Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ready or not, I’m doin’ this

When you’re too afraid to jump in with both feet, sometimes you need someone to come along and shove you off the diving board.

That’s pretty much how this SAHM is became a part-time working mom. I know I mentioned this a couple weeks ago all nonchalantly, and you were probably like, “Um, HELLO? Are we ever going to talk about this?” And you’re right. Going back to work after two years of SAHM-ing is big, and I should’ve kept you all up to speed. But it all happened lightning fast, and this whole job thing has really cut into my blogging time.

When I quit my Big Girl Corporate Job to become a SAHM two years ago, I had big plans of eventually starting independent consulting and taking on some small projects on the side. Then when Quinn turned a year old, I got my business license and bought the domain for my future website… and that’s it.

I didn’t build the website, or get business cards, or do a single thing to try and attract clients. The whole idea of jumping in with both feet terrified me. Starting a business is a full-time job, and I already had a full-time job – being Q’s mommy. I figured failure was eminent unless I gave it my all, and my all already belonged to someone else. So I didn’t try. I only dreamed.

Right after I got my business license, “Company A” found me on LinkedIn and wanted to talk to me about a full-time position. I told them I was only interested in contract gigs, but they still wanted to meet with me. Doh! “Okay, I guess I’m really doing this,” I thought. So I met with Company A, and it sounded promising, but they couldn’t get the budget request approved to afford me. Part of me was disappointed, but I was mostly relieved.

About a month later, “Company B” found me the same way. Again, I told the recruiter that I was only interested in contract work, and she said the head of HR wanted to meet with me anyway. Déjà-frickin’-vu. So I went on the interview, and a few minutes into our meeting, I realized his ulterior motive was to convince me to give up consulting and accept their full-time opportunity. As flattering as it was, I politely declined and let him know that if the person they hired needed some help, they should give me a call.

Nine months later, that’s exactly what happened. I had been blissfully ignoring my dreams of owning my own business and becoming an independent consultant. I had been living quite happily in “Someday Land” and “Maybe Later-ville.” But then “Company B” called me up out of the blue and said they had some projects for me.  Um… huh? Yeah. Sure. Okay…

The next thing I know, I’m tearing apart my closet and dragging my old work clothes out of the garage. I met with the head of HR again, and Voilá! Now, I’m a consultant.

Whoa. How did that happen?

So now I’m working part-time for a really cool company. I work in the office one day a week and from home a few more hours a week. I straighten my hair and put on actual make-up. I wear cute business-casual attire that doesn’t even resemble yoga pants covered in slobber. I interact with other adults and talk about not-kids. I attend meetings about business strategy instead of going to the park for the fourth time in a week.

The best part? I feel smart. I’m reminded that I am smart. Seriously, preggo brain and the mommy brain that follows are no joke. I had started to really worry that my pre-baby intelligence had went the way of my pre-baby body. But now, people turn to me for my expertise, and my professional opinion somehow becomes the final decision. I remember this feeling from my Big Girl Corporate Job days, and I like it. This is why I have an M.B.A. (And the extra money is kinda rad, too. Not gonna lie.)

This sudden transition has left the three of us with little time to adjust, but we’re managing. I found a babysitter that Quinn likes, and I’m learning to let go. I get preoccupied with worry while I’m at work, and I might cry a little in the car on the way there, but I’m getting used to our new routine.

But more on my working-mom guilt and babysitter angst in another post (which are oh-so-very real). Right now, I have work to do.