Every cloud has a silver lining, but it’s still a cloud

I have been remiss yet again with my blog posts.

One of the reasons for this particular lapse, is that I’ve been working away a bit, recently. Working away has had it’s pros and cons. But to put those in context, I should probably give you a bit of background. I’ll give you the short version (if it is actually possible for me to give the “short version” – I’ll try…)

In real life, I grew up to be a Project Manager. I kind of stumbled into it, but I enjoyed it. I felt as though I was quite good at it and my relative success in my career made me quite proud of myself. I progressed from Project Management in big Companies to Programme Management in a small Company. All of these roles involved long, stressful hours but came with the pertinent rewards. I bought my own car, I bought my own house, I had lots of good holidays and a pretty busy social life, with cash to burn. I have always been very independent, not just financially, but being able to take care of myself has always been important to me. After all, if you want something doing properly… And besides, there was never (well hardly ever) a man around, to speak of. So, I had to make sure I could support myself on my own.

And then my Beloved came along… And for quite some time I was still adamant that I would only depend on myself and not on him. Not much in the way of balance and reciprocation, there, I admit.

When I fell pregnant with Strawbug, my boss moved me into a “strategic” role. At the time, I was devastated. I figured he thought that things would change and I would be of little use once the baby came along. In reality, once Strawbug was born, I stopped caring about my career. I began to define myself based on how good a job I thought I was doing, being a Mother. When I went back to work it took me a while to be happy there again. But going part time gave me the best of both worlds and my new role wasn’t stressful in any way.

And then I fell pregnant for the second time. I really, really didn’t care about my career. My job was a means to an end.

Until I lost it.

Nearly 4 months pregnant with a growing bump and not a hope in hell of getting another permanent role before Peanut was born.

It was at that time that I was literally forced to depend on my Beloved. Financially speaking. In the early months and years of our relationship I held the financial responsibility and we’d agreed at that time that it was OK, because relationships were about “swings and roundabouts”; sometimes one of us bears the load (financial or otherwise), sometimes it’s the other and where we can do, we share it.

But by golly, it is much easier to subscribe to that idea when you’re not the one asking for handouts!

As the year went on, I learned to be OK with being on the low trajectory of the swing. I learned to depend on my Beloved. But, I also started to feel quite down. If my confidence had taken a knock with my “strategic” move, being moved out all together and have no-one invite me in to another job, pretty much sledge hammered it sub-terrain.

But, when Peanut was 4 months old, I managed to secure a contract role at an Analyst level, which gave me a good work/life balance. Low stress, working from home, a job I should be able to do with my eyes shut. And then 5 weeks ago, they asked me to help with a project that was in crisis….

So, that’s the short version (believe me, it really is). Which brings me back to the pros and cons of the last few weeks.

CONS
1. I miss my babies.
2. I miss my beloved
3. When I’m home, I’m too tired to fully participate in family life (I don’t help much with the chores and I don’t do many of the night shifts with Peanut)
4. I’m shattered (did I say that already?) from lots of driving and long hours that I’m not used too.
5. And there’s pressure and stress, another thing I’ve not been used to for some time.

PROS
1. Turns out, I can still do it. (The pre-strategic job, I mean). Which has been a wee but of a confidence booster
2. I miss my Beloved. I appreciate him more. Working from home together most days, I realise I had started to take him (and all that he does – which is a lot) for granted
3. I’m no longer eating a whole packet of Garibaldi’s nearly every day (too embarrassed to do that in an actual office, with actual colleagues watching)
4. We’ve been able to book a nice holiday and start to save for a bigger house with more money coming in
5. I generally get to read half of a chapter of my book each time I travel (something I started nearly 2 months ago and I’m only about 3 chapters in!)

Every cloud has a silver lining, I guess. But it’s still a cloud. 5 pros, 5 cons. Although it’s fairly obvious (to me, anyway) that the first two cons on my list, pretty much negate all and any pros I/you/we could think of.

So, as the agreement to help on this project, in this way, was supposed to be temporary, I’m hoping that the end is near and I can return to my former, “easy”, life of balancing remote conference calls and deadlines with the daily day care runs.

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