12 Weeks Post Partum

If I was returning to work, yesterday would have been my first day (technically at 11 weeks and change but you get the drill). In my head, I can’t even imagine going to work right now. My life is still upside down and there are new adjustments every day. Halley doesn’t nap anymore during the day so I’m on with her all the time. Our living quarters are a mess and I’m lucky that I can get dinner on the table every night. That’s my accomplishment. Let’s change maternity leave, let’s give moms a chance to spend precious moments with their children and learn to deal with motherhood on their own terms. It is the most rewarding experience of my life and I’d have to think it’s the same for others.

Do I miss going to work? Hmm. To be honest with you, doing my job was 1000x easier than being home with my daughter every day. Sitting at my desk, making phone calls, writing thank yous, etc. No problem. Would I like to work? Perhaps if it was very flexible, from home or part time and local. But going back to a full time job right now just doesn’t even begin to make sense in my mind. More power to those who can and/or want to. I’m not cut out for that stuff. I could barely leave my baby for a few hours to go to wedding (and I was leaving her with my sister).

How did you feel about going back at 12 weeks? Did you?

Thoughts, Questions, Comments … ┬áLeave below.

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Why You Can’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

For me, it’s hard to imagine working a job where I don’t get out until 10 or 11 pm every night. A job where I can’t make weekend plans because I never know if something is going to drop and I am going to have to be on hand to pick up the pieces. Where making plans with my friends and family is something that can’t happen on a regular basis and my only social communications involve a phone or the internet.

I also can’t imagine a life where every day is mine by choice and I have no responsibilities (regardless of whether or not I am making income). A life where I could party all day and all night. or sleep all day. Or sit around and wait for a phone call.

I can tell you one thing though, if you fall into either of those categories there are some unnecessary challenges that will come with the territory. You can’t get all of your fulfillment/satisfaction out of one thing. Because, if that one thing should ever disappoint, it will be much harder to deal with it. If you spend all your time, kicking your ass at work and no time enjoying yourself, there will be times when you are overlooked or didn’t get a promotion that you wanted. If you don’t have the social life or outside activities to focus some time and energy on, this can be seriously depressing and damaging to your mental health. Likewise, if you are only looking for social fulfillment – you will eventually be left out of the conversation when your friends have work the next day or talk about moving up a corporate ladder or how their business is doing.

It’s important to spread your eggs out. You should have meaningful relationships and you should have a career or volunteer activity that you can also throw your efforts into. No matter what, you should be working towards something whether it’s creating content or art, etc or managing and making a household more efficient or volunteering to be part of a community garden, it’s important to be an active participant in life.

How did you establish your work life balance? Was it difficult? Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Leave below.

Gossip Cop and “Friends” at Work

At work it can sometimes make things seem more bearable to talk about what’s going on in your coworker’s personal lives or personnel issues in the office rather than work or fluff conversations about the weather or what you did this weekend. We have all fallen into this trip whether it was intentional or not. Although, it may seem nice to know everything that’s going on around you: if so and so received a warning or blah blah is having issues with another coworker. It may make you feel good to know that you’re not the only one with issues in this work environment. It may make you feel somewhat empowered to know that you are not in this bad situation.

Whatever feelings it makes you feel, positive or negative know that there is absolutely no benefit to participating in office gossip and more than like, it can get you in trouble. If you know something you are not supposed to and make the mistake of mentioning it to the wrong person, it can make things seriously worse. If you have a connection with an Executive but are working for his/her direct report it may cause them to worry about their position and change their attitude towards you. They may feel threatened or uncomfortable which will trickle down to you. Or they may treat you differently in order to look good to their boss, only to have your coworkers resent you for it.

Any personal relationships you maintain at work can eventually even be a risk and in general, it’s better to not talk about work at work or home at work with your coworker/friend. It is very important to keep things professional in the office because you never know when your “friend” will become your boss or when you will become your friend’s boss. You don’t want to have to fire someone who is your friend, because that will hurt your relationship.

If you start at work with no connections, its best to make sure that throughout your time at this organization/office you keep your friendships to a certain level of closeness. When one of you moves on, you can develop the relationship without all of the added risks.

My advice, keep your lips sealed when the gossip starts and keep a distance from your work friends (until you or they move on of course!). If they are good enough to keep around, they will understand this mentality and it will help you keep things professional in the office. It’s a tough decision to make but ultimately, it’s for the best.

Advice? Questions? Comments? Leave Below.

so tired

I’m pretty sure I am barely here right now. Here, as in on this Earth. Pregnancy is exhausting and I guess working 14 hour days is not recommended. I have been participating in a conference for the past few days on best practices for non-profits in a similar position to the one I currently work for. It has been really affirming and made me appreciate what I do.

It also made me realize how we should get rid of those who are not in it to win it. We have several employees who are here to be here for a job but are not here to make a difference and it truly is upsetting. Any tactics for inspiring people to work or inspiring them to move on? Advice is appreciated.

questioning my existence (in my current work environment)

There isn’t much worse than working your ass off and feeling like no one noticed or appreciated it. I fell into the non-profit industry mostly by accident. I have asked myself over the last year and a half, why am I still here?

rest assured

Making a difference? Sure. Helping those less fortunate? Yes. But I realize that I don’t have to work here to do those things. I could always do them on my own. and I have done them in the past in variety of ways before I was even in the working world.

Now I am in the position of thinking about how I will take care of my child in the future and the way I have been treated at work combined with my overwhelming desire to stay at home with him or her makes me question my future at this current job or at any job where I can’t work from home most days.

I need to find a way where I can be in charge of my own work flow, feel appreciated, and take care of what is and will be number 1 to me, my baby. Thus, I have discovered the world of Virtual Assistance-ship.

My experience working in a very small non-profit, if you haven’t done so yourself generally makes you a jack of all trades. I do everything from entering gifts, writing sending acknowledgement letters, soliciting donors, planning events, editing, writing, e-mail client use, social media, mailing, stewardship, vendor relations, researching prospects, public relations, confidential filing, working with wills, trusts, estates, stock gifts, etc.

I think this could translate well into a VA career. What do you think? Thoughts? Advice? Comments? Please leave below.