Well, that was a useful exercise
I did my job interview last Monday. It went really well. I was interviewed by 5 women simultaneously. I was utterly calm the whole day leading up to it until I opened the door. Then I had a momentary burst of panic and sort of fumbled my first answer. Then I entered a zone and I (think) did really well with the rest of the interview. I asked a TON of questions, focusing primarily on work/life balance issues, and the answers I got reassured me that I would probably actually have a decent chance of pulling off the job and still parenting in a meaningful way. I thought it was a good job I'd really like to do, and that I could do good work there.
When I left, I was hyper and adrenaline-crazed for about half an hour from the feedback loop of the interview. And then I descended pretty rapidly into a very dark mood. Fortunately/unfortunately I had friends here for a long-planned family date, so I had to get my head out of my ass relatively quickly.
Upon further review of my emotions, the emotions I have been reviewing with a microscope for weeks, I came to the inescapable conclusion that the dark mood was tied almost exclusively to the thought of going back to work. In my gut, in my core, in my soul...I can't.I just can't.
For me, financial stress is hard. Going crazy by 4 p.m. because my children have driven me to the brink of insanity is hard. But leaving them with someone else for 50 hours a week is my version of torture. On the menu of hard, that's the one that for me is intolerable.
Over the past few weeks, whenever I really let myself imagine dropping them off somewhere and going to work, I cried. Giant, body-wracking sobs.
It turns out that when push comes to shove, I am willing to live on the edge financially and pull my hair out with frustration and burnout. I am not willing to give up this time with these kids.
And that's that.
I haven't heard back yet on the job. They told me I'd hear back either way in "about a week." Today is day 8. Either they're not going to offer me the job and have decided not to give me the courtesy reject call, or they're wrangling their way through a background/reference check on me. It doesn't matter of course, but I am curious, I admit.
On the whole, I am grateful for having put myself through this. It was really good to look at choices, examine where we are and what we've done, and to reaffirm that right now this remains the right path for our family, even though it's dicey. Big K, for his part, has been a rockstar through this. He is fully supportive, says the choice is mine, and has talked about various considerations on both sides of this coin with me for countless hours, never pushing me in one direction or the other. I love that guy. And, even though this makes me some sort of fossil from an archeological dig, I like taking care of him. Not just the kids, but him too. His job is precisely the sort of gig that kills people from massive heart attacks when they're 42, and he gives it everything he has. Handing him a cup of coffee when he walks out the door in the morning is such a little thing, but sometimes it feels like everything. Because I love him and I respect him and he loves me and respects me and even if it looks like 1950 in here sometimes, this is harmonious for both of us. Rest assured, I am not changing into a fresh house dress and touching up my lipstick right before he comes home from work (I can typically communicate only in growls by the time he finally gets home), but our roles work for us nonetheless. I am instrinsically motivated. He is extrinsically motivated. We are both in our element in this life.
So the remainder of 2013 will be hard, for a lot of reasons. For the reasons that sent me on this journey in the first place. Having put myself through these paces has reminded me that even though it is hard, it is good.
And spring is coming. Spring is coming.