Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Work, Mommy, How?

Just had a GREAT (written sarcastically) call with a potential client. Of course it NEVER fails when I am on the phone - Emily will wake up from a nap, cry, fuss, talk, squeal - SOMETHING so the person on the other end can know she's there.

Today she was waking up from a nap and I was talking to a potential new client and was next to the baby monitor. She of course woke up because her "mommy is on the phone" radar went off and low and behold was fussing and talking LOUDLY. I didn't have time to turn the monitor down before she was heard and this is how the conversation went once the caller heard Emily...

CALLER: Is that a baby in your office?

ME: No, I am working from home today

CALLER: Oh. (very dry "oh")

ME: So did you want to set up an appointment to come in, I can see you tomorrow.

CALLER: Ummm. Do you work from home often?

ME: I do sometimes yes. My husband goes away to work for 2 days at a time and on those days I work from home.

CALLER: Well, I think I'll need someone that can give me 100% on my case, I am just too fragile right now.

ME: You have NOTHING to worry about. I understand how scary this is for you and I can assure you that I will give your case 110% of my time. I will follow through with everything from beginning to end for you.

CALLER: But what if I need you and you are working from home?

ME: Well, I will keep you updated on your case at all times and you will be able to reach me via phone or email if you need to.

CALLER: Well, I am not sure if I feel comfortable with someone that isn't in their office every day.

ME: Well I can assure you that you will be taken care of. If you'd like, I can have you come in tomorrow and we can have a consulation and then at the end of the consult if you would like to hire me we can go from there.

CALLER: Hmmm. Well, no thanks. I need someone that isn't playing a mom half the work week.


Needless to say I am pissed, hurt, disappointed, and feeling like I normally do with my business. When I got pregnant I was SO SURE I'd be able to watch Emily AND run a business full time with no problems. I was SO SURE it would be super easy to work from home with her here and nothing would be different business-wise. I couldn't have been MORE wrong!

It's been a frustrating journey for me. My business is/was something I am/was very proud of. I built it up from nothing and was actually to the point of bringing in money after all my bills (personal and business) were paid. It felt great to see the hard work I put in starting to pay off. Then...bedrest hit. That's when it all started changing. You CAN'T run a business on 2 days a week. It's impossible to do so. I don't know if I should give it up and just be a full time mommy or what. Both things I cherish. I cherish my business and I cherish my daughter. When Erik is home it's a great help and I am able to go in - but it's the days he is on shift that are tough on me. Sometimes that is 2-3 days a week depending if he has OT. If the week falls just right, he can be gone even more.

I am definitely NOT use to depending on someone financially so that is also extremely hard on me as well. Nothing feels worse than to say to my husband "I am a little short on my bills this month". He is great and doesn't blink an eye but the agony I feel inside is horrible. I feel like a failure. I feel like a burden. I feel like...well...shit.

I wish I knew the answers. I know Emily will get older and go to preschool which will free up some of my time, but it may be too late then. The other thing I think the time she hits preschool, I am sure another munchkin will be in the mix and I'll be struggling with that.

Oh the dilemmas!

Well I am going to go through some clothes on and take a walk with my squealing talking munchkin right now! It's a nice day and it always lifts my mood when I am stressed! :)


Anonymous said...

Too bad you never "play" mom, you are ALWAYS a Mom. Every single second of every single day...

I'm sorry that potential client did that. Baby discrimination sucks. Some people just don't get it.

Don't give up. You can do both, but you have to be willing to sacrifice a little of both to make it work. So you lose some clients, and you don't get to spend every day w/ Emily, but on the flip side, you get to be home with your little girl often enough that you aren't missing out on her big accomplishments.

I know it is hard relying on someone. Especially when you are used to being so independent, but Erik loves you, and is willing to help you out, so let him.

Sorry for the novel! But I wanted to let you know I get it.

Serenity said...

Don't give up your business!! Don't let clients that are like that one make you feel bad; they obviously don't know what they really need and can any lawyer really dedicate 100% of their time to one single client, it was just an excuse. The way I seen that conversation was they were going to be difficult no matter what this was just the warning to you that this was not worth your time. Someone else will come your way.
I also wanted you to know that when I went through all my CS stuff I loved that my attorney was so family oriented, she was always barefoot in her office, had toys for kids and her and her partners always had their kids in the office and they were busy. So don't get discouraged.
The last thing I want you to know is that me and my husband trade the kids around all day and he is home to run his business from his office with all three of our kids and no one has ever given us a hard time about being full time parents and working full time. So its totally possible and it DOES get easier as they get older. Don't give up what you have worked so hard for.