Monday, October 20, 2008

Jobs and Babies

I am coming to a realization that I suppose all mothers reach eventually: I do want a job. But I don't want a job that is less entertaining and more annoying than staying home with my baby.

Somehow this had never occurred to me before. I've supported myself since the day I left college, and I've had a job since I was 16. Between my family's Protestant work ethic and many years of professional training, I expected I would always work. Staying home with a kid was never on the list; I thought I'd be bored witless.

Then I had my first adult employment encounter with Big Business. (When I met them before, they were usually trying to sell me something.) Every time I talk to them, I'm less and less impressed. (Also, every time, the salary I want goes up. Corporate recruiters beware: stupidity costs.) For this I'm going to leave my tiny baby with strangers? So I can be overworked and stressed out, doing something I don't even care about? Grad school was bad enough, but at least I cared.

If, say, the editing job wants me, that's interesting and rewarding- and part-time. But we don't really need the money. We won't be rolling in cash, though I wouldn't mind freelancing some or translating, but we'll get by just fine.

That grinding noise? That's my priorities, shifting.