Monday, April 27, 2009



I am between a rock and a hard place.

I am struggling.
Trying to find balance.


I am between a rock and a hard place.

Have you noticed how lame my posts have been? I have been tired. Over worked.

My long time readers know all about my job. It WAS the perfect balance for me. Yes, my 4am to 8am crazy hours made for a long day - but it all boiled down to a fairly interesting job, no childcare costs and most importantly, the ability for me to have a "real" job AND be a stay at home mom.

While I was pregnant with DJ, I was laid off from a company in the hi-tech industry. I never looked back. I could not fathom going back to the daily grind of the hi-tech, stressful, chaotic life I led pre-kids. I was "saved" when I had Anderson while still on maternity leave! And decided that childcare costs for two kids less than a year apart was crazy. So, never went back to work.

Then, when Ander was 2 I started getting the itch...the itch for more disposable income, the itch to exercise my professional skills, you know, the itch.

This amazing job basically fell into my lap. A good friend I met at playgroup found out about a crazy job that was part time from 4am to 8am. Not only did it work in terms of allowing me forgo any need of childcare - but it married my university education with my work experience. I have a degree in Canadian Studies with a focus on inter-governmental affairs - and I have a diploma (and 16 years experience) in marketing-communications. Oh ya baby! It was a great opportunity! I interviewed, landed the job and started almost immediately. That was 3 years ago.

It was a great gig - while it lasted! I basically got paid to watch the national news! Working for the Canadian federal government, I am part of a media team that monitors, analyzes and reports on news coverage. Our main "client" is actually the Prime Minister of Canada and his staff! They have a morning briefing and our media report is the bulk of that meeting.

OK, jump ahead to today. I got a new boss in January. Nice guy. But since he took control, my job has changed. The workload has exploded. For example, in the years past we monitored 8 stations and usually categorized 15-20 daily clips. Now, we have 13 stations and we do over 100 clips

It is completely heads down from 4am to, excuse me, 3am to 630am. Yep. I have been asked to work at 3am. Not only that, but I have also been asked to work on the weekend. First, it was a flexible shift - anytime I wanted on the weekend - now, my work needs to be done by 10am Saturday - meaning I have to complete 5 hours of work between 8pm Friday and 10 am Saturday - no longer very flexible, now, is it???!!!!

My new boss cannot seem to say no.

Our workload is crazy.

Then he sends an email asking for a huge change int he report for the Monday morning submission. He indicates in his Sunday evening email that if overtime is needed, that is OK. Hmmmmm...let's think about this - email sent at 8:43pm, I arrive at work at due at 630am...ya, um, excuse me...when could I squeeze in some overtime to help get the work load completed? Ya! Doesn't work!

OK - The increased workload, the new boss with no real idea of what and how we do our job, a very demanding "client" and a huge adjustment to my hours all constitute my "rock".

The hard place?

Well, that is Nortel.

My hubby works at Nortel. Nortel is in trouble. No one knows what is happening and no job is secure. This once hi-tech giant has gone into bankruptcy protection and it looks very grim. We have no idea how much longer David will have a job or an income. Since the company is in protection, no severance will be granted.

This is extremely stressful for everyone. But, my heart goes out to hubby - having to go in every day, remain focused, committed and hard working - with all the uncertainty clouding his workplace.

He tries to keep positive. He tries to let things not impact him - h has a healthy outlook that what will happen, will happen. But, I can see the stress eating at him.

Then, I keep getting offered more work hours. I am not ready for full time - I love having my days at home with the kids. I do not want to have to worry about childcare - I want to care for my children. But, if David should loose his job - then I would have a secure full time job. (well, at least secure till my next contract renewal!) Plus, my director has gone to bat for me before - he is loyal to those who demonstrate commitment to the team and good work. He secured me a contract that allowed me a full year maternity leave with benefits. I feel like if I say no to extra hours and longer hours, that he may "loose that faith in me". He is hard-nose like that. People try to never cross him - he can make your life hell!

So, I am struggling. I am struggling because I am getting even less sleep than before. I am struggling because my workload had multiplied, I am worried about my hubby's job, mental state and peace of mind.

I am struggling with where I want to be in 2-5 years in terms of my professional work - and if declining extra hours and responsibilities will negatively impact my desires and future opportnities.

For me, working full time would mean we would need childcare for Madigan every morning - and then when school is out - for all three - just in the morning. I would have the afternoons to spend with them - and sooner than I realize, they will all be in school full days. It would not be that hard to do...and we could find very affordable options that would capitalize on our new income source and that would help us financially. But I would be working fulltime...

I really feel like I am between a rock and hard place right now.

And that explains my lack of quality posts - Ummm, have I ever posted quality posts???!!!!!

OK - whine and b*tchfest is over. Tomorrow we will be back to our regular bloggy-self!

Oh! I have so much to share with you!!!! Funny stories about the kids, fitness news, weight loss journey tidbits - Let me tell you, the Fringe is never boring...just my posts of late!!!!


Sue said...

I wish there was some sage advice I can offer but I don't have anything to offer except my shoulder and my support. You are one of the strongest people I know but I can totally understand your stress. Rest assured that it won't last forever - things do change eventually. Hang in there, my friend. You know where to find me if you need me.

A Buns Life said...

Ugh. Times like these that I hate being the grown-up.....It sounds like you better do what it takes to keep your job and just try to keep it to as few hours as possible for now....unless it would be easier to go full-time? You would still be with the kiddos in the afternoon, but would HAVE to go to bed when they do....I'm sorry this is so hard.

Tara R. said...

That's a lot to have to take in. I hope the job situation works out well for David, and for you.

Marlène said...

I'm sorry to hear of your predicament. It drives me crazy when people assume that we Ottawans are "safe" from the economic downturn.

I hope things sort themselves out for you and your family soon...

(Does the Hill have a subsidized childcare facility??)

Kat said...

Oh man. That is STRESSFUL! I can see the rock. I can see the hard place. No fun.
I'm glad you wrote about it. I think you need to get that off your chest and it helps you to think about all the sides too.

Praying for all to sort itself out quickly and for the best of your family.

InTheFastLane said...

Shoot. That is stressful. And balance is hard. Hang in there. Sometimes that is all we can do is hang on for dear life.

BTW - I started a new blog which is private and tried to email invites to my blog friends, if I missed you and you would like an invite, email me :)

Pregnantly Plump said...

I am so sorry. What a rough time. I do understand some of what you're feeling. For a while it seemed like our little area was insulated from the economy (except for us, naturally) but now more and more people are getting hit. I wish I had good advice for you. I'll be thinking about you guys and hopefully things will begin to work out for you soon.