It had me thinking back to a time when Alex turned two. I made the horrific jump from 2 days a week working mom to full-time working mom. At the time, I was pit-in-the-bottom-of-my-stomach unsure about this decision. Would my baby love his nanny more than me? Would he resent me for not being around more?
Fast forward almost five years and I think I made the right decision. I go into work at a reasonable hour and can take Alex to school nearly every day. (There are, of course, the occasional days when I am travelling or have a very early meeting, but I can count the number of those on my hands in the five years I have worked for Unilever). I work from home a couple of days a week which means I can take Avery to school some days. These work from home days also mean that I can be a computer lab volunteer, a learning center volunteer, a Shabbat mom and pretty much anything else the schools need me to do.
This job is the epitome of work-life balance.
It has been five years. And I am queen of the five year work itch. You have heard of the 'biological clock', well I think I have an 'intellectual clock'. And I am bored. Beyond bored.
How could I give up what I have with these (mostly delicious and adorable) kids?
So I have been thinking about what type of changes I could make and from the very least to most risky they are:
1. Stay with Unilever. Stay as a senior manager. Stay on the innovations side of the business. Just find another brand to work on. While this is the most ideal, it's also the most elusive. Unilever has strategically (and smartly) decided to invest in developing nations which means opportunities in the good ol' USofA are less than if I were willing to go to say, Singapore. So this will work only if I can find someone who wants to do tradesies with me.
2. Stay with Unilever. Stay a senior manager. Move to the implementation side of the business. This has potential, but nothing is available right now and I am SOOOOO ready to move right now.
3. Stay with Unilever. Stay on the innovations side of the business. Stretch myself into a director role. This would mean more face time, more travel, but this is one where there is actually an opening/real opportunity right now. It's scary, but feels like the kind of stretch that might be good for me.
4. Leave Unilever. In most cases this will mean commuting back to the city which I have nightmarish thoughts as the worst possible thing in the universe.
5. Leave Unilever and go to a specific place where I know the work will be hard, but exciting and rewarding - and by rewarding I also mean that the potential payout will be large. I would also get to work with people that I know, trust and respect. BUT...I will be in the city five days a week. On the days that I am not in the city, it will be because I am travelling around the country and around the world. I will need to change the paradigm with Jenny so that she comes much earlier each day (no more taking Alex or Avery to school) and stay later in the evening. This possible opportunity is the one that is playing major tug-of-war between my intelligence ego and my stay at home mommy ego. I should just let this go and politely decline, but I am stringing it along for some reason.
So I ask you kids, did I/will I make the right decision? What should I be when you grow up?