This weekend, we moved into our new home. The whole week leading up to it was hectic, as expected, as we scrambled to pack up over ten years of apartment life while setting up our forever home. Add to that the emotional turmoil of the Las Vegas massacre and the loss of the great musician that is Tom Petty, we were tapped out. I had already taken off over a week of work prepping for the move, but life wasn’t done throwing obstacles at me.
My son got sick. Really sick. High fever. Screaming and crying in pain and discomfort at all hours. My heart was breaking for my little boy that I couldn’t comfort and anxiety was rushing in my chest.
What am I going to do about work? I just took off a week.
The timing was pretty bad and it took some careful maneuvering to work it out. My husband was able to take a day. I worked from home with family coming in to take care of my sick baby. We were lucky enough to have support and a strong kid. We made it through the week without me needing to take more time. Every parent says it. It takes a village. It really does. I don’t know how anyone can do it alone.
I know my boss would have been understanding, and it’s not that I don’t have the vacation time (I had been saving it for the move anyways), but it’s the underlining pressure that it will somehow hurt my career if I put my family first when they need it. My career is important to me, but my success also is directly tied to my desire to create a better life for my family. But what good is that if I can’t be there when I’m needed? Why do I have to feel this struggle? How serious do things have to be for me to feel like it’s okay to take time off? I know I’m not alone in this, as it seems to be an epidemic. But how do we change the culture? For women in particular still vying for their place, I feel the pressure mount. I feel the sacrifice on a regular basis, and I know that’s not going away.
My new home means a bit longer of a commute, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for an exponential improvement in my and my family’s quality of life. I know there will be more battles, more trying times, more moments of pressure of being pulled in too many directions. I will do my best to always do what’s best for my family. That’s really all I can do.