If you could not tell by my absence from the blogging world, I have been struggling the past several week to regain my balance after returning to a full time adult job for the first time in two and a half years…and my first time with kids in my entire life.
I feel empowered and driven with purpose to have a job, but on the same note I feel exhausted, that the days are going by faster than I would like, and as if I’m missing some serious bonding time with both my daughters, particularly my youngest. A day in the life is to wake up get dressed, prep the nanny for the days instructions, go to work, (I hate leaving the office for lunch), leave work around 4 or 5, return home to relieve the nanny, cook dinner, greet my husband as he walks in the door closer to 6 or 7, typically still on a work call. Dinner is had by 7 at the latest, sometimes with or without my husband depending on his work calls, but at least the girls are there to keep me company. Nothing quite as fascinating or rewarding as a nearly three year old girl with an incredibly limited vocabulary attempt to tell you about her day. And then it is bath, book, and bed just to get up in the morning and do it again. On a total I spend only about 3-4 hours a day with my sweet daughters…and yes it is heartbreaking.
Sadly though, and why I am posting this to Shopgirl and not Step-Parent’s Sanctuary, my real struggle is not with the home life but with my adjustment to the drastic change in career. Before I worked with customers, I was a leader, I answered directly to a VP of the company, I hired people, I fired people, I was given much independence and trust. The retail world is fast paced, your success is tangible and clearly measurable, your interactions are unique everyday. The office world…the real office world. The 9 to 5, water cooler and pen pushing world seems like absolute torture. Not to mention a demotion to the bottom of the food chain is a painful pill to swallow…all the way down the esophagus.
I am Human Resources. Much of my job is looking busy. Much of my job is waiting for work. I am an initiative person, this is nothing like me. I came in and a game plan for a billion things that need immediate attention in policies, organization, and protocol; but with my feeble retail experience I am reminded again and again that “I don’t know how a real company operates,” so I am instructed over and over and over again to just sit down and await the emails of complaints that come to my desk only on pay day, and only to be forwarded to accounting. I get to conduct interviews only when I’m invited to participate and in the rare occasion that a position is open. This is especially difficult considering in my old job I was an incredibly active, independent Human Resources department all within myself. I had over a hundred individuals in my care, I had to oversee Counseling Notices, Terminations, Interviews, Goal Setting, Employee and Store evaluations, only to name a very few of my responsibilities, and all of these were expected of me to perform on my own.
Last week I received an email from a coworker, it was the new cleaning schedule for the bathroom in our new building. I, of course, was assigned the first cleaning of the bathroom, alone. In retail the sales associates cleaned and cared for the bathroom. I was a sales associate and I happily scrubbed the commode knowing I was only showing my worth in every way possible. That was over seven years ago. Now here I am back at square one, tears began to stream down my cheeks as I scrubbed the shit off the stall walls from the people who had owned the building before us, months before. I scraped paint off the mirrors and tiles, there was no broom or mop, only paper towels.
While I shined the sinks I thought back to how far it is to fall being a new mom in the work force. Returning after a sabbatical. I didn’t come back having forgotten how to do my job, I didn’t come back less of a person, in fact I’d like to think I came back worth far more as I have more want and drive.
I could return to retail, but the hours of DM make for an incredibly absent mother in a town this size. Even store manager would pull me away on the weekends, missing big games, birthday parties, or recitals. It’s for them I do this…