Saturday, August 28, 2010


My work-life balance is finally getting to a place that I can handle. I met with my boss a few weeks ago and, with tears in my eyes, pleaded for some flexibility. I felt like I was missing out on so much. It wasn't that I worried that the separation was bad for James. It was that I knew it was bad for me.

At the end of a long week, I just felt like I hadn't had my fill of my little boy.

My boss said that he understood where I was coming from, but couldn't give preferential treatment to people with kids. I responded like a professional, noting that I understood his concern and would try to come up with a flex option that wasn't necessarily preferential treatment. Then, as any professional mother would, I went and cried in my office.

I decided to let the issue lie since he seemed reluctant to grant me flexibility. Just in case, tough, I came up with three flex options that involved some sort of pay cut. I thought this would make it clear that it wasn't preferential.

He brought the issue up at our weekly check-in on Thursday and I had three ideas ready to go. The final decision is that I will be able to take an additional 20 days off each year as leave without pay. This is in addition to my 15 vacation days, 3 personal days, and 6 sick days. I'm so thrilled to have the option to take days off occasionally when I just feel like I need to be at home for my own sanity.

Sure, there's a pay cut involved, but my boss also told me the good news that they are realigning salary schedules for certain positions that have been underpaid and mine is one of them. Even with the additional days off, he expects my take-home pay to remain the same as it is now or increase. Woohoo!

It makes me love my job again. Plus, I feel like I can exhale. I don't have to fight and claw to each moment with my son because I can choose to spend a random day at home with James.

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