I’ve been working part-time since October 2018. I was so happy to have made the decision, ask for what I needed and then stick to it. Since making the decision I’ve endured a litany from other people, “Wow you’re so lucky, I wish I could work part time” or “So you’re really working full-time right and getting paid less right?” or “I tried that a few times and it never worked” or, from the men, naturally, “So you can spend more time with your kids.” Sometimes said with a question, more often than not, it’s a statement. I didn’t do it to “spend more time with my kids”, stop saying that men. GEEZ-US that is the most annoyingly presumptive statement to say to a career driven woman.
Here’s what’s been working:
I’ve stuck to my 24-hours a week schedule. They don’t get much more out of me, and I’m getting used to perpetually having somewhere around 100 unread emails in my inbox
Said emails? I scan often, determine if I need to do something about it and otherwise ignore them. Zero Inbox Girl I am not. If I were, that’s what I’d be doing for 5 hours a day.
I’m able to go to all my therapy, chiro, stretch appointments and not take leave. I’m not getting paid, but at least I’m not freaking out over draining my leave balances because it takes a goddamn army to keep my body and mind from breaking down these days.
I’m able to take X to his appointments after school, pick up Z after the appointments and get home at a reasonable hour.
Here’s what’s not working - SCHEDULE
I originally thought I’d work 4 days and take a day off. Until they told me that if my usual day off is Mondays I don’t get any holiday pay. So...ok, call me a typical gov’t worker, go ahead. I’m not forfeiting that, are you kidding me? (I got away with Mondays for a couple months before they figured it out...damn that was nice)
I tried choosing Wednesdays. That is the worst day of the week to take off. I got into a rhythm on Tuesday, took Wednesday off, and then Thursday felt like Monday again. Plus, I ended up not really taking that day off anyway and found myself working most Wednesdays.
Other days of the week? Well there’s standing meetings on the rest of them so that’s out.
Now I’m trying out 5 shorter days across the board.
Three 8-hr days doesn’t work because of the structure of my job and meetings and managing and blah blah blah. I mean, I have to give somewhere because I’m essentially trying not to lose career time yet work half time. I’m still trying to lean in. Hopefully I can figure out how not to fall on my face?
This is definitely a work in progress. I talked to a neighbor who works part-time and she told me it took her a year to settle into a rhythm, and I’m realizing she is so right.
On a related note. Here’s a peek into how frustratingly slow they can be. I talked to my boss at the beginning of last September about changing my position and moving to part time. He agreed and I let him know my plan was to start at the end of October. They just managed to get out the announcement for the job I’m vacating two weeks ago. WTF. I’ve been limping along trying to manage a full-time position at half-time. No wonder I’m flailing right now! At least the light is at the end of the tunnel, and I may get my birthday wish after all. They have until May 11 to fill that position. Get on it!