August 23: Big steps. For Twin Husky and a new job opportunity for me

The sun is out and it is Chocolate Tuesday!

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I head downstairs to find some clothes and I heard the twins running around and talking – for some reason I thought Red and Big Bro were still in bed, but when I entered the kitchen I saw the both of them on their stools at the counter looking and acting like perfect, angelic children, waiting patiently for their Nutella chocolate breakfasts. It was too funny. They were so cute and quiet just sitting there on their best behavior.
  • While I was getting ready upstairs, I was visited by Twin Husky. He was pointing a lot, helped me close the closet door, pointed to his diaper and then pointed to the toilet. So I asked him if he wanted to try the potty. I got him naked and we sat there for a while but nothing happened. It was a good try though and I am so proud of their interest in this topic especially at 18 months old. It will be a HUGE milestone for our family when we are rid of diapers for good.
  • I gathered clothes for Big Bro and Red. By this time Twin Crazy was upstairs too investigating what we were doing.
  • As we head downstairs Twin Husky is very adamant about going downstairs by himself. He holds onto the banister and his latest thing is lifting his right leg up REAL high and saying “down” with each step. It is so cute. I took a video.
  • Twin Crazy still is too scared to go down by herself, so I carried her.
  • Diaper change with Twin Crazy included me kissing her feet and pretending to eat her toes. She loves that.
  • Red wanted to do gymnastics flips on me. This is her new thing lately. I hold her hands, she scrambles up my legs, and then I flip her over upside down “like a monkey”. She’ll do it over and over if I let her. Then Twin Crazy wanted to do it. She grabbed my hands, did not walk up, but did put her head backwards so I knew she wanted to flip. I picked her up and manually flipped her a few times too. My two little gymnastics girls. So cute.
  • Big Bro gathered his toys for school today. Tomorrow will be his last day at pre-school and he is excited about spending time with his friend Ryan. He’s bringing in toys that Ryan has not seen before.
  • Vitamins — both Red and Big Bro followed the new “rule” of giving mommy kisses for each vitamin. I love it. And they giggle.
  • Red was having an issue with her hair. She wanted it wet but couldn’t decide if she wanted a pony-tail or not. I suggested putting her hair band in her jacket pocket if she wants a pony-tail later.
  • OK time to go!!!! Toddlers in car seats. I packed the bag with shoes. Big Bro grabbed his shoes as did Red. We are off.
  • Drop off #1 went well. Kisses to all.
  • Drop off #2 also went well. I helped Big Bro put his hair down – again mentioning how his hair has “personality” and we just need the back down and it looks cool to have the front scruffy. His old teacher was back after the summer and she mentioned how tall Big Bro looks even after only 3 months. He looks so mature for his age and I think he will be very tall.

So now we’re on the ferry. It is sunny and beautiful. People are on the ferry with their blackberries. I’m a bit down today – last night we saw the movie called “Inside Job” about the recklessness resulting in the financial crisis and the complete lack of oversight and compensation structures that lead the country (and the ripple effect to the world) to where we are now. It also depicted the strong ties of the financial leaders to government – and claims how leaders under Obama’s administration are actually the same folks who played a part in the demise of the markets. It really was very disturbing – There obviously is another side to the story but it really makes you feel helpless; people’s lives are affected by all of this mess and you don’t know who to trust.

It is sunny. And I am hopeful that we will be able to make change for the benefit of our family.

Today at work I will work on sales effort for the partnering opportunity; and likely sales efforts for our meeting in October. I don’t think it will be a busy day for me.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • Found out of a key loss within our company (a great colleague took a job elsewhere) which presents an opportunity for me professionally. I need to think through things a bit since this would not be the “step back” strategy I originally was hoping for. But it might allow me more flexibility to work from home most of the time. I need to mull it over and talk to Hubby. I’m emotionally exhausted from thinking about this and the implications to my job, my work/life balance, time with the kids, etc. It will need travel in the Fall and Spring, but this travel would only be 1 week at a time and extremely predictable. I spoke to Hubby… he thinks it will be an amazing role for me especially if I can negotiate working from home most of the time (which I think I can). Plus it will get me to the next level (Director) quicker since I’ll be able to meet my sales targets more consistently, if all goes well. If I am able to strike a deal where I can work from home, theoretically this job can be done anywhere in the country… which is very appealing to me since I strongly believe our family needs a change to a more affordable city.
  • I read a lot about the earthquake on the East Coast – what a surprise! Earthquakes are something I fear daily out here on the West Coast; I guess the issue with today’s earthquake is that it was shallow so it was widely felt along the coast. I think it scared a lot of people.
  • Organized a go-to-market meeting with our partner for a big firm initiative. I think this project is going to be fun.
  • We celebrated summer birthdays and I ate three cupcakes.

The ferry ride home is wonderful today; it is hot and sunny. We are thinking about pizza for dinner tonight.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up with Big Bro went great; tomorrow is his last day of pre-school. 😦
  • We order a pizza on the way to Pick up #2
  • Pick up with Red was a surprise… daycare provider bought her a cute halter dress and had her hair in a pony-tail. She looks so grown up
  • Not much to do except play today until the pizza comes!
  • Twin Crazy pulls out books off of shelf and then we put them back together
  • Red wants to do flips non-stop where she walks up your legs and flips backwards
  • Big Bro and I play horse, following Twin Crazy and saying how we’re going to tickle her
  • Big Bro and I play peek-a-boo scare with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. The twins are outside in the yard playing with strollers and toy shopping carts and Big Bro and I are “roaring” at them like lions to scare them. They are giggling.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy keep falling down everywhere. I’m wondering if they’re pants are fitting OK or if they are just very rambunctious now running back and forth
  • Pizza was great; all ate well
  • Afterwards I was playing physical with all kids; acting like a lion, pretending to eat their legs, tickling them, and Big Bro and Red balancing on my body and flipping over. They were so tired, winded, and wound up when they went upstairs.
  • Twins were easy to put to bed; Big Bro and Red told “stories” with their new story cards. Red wanted to change her PJs and that’s when I lost my patience and left the room. “We already did PJs…. I’m done with that…. if you want to change them, please get changed by yourself. I’m done… goodnight sweeties….”

Today was a draining day – more decisions to make – life is still in motion I just never expected this opportunity to present itself today.

Until tomorrow –

– Mama K

Random Thought: When evaluating new job opportunities, would you sacrifice “quality of time with your kids” for “more money”?

It’s Tuesday and I have a Random Thought.

I want to thank Mama Serenity for expressing her situation at Meet other Mamas In Motion.   Her description is extremely heartfelt and her tone expressions the confusion and internal conflict that she faces.   It does seem that her existing job treats her well and to some extent suits her balance with her children (but there is travel required and peaks of her business).  She is now presented with another opportunity — and although she has information from which to base a decision, there still is the large “unknown” factor.   I think the “unknown” is what causes stress and pressure in the decision-making process, particularly when these decisions impact not only you, but your entire family.   I believe it is much easier to be a risk taker when you only have to worry about yourself and it becomes harder to venture out into the unknown when these decisions impact your entire family and your little ones.  I feel like I’ve remained in my current job because of my kids – my company knows me, and I know how to navigate to make the most out of my situation with the kids.   There may be better options for me elsewhere – but the unknown does cause me stress particularly if I feel like my current job gives me and my family a sense of stability and security.

This got  me to thinking.   I’m guessing that collectively, working Mamas In Motion are changing jobs all the time.  Job opportunities present themselves – or we proactively go looking for them.   Does the decision process become more difficult if you have little ones to consider?  Or, maybe its just the opposite — does the decision-making process become EASIER if you feel that the things that are most important to you are NOT being fulfilled in your current job situation?   There are considerations to be made when evaluating opportunities, and there are tradeoffs.  And it becomes more difficult when you are potentially leaving a “known” situation to an “unknown” situation, one that may not be able to fulfill on a bonus that you hope to count on, or one that may not be as family-friendly as you assume.

Here are some considerations that I can think of – would the new opportunity provide more:

  • money, compensation, benefits?
  • quality time with the kids (e.g., shorter commute, more flexibility in hours, possibly being able to work from home on some days)?
  • responsibility?
  • stability, job security?
  • autonomy in getting the work done?
  • interesting / compelling work?
  • the ability to stretch your skills and grow in new areas?
  • synergies with people — culture, working style alignment?

This now gets me to a series of polls for the group, for working Mamas:

2 of 3:   If the choices are narrowed down to “more Money” vs. “more Quality time with the Kids”, which would be most important to you when deciding on whether or not to take a new job???

3 of 3:   I’d like to understand the threshold where you would select “more Money” instead of “more Quality time with the Kids” when deciding to take a new job.   How much of a raise would you absolutely require to accept a position, where the tradeoff is less quality of time with your kids (recognize that increased income could still improve their quality of living, but, they would have less time with you).  Would the new job HAVE to give you at LEAST a raise of:

Life is about tradeoffs – earning money for your family to have and do nice things is wonderful, but spending quality time with your children is obviously important as well.   I think the difficulty really sets in when you feel like your life is seriously out of balance; this balance threshold differs for each woman and given each different and distinct situation.   We are all unique Mamas In Motion and I’m sure we will see this in the poll results.   Thank you for participating!

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