Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I <3 My Job

I really need to get Moochie to sleep or play independently more so I can pick up some knitting. I swore this wouldn't be a mommy-blog and here I go going all mommy-blogger on y'all!! Ha ha!

Zorba the Landlord called me yesterday to let me know someone had sent me flowers (they delivered them downstairs to his door).

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They were from my office. They waited til after the holidays to send them for Moochie's arrival into this world.

How sweet!*

I took Moochie into the office today to show him off. Man, the cloud of estrogen that followed him around was pretty intense!!!

I know some women dig staying at home with their babies, but eventually I'm glad I'll be able to get back to work.

There was an interesting program on NPR as Mooch and I were driving into the office that struck me as appropriate given my choice for activity for the day--about how women get the shaft when they take "mommy sabbaticals" (I guess that's a cutesy term to describe a SAHM who quits her job) to raise their kids and then try to re-enter the workforce. The lady they were interviewing made the argument that the current workforce was designed for men.

In their 20s men enter the workforce and in their 30s and 40s do what it takes to elbow their way to the top and then by their 50s and 60s they start to look to retire. For women that doesn't really work because in your 20s and 30s you have to also take into consideration whether you want to start a family. The interviewee said some companies are starting to figure it out and create more family-friendly policies for their workers. She also made a point that maybe employers shouldn't be so concerned about what you HAVE done in the past as opposed to what you CAN do now. Of course how to you quantify what you are capable of? How does an employer figure that out before hiring you?

Of course callers into the show made some good points about how not everyone can afford to quit working to raise their children, single mothers specifically.

Myself? I'm on the fence about it. I was raised by a SAHM, but I also saw how hard it was for her to reenter the workforce when my Youngest Younger Brother was in school. I have been the primary breadwinner for most of our married-with-kids life (these past two years Dr. Mad Scientist does make a smidge more than I do currently--or at least for the next 9 days!) so I've never had the option of staying at home with Chunky and/or Moochie.

And I'm not sure I would if I could. I mean look what happened in 2008. Can you imagine how much worse off we would have been had I not been employed and Dr. Mad Scientist went thru his job/rehab snafu? Oh man.

What I do wonder about is why we don't make the Mommy Wars (stay at home v. working moms) more inclusive. Why is it up to us to make the decision to stay at home or not to stay at home? Why not ask daddy to stay at home with Junior or Juniorette?

Yes, we birth them and yes some of us breastfeed them, but technology has come a long way. There are ways to adapt to the breastfeeding obstacle to ensure our spawns still get the magic mama milk.

I dunno, something to chew (or suck) on.

Ok but enough mommy blogging. Blech.

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Ok, I lied. I can't leave you without a picture of Moochie sporting a handspun sweater knit by knottygnome and some handknit booties (of which you can see he's already learned to kick off) sent by Kristi.

*What's even sweeter is that they will pay me the 1/3rd of my salary that NJ Temporary Disability is not paying me (they only pay 2/3rds of your salary) when I come back. It's their incentive to get workers to return after having their kids. So basically I'm being paid my full salary for 8 weeks even though I'm not actually working. Such a difference from the six week vow of poverty and no money I made while on maternity leave with Chunky!!!

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34 Comments:

Anonymous Rosi G. said...

ZOMGthecuteness!!! he's friggin adorable rockin that handspun set. go, mooch, go, mooch, gogogooo mooooch! (sing that in my brooklyn voice to get the full effect, k?)

3:42 PM  
Blogger Kay aka dkswife said...

He is a cutie pie. I could snuggle with him :)

Your office rocks. I am glad you have a supportive employer!

3:48 PM  
Anonymous fiberfool on knitty said...

I had no idea you were expecting a little love to come along! Congratulations!! Babies are so sweet. He is so cute too. How's big brother doing with this new addtion to the family?
Thanks for sharing the photos and pics.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

First off, he's so cute! Secondly, NJ rocks. Here in LA, no cash for you until you go back. That is unless you take out a crappy disability policy that you pay for and makes you wait 30 days before you are qualified. (Yes I'm bitter!) However, at "new job", 100% for at least 4 weeks or 1 week x years of service (whichever is greater) and then 60% up to 1/2 year! WOW!
Anyway, interesting topic. I know what you mean about being the breadwinner though. I remind hubby quite often that it's a good thing that I didn't take him up on his housewife offer

4:27 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I was a SAHM with Piper for the first year of her life. I wouldn't trade that for the world. I was glad to go back to work after that. Now that I've had a real job for awhile, I would love to be able to stay home with any new kiddos until they went to school. I probably won't be able to do that though, since hubby is a SAHD.

Your job is sweet! NY sucks golf balls when it comes to maternity leave. You get 6 weeks of short term disability which is only about 160 bucks a week. The rest of your leave is completely unpaid. My job doesn't pay anything.

Moochie looks adorable in his sweater!

4:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Aack - my first post didn't go through!

Maybe I should have moved to NJ when I was pregnant with my kids - cheapass Ohio doesn't have any kind of state short term disability. Workers are at the mercy of their employers, and FMLA is a joke, because it only covers employers of 50 of more people, and even then, employers still don't have to pay you anything.

I worked for a tiny insurance agency when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I was fortunate that my boss gave me 50% of my pay for 6 weeks, plus an extra paycheck after that. I got laid off after that though. When I was pregnant with my son I worked for a larger mortgage company, but after I started my maternity leave, due to a loophole in their disability plan, I didn't get a single penny.
The United States is one of the most family unfriendly nations in the world. There are poverty-stricken countries in Africa that have better family leave programs than the U.S. does (it's true - I read about it in Working Mother magazine). Pitiful.

I've worked pretty much full-time since my kids were born, except for a few medical leaves, my maternity leaves, a couple of layoffs, and a few months after my son was born when I quit my job. I've had my share of criticism from both men and women (mostly women) for working, which is unfair. Every family needs to decide what works best for them - two working parents, a stay at home mom, stay at home dad, part-time work, etc. If I had a choice financially, I'd work part-time and be home with my kids in the afternoons after school.

P.S. That's one adorable baby, and the sweater is pretty cute, too!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

It's an interesting debate - stay at home, don't stay at home. I, too, was raised by a SAHM. But we just don't make enough for me to stay home. At least, we couldn't live the somewhat comfortable life we currently live if I quit working. I envy those who can afford it. On the other hand, I absolutely love my career and would not want to give it up.

Such a cute baby!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Mag said...

Don't fret too much about being a mommy blog, we all expect it from you. You're creative enough to make it interesting. Nice sweater and booties KG and K!

Nice flowers and I saw a <3, poke poke nudge nudge, Ms. Bex!
LOL!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous MNKNIT said...

its a truly modern mommyblog, in that its YOUR blog, which is why we all read it. Moochie looks fabu and it sounds like you are working at the right place.
peace....
MNKNIT

8:29 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

While the show did make a good point about how the workforce set up is organized around a male perspective, really, the whole freaking world is organized to the convenience of men. Whichreally drives me a bit batty at times....

9:07 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I've been both - a full-time "working" mom with a (mostly) stay-at-home spouse and a full-time stay-at-home Mom with a part-time (at home) job.

Both come with some degree of self-pride and with some degree of guilt. When I was working, I felt guilty, because my children were getting enough of my attention, but when I first starting being a full-time SAHM, I felt guilty because I wasn't contributing to the family finances. For me, the answer was a part-time at-home business, which dissolved my guilt and increased my self-esteem :).

I don't think we mothers should be at each other about our personal choices. Working mothers work because that's what they feel is best for their families, and stay-at-home moms stay home, because they feel that's what's best for their families. Heck, I know a couple of SAHM's that should work to give their kids a break :).

Anyway, my point is that it shouldn't be an "either ... or ...." And we should give ourselves a break. Life is hard enough without imposing ridiculous and conflicting standards on ourselves ;).

10:13 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Ha! I meant, "my children were NOT getting enough of my attention." Ugh! Where's the grammar checker? *grin*

10:14 PM  
Blogger Disco said...

Nice flowers.

US maternity pay SUCKS. In the UK it rocks. LOADSAMONEY!!!! That is definitely on my list of crap things about USA. Just to make it equitable, there's a long crap things about UK list too ;0)

I SAH because my mom did. It's one of the only good things she did as a mom. I loved that she was always there when we were very little (which is quite the ironic statement considering some things going on in my family's life right now that I don't discuss online).

Anyway, before I had children, I never would've thought I'd want to go back to work. Then I had the first and couldn't wait to go back - part-time til we moved over here.

I'm looking to re-enter the atmosphere later this year and am getting nervous. New country, 5 years out of work. We'll see.

Thanks for posting pics of moochie. You know we all want it :0)

10:30 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

My mom went back to work less than two weeks after she had me. Hey, it was 1971 and there was no road map. So she went back to work. I don't remember her staying home after my brother was born either, but I was three so what do I know.

What drives me nuts are the people get all undies-in-a-bundle that a mother who isn't a SAHM is a terrible parent and their kids will grow up to be hooligans. I remember having a big in-class discussion about this with a senior my junior year of HS. She made this whole half-hour speech about how no mom should ever work. At the end, I asked her if she thought I turned out OK, and she was enthusiastic in her "yes." She was dumbfounded when I told her my mom had always worked full-time.

And good for my best friend from college. She and her husband have four kids (the youngest two are twins), and her hubs has been a SAHD for all of them! I'm tired. I'm starting to ramble. I will shut up now.

But I like that vase! :)

10:54 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

He's getting cuter everyday!!! And the knits! Love him in them!!

Your job rocks!!

12:00 AM  
Blogger Linnea said...

Aww, add my own to the cloud of estrogen. Love the booties and sweater, too.

We're talking about having a baby once we get to Texas, and The Economist will probably be the one who ends up staying home - for us, given what our employment situations will probably look like, it makes more sense. But it's such a subject, isn't it? Almost seems like something to keep private, like religion. :)

2:26 AM  
Blogger maggie said...

I have friends - she's an OBGYN, he's the stay-at-home-dad/writer/artist. They have 5 kids and he loves it.

I'm having issues right now looking for jobs and I only took a few years off to be with the Monkey. I get the "what have you done lately?" thing. erghh...

7:19 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

it sounds like you have great employers.

mooch looks great in his new outfit. :-)

7:57 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I think about this a lot - with Willow I was basically let go when I went on maternity leave - I hadn't for the company long enough to make them allow me FMLA. So, I stayed home with her until she was 10 months old. If and when I ever have a #2, the most I could take is about 12 weeks.

9:48 AM  
Blogger LilKnitter said...

Woohoo for good employers and an additional woohoo for state mat-leave pay!

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice flowers! Such a good place you work for.

I agree with most of the comments here. You can be a SAHM or a Working Mom this choice should be up to you and your financial position. Employers should not look at SAHM's like they are sitting at home watching "Soaps and eating BonBons". And Society should not look down on Working Moms like they are neglecting their children. The KEY here is "Are the children LOVED?" And "Do they know that they are LOVED?" All the time in the world or financial security can replace that one thing! Kids know this and act accordingly.

And speaking of LOVE! That Little Mooch is cute!!!

Love, Mom

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should read....All the time in the world or financial security CANNOT replace LOVE!!
Love, Mom again!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

Moochman looks great in his handspun sweater. And nice flowers, nice employer!

11:31 AM  
Blogger janna said...

He is adorable -- you can end every post with a picture!

And as for the SAHM/working mom debate -- all I can say is it's been going on since at least the 1970s, and although I think things have improved a bit (for example, the NJ disability law is really pretty amazing), I don't see it going away any time soon....

12:05 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Beautiful flowers and really what a perfect time to have them sent. Your certainly able to enjoy them more minus all the rush of having a baby and Christmas!

I am happy that your office is so good to you.

And that baby...Bezzie if I was not seriously done...done....DONE these pictures your showing would have me thinking a fourth was a good idea!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Moochie is adorable and so is the sweater...congrats! I've always been lucky enough to have had good employers.

Also I think calling it 'mommy wars' and pitting women against each other is another tactic the patriarchy uses to distract everyone from the real problem, that yeah, everything's arranged around men. Anyway, great post about that.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Awww, cute lil' guy! Heh...seems like a lot of peeps knew about him ;) Good news on the paid front!
As for the SAHM, my mom couldn't, I couldn't, wanted to, but wanted to eat as well, government jobs don't pay all that well LOL. If peeps can do it I say go for it. What burns my chaps is when a woman is looked down upon for working out of the home, (by SAHMoms) especially when there is no choice. Ask me how I know! Heh, my word verification is bital..heck yeah, I'm bital about it :)

5:39 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

I also meant to say, by other people, not necessarily all SAHM's, I just encountered it a lot around here.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You've landed in an office that sees people as humans! What a cool deal! It's important to be nice to your employees.

I'm a SAHM who never stays at home. I keep my sanity by doing a crapload of volunteer work and we're thankfully able for me to do this. One day I'd like to earn a living and get a paycheck again but how do you explain your skills when they involve laundry, knitting and reading blogs?? :-)

7:02 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I did the sah thing for a few years and then the budget couldn't take it anymore. I loved it. You have some good employers there. Our maternity leave is only what time you manage to save up. NJ just enacted paid family leave. We may be a mess but we're progressive. And Mooch is one handsome little guy. But then, all your men are handsome.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

That's one well dressed baby! I'm the primary breadwinner for my family too. Wasn't our plan, it just worked out that way. The whole SAHM or work debate goes on with nary a mention of the man. The assumptiont hat this is solely a women's issue is infuriating.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Congratulations!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

I'm quoting Chris Rock here - the reason there is the whole work/stay at home fight is "women hate women". The feminists fought in the '60s for the right to be able to do either, and now you're either right if you stay at home or if you work, depending on your audience.

Personally, the audience in my area (the Bay Area/Silicon Valley, CA) drives me nuts. I'd say 80% of the women in this area do not have to work. I fully understand that there are those that do, and we have them too (they are predominately the maids of the other aforementioned women), but most women here work because they want to - and yet they still want to have kids and all that. I find it frustrating, as someone who put my career on hold to take care of my kids, that I'm looked down on (not by you or the commenters here) by others in this area because I don't have a high powered banking, finance or marketing job and were I have gone back to work, I would not have made more than day care costs (I am a librarian by training - like a teacher but with much less respect) so it logically made sense to me to stay home.

Now my kids are in school and I have been looking for a job for over 2 years. The recession has really helped ;( I've been "working" part time the whole time so I have something on my resume but it's still hard to come back.

Anyway, I personally think that if you can afford it (and a lot of people can't), someone should stay with the kids. It doesn't have to be the mom - and I've "worked with" a couple of stay at home dads as well, but someone. It's only a few years they're too small for school (mine started at 2) and you can't get that time back.

I'm really happy to hear you and Dr.M.S. are able to work it out - it sounds great for everyone!

12:20 PM  

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