So, I had a baby. Did I tell you that already, invisible blog readers? Here he is:
I KNOW. That drool monster is my child. I can hardly stand it.
He’s now just over 5 months old and well, I’m ready to go back to work. Ready to find a bit more balance in my life and contribute in new ways. It’s tremendously exciting - the networking with adults who have real conversations with me, talking to people who have my dream job (in case you’re wondering - it’s in New York, and it’s taunting me), reading job descriptions and feeling confident that my education prepared me well for the roles.
Here’s the catch - I don’t want to leave home. I absolutely love working from home. 9-5'er in the cubicle, I am not. I feel most productive and creative with a pot of coffee in the kitchen, a quiet room free of chatter, and sweatpants on. If I need a change of scenery? There are plenty of great coffee shops around here that would love my business. (Side note: I’m not alone - new research shows greater productivity, longer hours, and improved job satisfaction from folks who work at home)
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for in-person collaboration and connecting but I have grown accustomed to using online tools for this quite well. Google+ easily allows me to have in-person meetings with anyone in the world. I can instantly chat with folks as I run through my inbox. I connect with hundreds of brilliant minds on twitter everyday, sharing content and ideas.
Not requiring an office environment 9-5 each day gels nicely with the fact that I have this 5 month old, too. Ideally, we’re able to find childcare to keep him at home for a little while longer, allowing me to be close to him and feed him, foregoing the need to be attached to a pump throughout the day. And for the days I need to be gone? No problem… In fact, I’d love to travel some and break up the day-to-day routine.
This all sounds reasonable, right? Well after my month or so of job searching, I’m starting to believe it’s utopia.
“We’re not big enough for virtual employees” “It’s not really good for our culture” “It takes a lot of trust to have people working from home” “We like people in the office… it’s the way things have always been done around here"
Y'all. I can’t find it. I can’t find a job that allows me to do what I love, in an environment that makes me an even better employee, and be close by for my baby when he needs it. If you know of any leads, by all means tell me. (Here’s more about my background and what I’m looking for)
As a disclaimer, I’m fully aware that I’m beyond fortunate to be where I am and please don’t take this as complaining. Unlike many, I have an overly supportive partner, an advanced degree, my family is in good health… I could go on forever.
The point of this writing is to ask the question, Why is our country’s workforce still so behind on allowing moms the flexibility they need or want?