Millennium Mom

Monday, December 1, 2008


Being a part of a dual-career family requires that you become very flexible. Not the yoga pose flexible, but the comfortable with last minute changes, meet in the middle flexible. This past week has been a true test of our flexibility, let me illustrate to bring the point home.

When we left for Detroit on Wednesday we knew that our nanny Kirsten would be calling us on Friday to let us know which days off this week she would need. She had thought it would be Sunday (which would require no days off), Monday or Tuesday. When we got her message on Friday it was Tuesday and Friday. Of course, Tuesday was the bad day for me. I could handle Monday no problem, but Tuesday was more difficult. Friday was doable so I immediately signed up for Friday, I would work from home. This also took away a bit of guilt, as I have a work holiday event Friday night and Arnie leaves to go skiing with his dad, so the kids will be with a sitter. This way I get to spend time with them on Friday before I leave.

So, we had Tuesday to deal with. We came home on Saturday to attend an event and scheduled a first meeting with a potential nanny on Sunday. She was recommended by our service, giving Kirsten is moving to Cleveland. Arnie came up with the idea that if we liked he after meeting her, we would pay her to watch the kids on Tuesday, go through the normal routine and then get the report from the kids on what they thought. We did this with Kirsten and it was a great way to see what the kids thoughts. Well, we liked her and she was available on Tuesday. So phew...we have that covered.

So things were looking good until about 2pm today when I found out my finance person who was supposed to present a workshop for me at the University of Michigan (I run the recruiting team) had a business trip to attend and we couldn't find a sub. Thank god for me that my husband is in finance and I called in a favor. I pitched a "you can call in and present via phone" while the marketing person is up on campus. But go figure, after many calls with the University they don't have speaker phones, and we can't bring one to hook up as the phones are bolted to the walls so no access to the wires. Being the wonderful husband that he is, Arnie stepped up and will now drive up to Michigan with another team member (his third trip to Michigan in 3 weeks, he knows Route 75 really well). Yes, the kids won't see him tomorrow night, but I (and P&G) were in a bind and he got us out of it.

That is what flexibility is all about, stepping in, making changes, adapting your schedule and going with the flow. I think we have become masters of it. We used to fret when a child was sick and someone had to stay home, but now we just deal with it. Most meetings can be called into, working remotely is a breeze and 9 to 5 isn't what it used to be anyway. We certainly give way more than 40 hours a week, so taking the flexibility when we need it is not a problem. Always remember, take a deep breath and it never seems quite as bad when you are through.


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