Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Making Decisions

I have always been a tad bit indecisive. This is part of my versatility thing that I have been working on the past few years. Analyze the situation (quickly) and make a decision when one needs to be made. I am getting much better at this in my professional life.

Personal life? Not so much.

Leif will start public school... first grade, this fall. I am taking a big gulp and registering him for this new phase of his life on March 1 with a good friend who is also in the same position. Declining that private school option that we have been with for the last 6 years with Leif and jumping over to the scary unknown. The place where kids are eaten alive.

Ok, kidding. I have friends whose kids are surviving with minimal scars.

I survived public school.

But I also had my mom home there waiting with homemade cookies and orange juice at the end of the day.

This has been killing me for the last year or so as I stare down this new aspect of Leif's life. Public school. A bus. A class with actual desks in rows. A teacher to student ratio of more than one to six.

Today I met with one of my managers. I truly am lucky to be in such a great group with two women who have children and have been through this all before.

I am also extremely lucky to be in a position where I can make decisions about my career and schedule. Not many women can choose whether they work 40 hours a day, flex their time and work from home, or opt for a less than full time schedule.

I trust my managers and appreciate their input. So when my manager had a quick answer for me this morning on what I should do this fall with my son going into first grade, as one mom who has been there and done that with a very successful career, I truly appreciated it.

Last year I carried seven projects where six of them were my own with my name as PI or Co-PI. This year it dropped to four. Three of those finish (or wind down substantially) on September 30th. I am in a position where (if my proposals pending out there don't come through) I will be looking for work. This hasn't happened in years.

"Do it now," she said. "It won't hurt your promotability, do it when you actually have a decrease in work. Try not to go below 80% time."

And I left her office elated. My answer! And it felt right.

Starting late this summer I am dropping from full full time. To just mostly full time. Or almost full time.

And with any luck I will have more time in the evenings to hang with my kids, get dinner made and just be happy.

And to be there with homemade cookies and orange juice. (Maybe.)


Jay said...

I am glad there is a solution that works with your career!
It's unlikely grade 1 will have desks in rows;o)
The young miss will probably also appreciate a less demanding schedule.

vanessa said...

Fantastic! I am so happy for you!