10 Reasons I Love My Job Share
Posted on May 1, 2012
I’m currently participating in a job share. By using “participating,” I like to think this evokes an athletic component — which, if you think about it, chasing two kids half the week and approximately 200,000 associates, 4 million reporters and the occasional goose the other half of the week has GOT to equate to some sort of workout in Jennifer Hudson’s dictionary…
Anyhoo, here’s a quick glimpse into my 10 most favorite parts of this set-up:
10. People seem so much more excited to see me in the office when I arrive! After all, half the week has passed so when I breeze in mid-day on Wednesday to take the PR baton for the rest of the week, I get big hellos.
Of course, I can attribute this to the very likely reality that people have gotten past their case of The Mondays; a case of The Wednesdays means the weekend is that. much. closer. I am a living, breathing sign that the week is halfway over. I am a symbol of hope and freedom for all! OK, not exactly. Nonetheless, I like my warm greetings; they make me feel like maybe I was missed, perhaps I was needed. (I am over both emotions by Friday, I assure you.)
9. Speaking of The Mondays, ours take on a different focus now: speech therapy without any distractions or guilt or clock-watching. I don’t need to run anywhere, be anywhere, do anything but be present for my son (oh, and make sure Emma stays content during the session; content means less pooping and more sleeping).
Sometimes we have good sessions and sometimes we walk out covered in half-digested O’s and soy milk. Sometimes I remember all accoutrements (talk blocks, chewy tube, infa-trainer cup, snacks represented on all talk blocks, bibs, slobber cloths, ziplock for quick cleanup, wipes, Emma’s bottles…) and sometimes I am lucky to remember both children… and still manage to leave Little Vegas Monkey behind. Sigh.
8. It’s not just the freedom to run errands at a leisurely pace with all the retired or unemployed people of America… well, yes it is!
AND I get to do it with both kids and a calmness that only comes from knowing if we get through our errands during the week, we do not have to pack it all into a weekend. That means errand-free time with The Husband (aka The Daddy)!
This also means I have twice as many opportunities to get done the errands I forgot the first five times we headed out the door like a mini safari tour. (When heading into the jungle, one should pack enough food, beverage and diapers to keep the natives from turning on you.)
7. A greater sense of teamwork in the office. My PR team has been diligently mindful of our new schedule. It’s not easy: while one of us is always in the office, it takes an extra measure of conscientiousness to remember whom to copy on emails, whom to invite to meetings, etc. I know we both appreciate it.
AND, I like to think we’re these cool pioneers paving the way for all the other imbalanced team members we have. Wait, that sounds wrong. What I mean is, if we can make this work, then surely others will be able to embark on this adventure, too!
(Yes, this is me secretly hoping I get to watch my young, sane coworkers become psychotic, wrinkled mothers with puke on their shoulders like me. It would be nice if my job share partner would start taking on that appearance, at least.)
6. Afternoon walks. Sound simple? Not when they’re with Charlie, who’s almost two years old and determinedly learning to balance and walk by himself. It’s taken him twice as long to get to reach this milestone as it will take his peers and his baby sister, but right now he’s only aware that he can do cool new things like teeter toward me and then lunge like an alligator attacking the gigantic neon green bean bag that always breaks his fall. (If Mommy doesn’t, first.) Watching his confidence grow each day is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
5. I only have to exhibit will power 2.5 days a week. Well, in the face of all my skinny, carb-eating, heels wearing colleagues, anyway (yes, Veronica, that means you, too). I wish you could see my little corner of the office. It is truly like a bakery buffet. The other day, I sat there ALL AFTERNOON with a WHOLE STICK OF BUTTER within arms’ reach (you know how your arms get super long when you’re trying to reach tasty lard?).
Not that I’m the picture of good health the rest of the week… but I have a little more control over how close I sit to sticks of butter.
4. If I wanted to, I could totally go all Martha Stewart on my husband’s arse. I simply choose not to. Again, review the rules about living in the jungle. If you demonstrate uncommon strength, handy craftiness right before all major holidays, coordinated menus on a random Tuesday and exorbitant piles of perfectly folded clean clothes, the food chain will look upon you like a lioness. Have you watched Discovery Channel? That never ends well.
3. I feel somewhat in control of the laundry. By “somewhat,” I mean I have stopped having nightmares about it pouring from the bins onto the floor and out through the cat door of the laundry room, up into the bed and around my neck while I doze. Of course, the wine may have more to do with the disappearing nightmares. Whatever works, sweetheart.
2. Momma Multi-tasker is my code name. Multi-tasking doesn’t even begin to describe my days. Each length of 24 hours is broken into small sprints to accomplish new goals. At home, the clock is ticking against all the errands and household chores and booger-picking I plan to pack into my first half of the week.
At the office, my powers of procrastination have absolutely no home whatsoever. I’ve got three handfuls of things to get done in 2.5 days and GET OUT OF MY WAY! Unfortunately, this sense of urgency sometimes manifests itself in meetings that lack structure and snacks. (I said I had more will power. I didn’t say I had all the will power.) Less time means more focus. I have become a machine, albeit one with cellulite.
I’ve also found the increased sense of urgency doesn’t pair well with my sudden ineptness on heels. Think about it: I now wear heels at most 2.5 days. Somebody’s gonna get hurt eventually.
1. By far, the number one best part about having my job share can be found in moments like this one:
We’re in the minivan (STOP RIGHT THERE! That’s just a factual description – the minivan is NOT what spotlights this job share!) … like I said, we’re in the minivan and it’s a balmy 78 degrees outside. I have every single window open (even those back vent thingies, for which I finally found the button. NOT intuitive, my friends).
Charlie faces forward in his high-backed navy blue car seat, kicking his new navy blue Stride Rite sneakers with gold piping, marveling at how he can actually move his legs now that we’ve switched him around. The wind is ruffling his blonde hair around and he’s squinting his eyes as the air blows past him, thrusting his chin in the air to catch even more of a breeze.
Emma is facing backwards, grinning like a loon at her own expression in the (break-proof!) seat mirror. Her hair isn’t long enough to move, but her eyes are squinting and she’s laughing her wheezy, honking laugh that sounds like a goose.
I am glancing back and forth from rear-view mirror and then over my shoulder to take it all in. Charlie catches my eye and grins even wider. “Ooooohhh!” he exclaims.
We haven’t a care in the world, my children are living in the moment and happy, and oh yes, Mommy has dinner in the crockpot.
Martha schmartha. I love my life!