In my younger years, I spent a lot of time working and building up my career. I was motivated and I really liked working. And it mostly paid off. I moved up and got positions that meant something to me. And then I got pregnant the first time and had a miscarriage. And something changed. I had always pictured myself being the mom who worked forty plus hours per week and came to weekend events with no qualms. But the miscarriage made me really think about what was important to me and family was the first thing that popped into my head.
When I was about 7 months pregnant with LeLe, I left the position I had been in to take a position in a different department where I would be allowed to work from home two afternoons a week, and I could stretch out my maternity leave by working full time, but all afternoons from home. My new supervisor was somebody I had worked with before and the move was not necessarily something I did to advance my career. In fact, it was a lateral move with little to no prospects of moving up. But I knew that my family was going to come first.
Fast forward to now and I have been in this position for over two years and while I enjoy the work I do and I absolutely love the two ladies I work with, I am bored and unfulfilled. I work primarily with men and most of them are amazing to work with. They respect me and they value my input on projects, changes, etc. I am their go-to when they need something and I like the relationship I have with them. However, there are still a few men here who do not value me and treat me like I am uneducated, frail, and just plain stupid. I have been ridiculed about being gone to “attend to family things” and one person even said that he didn’t tell me important things because I have been “spending a lot of time with my kids.” My initial reaction is pure anger and disgust. I needed to consider the source, but I also needed to decide if I was happy with what I was doing, or if I wanted more.
I’ve decided I want more. So, with this, I am officially a graduate student. I will continue to work full time and I will slowly chip away at my masters degree. When I am done I have a position within my department available to me. I’ve actually been offered the opportunity to start the new position in a yea’rs time and work while finishing the second half of my degree. The new degree will open up many more opportunities for me and financially, it will mean a large difference.
I am nervous. I still value the relationship with my family more than anything else in the world, but I am determined to prove to myself and to my kids that I have what it takes to reach this goal. I want LeLe and Little Bug to see me working hard to accomplish something great. I will still be working in higher education and I will be able to work on my project required for my masters within my current department.
I honestly don’t know how this is going to go. I really hope that I can find a way to balance my school, my work, my family, my household, etc. It is going to be hard and I will probably be stretched pretty thin, but I am also really excited. I feel like having a purpose other than being a mom will be really good for me.
Here’s to a new year and a new adventure!