I switched to part time work a month ago which was technically two weeks of work and two weeks of vacation. While I do not have enough part time work experience to determine if it’s for me, I was already able to spot a pattern that I need to factor as I head full on into it.
I switched to part time because I was overwhelmed with everything and it took me a while to identify I was overwhelmed and why I was overwhelmed. I had my child in the thick of COVID 19 crisis in March 2020 and was off work for nine months which was a mix of maternity and parental leave. Post this time off work, back to work was mostly remote with no obligation to show up physically and this was a huge help to coordinate crèche drop offs and pick ups. All good somewhat until 2023 when Companies started asking for employees to show up physically and guess who was quick to join the wagon…my dear employer. It started with asking for two times a week voluntary show up which I started doing whenever it was convenient to a mandatory three times a week show up in the office. With this change, my routine started falling apart and life became a rush which led to things falling through the cracks professionally and personally. It was a struggle to keep up with the physical and mental demand of it all. Given it all creeped up slowly, it took me awhile to identify what was going on.
I was close to quitting until I realised I can actually pay for help in some way so I got post crèche childcare for three days a week. There’s a load of mom guilt that came with this which deserves it’s own separate post at some point. The childcare was okay until it was not as I didn’t have reliability and this will come at short notice requiring me to scramble for back up. Getting childcare is not easy and not cheap either and I had no alternative childcare lined up so I knew it was time to make a call. Through all this, my Husband was pulling more than his fair share as we both acknowledged I was overwhelmed and just didn’t have the capacity to do a lot. We had a discussion on how to move forward and we were both ready to reduce work hours to close the gap. As I needed more space with my status, it was easy to make the call for me to reduce to 50% instead of 80% for both of us as I not only need time for childcare but also for me to catch up with life needs.
So here we are with me at 50% and with the attendant reduced income. In making the decision, the financial impact was not a decider because I know I have alternative income that will partially offset the reduced 9 – 5 salary.
In the two weeks I worked part time before my vacation, I was able to keep to schedule 100% in week 1 and in week 2 I ended up working almost full time. I did not respect my schedule and even did more than 8 hours of work on some days and I justified it with me going on vacation. I know if this is going to work I need to apply the right boundaries and stick to my schedule otherwise resentment will creep in when I feel I’m working way more than I’m paid for.
To fix this, I will tackle it in two ways; first path is reviewing my project list with my Manager and align handover dates for the extra work I should no longer be doing. The second path is booking activities for my time off work so there are personal things I have to do which forces me to stop work.
Fingers crossed this works out and life gets more balanced as I am not financially ready to fully stop work.