I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
The plot! It thickens! Or thins, rather. I lost my job last week. This was the job I’d held for eleven years. My first job out of college. The job that saw me through getting engaged, then unengaged, then falling in love again, then moving out of my first apartment, then buying a house, then having a baby, then getting married (yes, in that order), and then having another baby, who I’m so privileged to get to stay home with now that I have no office to go to.
So, in the end, losing my job is actually a good thing.
But it still stings a little.
I’m now officially on a team of one.
I’m being all dramatic here, but from a purely practical standpoint, nothing much has really changed. I’ll still get regular projects from my former workplace, and I’ll be completing them from the comfort of home, just like I’ve been doing for several years now. Practically, it’s better for everyone this way, but emotionally…well, there’s just no reasoning with emotions, and right now I’m feeling a mixture of sad and anxious and grateful and lost and panicked and calm.
Being “unemployed” like this is a little scary because in the not-too-distant past my family has had to rely on my status as a long-term employee during the ups and downs of several major life moments, including getting approved for a home loan, getting a good insurance package during both pregnancies, and keeping all or most of us uninsured during my husbands two stints of surprise unemployment. It feels dangerous–a little irresponsible even–to be truly and officially an employee of no one. It also feels like the exact right thing to be doing at this point in my life.
It seems like most freelancers I know eventually become permanent employees of their clients, and I don’t think I know anyone who’s done it the other way around. Maybe that’s why it feels like a step backward instead of forward? Or maybe it’s simply a pause between one phase of my work life and the next.
Either way, I have a lot to be thankful for: for eleven years with a great company that literally watched me grow up, and for this opportunity to be at home and watch my sons grow up.
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