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.
A few months ago I read an excellent post by Liz from InnerTeub.com and I’ve been sitting on it for a while now, trying to think of something original to add to it here. Turns out I don’t actually have much more to say because Liz put it all so eloquently herself (and the comments are great as well). Go read the post here: The 1.5 Career Marriage.
When my son started going to daycare, I struggled a lot with the concept that one person’s job needed to be more flexible than the other’s. Our family’s previous arrangement was that my husband and I both worked part-time while the other parent was home with our son; there was no discussing who was in charge of domestic duties on a particular day because the answer was obvious. When my husband got a new full-time job, my son started daycare, and I began working from home (the second of those things precipitating the third), it took me a while to realize that the built-in flexibility of my career was a blessing not the curse it felt like when I was automatically expected to sacrifice my job at every turn.
Up to that point, I was so used to my husband and I doing everything 50/50 that it felt totally foreign (and, to be honest, unfair) that I was suddenly solely in charge of daycare drop-offs and pick-ups and daycare sick and vacation days. It felt like the fact that I had to be more flexible necessarily meant my job was somehow less important, that I was less important. I wrote about all this back then, and the conclusion I came to was I just needed to shut up and suck up. (I put it more gently than that, but it really was a hard pill to swallow at first.) If my son had a sick day, I was now always the one to miss work to take care of him. I was in charge of his doctor’s appointments, getting his bag packed in the morning, and knowing when to not dress him in a new sweater because it’s art day. It just made the most sense for me to fill that position, even though it felt lopsided.
Two-plus years and another kid later, I’m more comfortable in my role as a full-time mom and a career woman on the side, but I still felt the lightbulb go on over my head when I read Liz’s post because it articulated everything in a way that makes it all seem so simple and sane. I no longer see our situation as his job vs. my job but as a constant negotiation about how we shuffle our allotted 1.5 careers between the two of us in order to stay solvent and organized (mostly) and happy. It’s teamwork in a way I’d never thought of it before.
Do you have a 1.5-career marriage? Do the roles ever shift? Are you happy with the way things are now?
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