Career vs. Family: How do you choose?

Wow…what an unusual day.

As if yesterday and the weekend wasn’t hard enough on my brain, along comes yesterday’s revelation at work.  Y’see, I was offered a new position at work…which you would think was a great thing because it’s a perfect fit and a probable fast-track to a much better position in another year or so if I do it well.  You’d think I would have been absolutely stoked about it.  But I wasn’t.

Why?

The job has a time of 9am to 5:30pm, which is a half-hour later than what I’m working now.  Is that such a big deal for me?  Hell no…what’s 30 minutes?  But it’s a big deal for Ankle Biter’s babysitter.  She doesn’t babysit anybody after 5:30pm because a few years ago parents would take advantage of her and go shopping for groceries after work, leaving a child there until 6:30 or even 7:00.  That sucked but I understood.

The potential new boss wouldn’t budge, either.  He said that if he made an exception for one person, then he’d have to do it for everybody else.

So that left me in one hell of a crappy position.  I couldn’t pick Ankle Biter up for supper twice a week and I couldn’t even pick him up on a Friday night for a “daddy weekend” unless the ex picked him up first.  I was damn near tears and unable to think of a solution when I turned to Twitter…

I don’t think I was exaggerating at all…I really felt as though this was a really big deal and could seriously affect my relationship with my son.  I immediately saw some feedback…

Yeah…she’s pretty cool.

So I then tried to explain the situation on Twitter (it’s hard sometimes with only 140 characters) and that this was a career choice vs. time with my son.  I knew what the answer needed to be, but I guess I needed some others to help guide me a bit…

Yeah…they ALL made sense.

So I did what I needed to do and talked about the situation with my ex-wife when I dropped Ankle Biter off tonight after supper.  The first thing she said to me?

“Wow, Todd…that’s awesome.  You absolutely have to take the job!”

But I don’t want to give up any time with my son…how is this thing going to work?

“Don’t worry about it. We’ll work something out.  I’ll pick him up every day after work and we’ll figure a schedule over the next couple of weeks.”

Holy sh*t.

So yeah…that’s how it all turned out.  My ex is really incredible.  We don’t have a specific plan yet, but it involves an overnight during the week and possibly one extra morning for 90 minutes instead of supper.  So in the end, I won’t miss out on any time and might even gain a few hours.  Hell…she even said that she’d pick him up on my Friday night until I got off of work.  How awesome is she to do that for me?

I’m extremely fortunate to have the relationship I’ve got with my ex…and I’ll never take that for granted.

Oh…and in case you were wondering…today is officially a good day.

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12 thoughts on “Career vs. Family: How do you choose?

  1. I’m really glad this worked out for you. It is a huge struggle to manage work hours and family time (and a big reason why I do the job I do is for the flexible time). I’m really glad that you both can make the best choice for your kid and it not become a pissing match – – that’s fantastic.

    Congratulations!!

  2. You’re absolutely making the right decision, man. I know firsthand how the sacrifices can suck, in terms of quality time with your kid. But it will work out better for everyone in the long term if you take the opportunity (which is pretty much what everyone else already said, but I didn’t want to feel left out).

    Congratulations!

  3. Rock on CBG!

    I’ve had to turn down many opportunities at work because they require travel. Can’t do that as a single mom whose ex-husband travels 95% of the time… so yeah, I get this.

    Glad to see it worked out. Congrats on the new position!

  4. It’s great to see that you are able to make this work out. It’s a bit of a shame that the boss wouldn’t let you make up the half hour earlier or something though.

    Kudos to you and your ex for making it work so well. A great relationship between you two will do wonders for the Ankle Biter down the road.

  5. M — Well…at this point happy endings exist in this particular case. There’s still that whole “long distance relationship” thing that I need to correct at some point…

    trudi — I realize just how fortunate I am when it comes to dealing with my ex. It could be a WHOLE lot worse…so I do my best to not rock the boat.

    Sean — I would have absolutely given up the job to keep my 2-hours-a-week visitation going on (two suppers each week in addition to the every-other-weekend). At this point, it might actually turn into a situation where I end up with MORE time…so it’s really been a blessing.

    Michelle — Thanks!!

    Sunnie in NC — I appreciate it. I’m pretty happy about the whole situation.

    J — Yeah…I can only imagine how nasty something like this could be with two ex’s who don’t get along at all.

    T — It’s unfortunate in your situation because your ex travels all the time. My ex and I don’t travel very often, so when the opportunity comes up to go somewhere the other is usually around to look after Ankle Biter so the other can get away. We’ve both been fortunate thus far.

    Naked Girl in a Dress — Thanks! 🙂

    Miss K — I didn’t really tackle the topic as much as I could have, but yeah…the choice absolutely sucks. And to be put into a position where nobody else is willing to budge makes things even tougher.

    LoneWolf — That’s probably the primary reason why I get along with my daughter’s mom and my son’s mom…I don’t want any bitterness to be there between the parents when the kids grow up. That could really turn nasty and unnecessarily so.

  6. The battle between family and work as to quality time is of no actual problem. The only problem here is on how to let the family that you are doing giving your all for the rewards that are waiting in the future. This reward is not yours, its you family’s. I have a related article that you can read on power of referrals to your blog posts

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