Will also do work for another one of her cos. This company is a holding company. Will also assist with personal work such as dinner reservations and appts. Will pitch in with phones as everyone in the office does. Will need to screen calls and realize the when to put calls through. Needs to schedule her appts and confirm them each day. R is a perfectionist who needs all the "i"'s dotted and the "t"'s crossed. She is very set in her ways. She is an Ivy League graduate and a mathematician. Wants a "seasoned" professional to interact with her "high level" ____clients.
I Google the woman. She has testified on a committee discussing the President of the United States' salary. She's been on TV. She's a go getter and a high achiever.
In between last minute errands and setting up for the Teachers' dinner, I go on the interview. I enjoy myself. I'm weird that way. I actually like the interview process. I like meeting people. I meet first with the business manager. She is very personable, and has a great sense of humor. She says THAT is KEY to working there. We meet for about 30 minutes. Then I meet with R who would be my boss and another woman. R has been described as tough and blunt, challenging to work with. I can see that immediately, but what I like about her is that she recognizes this about herself and talks openly about it during the interview. She also says that she does not mean to come across that way, but she is always running, running, running and on to the next thing. The assistant has to be able to run with her. We talk for about 30 minutes and then she has to take a call.
I continue to talk with the other woman, who is friendly and has a good vibe. R may be tough, but she certainly surrounds herself with nice people. It is a small office, and everyone emphasizes the importance of everyone getting along. Apparently the former assistant (who worked there 8 months) had a problem with a bad attitude that impacted the entire group. R needs a people person as the assistant would be representing R. I feel good and finish up the interview. Then I race over to the school to do the final set-up preparations for the Teachers' dinner. My cell phone rings. My recruiter says they want to make me an offer. It's been 20 minutes since I left the interview. The official offer letter is coming in by Monday morning.
And NOW what to do?
There are lots of positives. It is only 5 miles away with a great salary. I would be challenged and I know I could do it. The benefits are OK. Not bad for being a small start-up company. (She resigned as President of another company to start this one just a year ago.) No overtime is expected, unless work is not getting done during a crunch time and then I can work from home in the evening. That is expected to be rare. The former assistant will come in to train me. During the interview, I brought up my needing to be available to go to special functions at the children's school and to go on school tours in the fall observing kindergartens. She said that would not be a problem. The pace would be frenetic on some days and low key on the days when she is out of the office. She travels every week. Sometimes for a night. Sometimes for several days. So, I would have some days that aren't crazed. The other people in the office seem very personable and approachable.
But...do I want to work for a workaholic? (She is there weekends, late at night and early in the morning when she is in town.) Do I want to work for someone who is tough and blunt and needs me to be operating full tilt (even after those nights of 3 wake up calls from BOY)? Do I want to work in a fast paced environment again? Most of all, do I want to spend that much time away from my children? Things would be different. We would have basically the weekends as family time and evenings during the week. Can I jump BOY quickly up to 5 full days? Taking this job would greatly increase our finances, but much of the work that usually falls to me now - the laundry, cleaning, baths, bedtime routine, grocery shopping - basically running the household would probably still fall to me as E is trying to run a business and start a new business, his passion - the theater. I know a lot of women do it - work full-time and do the majority of the work at home, too. I just don't know if that is what I want, if I have a choice. The idea of taking a job would be to benefit the family. I just want to make sure that THIS would benefit the family.
I have NO idea what I will decide. What would you do?