Friday, April 24, 2015

Getting to Know "Working Me" Again

Working Mom Again | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
My tea, calendar, notes, folders and laptop:
all signs revealing I'm back in the workforce.
After two years of adjusting to the SAHM lifestyle, Hubby and I came to the realization that as our youngest prepares to head off to college, another income could ease the financial stress of having children in college. Thankfully, while sifting through social media sites on my smartphone one evening, I happened across a position that could satisfy my need to earn a paycheck, allow me to continue to manage my responsibilities at home and make use of my professional experiences. In mid-March, I began my new job as the assistant editor/web editor for Piedmont Parent magazine. It's a part time, work-from-home position that is turning out to be exactly what I envisioned. However, I have learned a few things about "Working Me" that "SAHM Me" had forgotten or did not realize. 

First, Working Me's brain works a lot better when it's professionally challenged on a regular basis. Working Me is more productive and efficient. Working Me's head is much clearer with daily, weekly and monthly tasks and deadlines for which Working Me is accountable to a supervisor. Working Me feels normal again, which is odd because SAHM Me didn't feel abnormal until the normalcy slipped back in place.
Bunny Distraction | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
This little guy tries to distract me as he
plays in the yard outside my office window.

Working Me appreciates the weekends more now that there are less demands on my time on Saturdays and Sundays. However, Working Me doesn't hate Mondays the way many in the workforce attest to at the beginning of the workweek. Rather, Working Me enjoys every day, including the dastardly Monday, because Working Me loves her job.

Writer's block is not an issue anymore. Working Me has to write a blog nearly every day. SAHM Me still writes a weekly column and takes on the occasional freelance assignment. The only area of writing that has suffered has been the personal blog. As SAHM Me and Working Me adjust to this hybrid lifestyle, however, regular posts to Navigating Hectivity should pick up. 

Working Me's sleep habits have also improved. Working Me sleeps more deeply and does not suffer from bouts of insomnia during which SAHM Me used to catch up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Rather, by 10:30 p.m., Working Me is sleeping soundly. When morning rolls around, Working Me wakes up pleasantly refreshed and ready to take on a new day. Of course, there is precious little time for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now.
Telecommuter View | Navigating Hectivity by Micki Bare
Working with my desk facing this beautiful
view makes it easy to begin work each day.

Coffee is no longer a friend to either Working Me or SAHM Me. When the job started, Working Me began drinking coffee again. For twenty years, Working Me was an avid coffee drinker, putting away up to a pot a day. Last fall, Hubby and SAHM Me switched to tea. The coffee pot was still set to brew in the morning, but it brewed a blend of black, orange pekoe and Earl Grey teas. When Working Me slipped back into her coffee habit along with this new job, she began experiencing crushing caffeine crashes by 3 p.m. It wasn't a matter of simply refreshing her coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. Even with a little more caffeine, Working Me was so tired she was unable to function. At first, she entertained the notion it was her body adjusting to the demands of the new job. But it's a part time job. The hours are flexible. And her commute consists of walking into her office—a room off the living room—donned in pajamas, a robe and slippers. No, this caffeine crash was more about her body no longer tolerating high amounts of caffeine all that well. Since switching back to tea, the debilitating crashes have ceased. If she miss it, she can always point her nose toward Mom's kitchen and drink in the aroma of a strong pot of coffee while sipping tea.

Working Me also doesn't have as much time go shopping and spend money on clothes or household items. Plus, the paycheck is a dramatic help as she and Hubby prepare to send their youngest off to college with a new computer, dorm accessories, a plentiful meal plan and one of their cars.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
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Copyright 2015 Michele Bare