I’m glad that I’m able to work a flexible, part-time job. In a big way, it is the fabled “best of both worlds”; things don’t go well when I’m “at home” full time (not that that’s an option financially, anyway), and I don’t think I’d be happy being away from my kids full-time.
But in the course of a couple of conversations this week, it’s become clear that these two bullshit beliefs have more or less of a hold on me at once:
1. Since I work part-time (and far less than A), he shouldn’t really have to sacrifice anything about his job for family stuff. So I shouldn’t be asking him to go in late so I can make it to my early morning dentist appointment, and if, say, a child is sick and one of us needs to stay home, it ought to be me.
2. Since I work part-time (and far less than most people in my office), it’s silly for me to take time off to deal with family or personal stuff. I’m only in the office two days a week—what’s wrong with me that I can’t take care of everything home-related during the other five days?
It’s not like I hold these beliefs in the sense of actually being able to conform my life to them. A misses lots of work to cover stuff for me (to where he’s lost some cred with his many childless coworkers), and I regularly max out my paid time off to stay home with sick kids, go to doctor appointments, take mental health time for myself, etc. etc. But each of these wacked-out statements kind of sort of makes sense under some system of logic (usually a system based on a serious miscalculation of what one person—specifically, a parent at home with two little kids around—can do in a day), so each of them has some kind of power over how I feel about what I do.
Sheesh. No wonder I never feel like I’m doing it right.