Sunday, June 03, 2007

Giving Notice and Searching for Ants....

...that's what I have been up to.

Two things I never thought I would do.

Both involve some disgust and terror on my part. The ants were Chloe's idea, or as she calls them, "AHNTS". She searches for them, legs crouched in a squat, running a finger over the sun-warmed sidewalk. I sit beside her, my now huge tummy bursting from beneath an ill fitting shirt, hoping she finds them without my help. I have been terrified of ants ever since I left my sneakers poolside as a kid and they filled with red carpenter ants which bit up my feet. I hated how brazen they were, how they traveled in packs, how even one on your skin could make you panic.

Much like the ants, my job had become insufferable. A combination of creepy crawly factors, some emotional, some intellectual. But mainly, I was over-ready for a change. I had checked out long ago, never really unpacking the crappy office they moved me to, abandoning the formerly ferocious and arrogant attitude towards work that often made me loathed in this particular office. I used to be an ant -- marching in line, tireless, industrious and effective, one of many "yes men". After I had Chloe -- and a series of events lead me to acutely understand how unwelcome moms in the workplace really are (more on this soon) -- work became just a place to wear my great shoes, get a small paycheck and feel like the old me. It was never really the same, much like I am not, and the can-do ant in me became restless, lost, with a tendency to bite without warning.

So I have a new job, one where I will work from home, and I am desperately hoping that those two words are not inherently conflicting. I will have much more time to be with my children, to sit on stoops and look for ants and eat popsicles without worrying about the stains.

A colleague I was quite fond of will be retiting at the same time that I will be leaving our shared organization. When I asked him why now, he answered sagely and plaintively: "I have spent years trying to squeeze time with my granddchildren in between everything else. Now I want to squeeze everything else in between time with my granddchildren".

When it comes to my current child, and the one on the way, I am lucky to have this same opportunity. Because as my daughter is already announcing "BYE, MAMA" as she struts out the door, purse in hand, hat on head, barely looking back, I am thrilled to be making the right squeeze for me, right now.

2 Comments:

At 5:35 PM PDT, Anonymous weboy said...

Hi Amy - As someone who similarly "dropped out", though not for kids, I am always behind getting off the treadmill. Part of me thinks - and who knows, I may write about it soon - that all of these stories about increased poductivityby workers over the past 10 years or so masks the burnout that follows. I know so many people who've simply said "enough." (I just don't know if they outweigh the ones who stay).

At the same time, as you know, I struggle with the economic and social forces that seem to push Moms out of the workforce. I hate that we can't get workplaces that are more conducive to supporting working Moms with flexibility and opportunity.

And anyway, I look forward to seeing you at Red's... maybe we can discuss further. :)

 
At 8:26 AM PDT, Blogger Janya said...

Ahhh...retirement...how sweet.

I left my job a few weeks ago, then went back recently to train the new gal. It was crazy. I didn't realize it when I was there, but that place was a huge stressor, a real pressure-cooker.

So nice when you can call your own shots :) Enjoy getting ready for baby and loving that sweet toddler of yours.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home