In some ways, we are settled pretty well in our new digs. The kids rooms are mostly set up; preschool for the Little One is going well. She and I are taking yoga classes together. She was excited to learn more about the Sikh culture and religion, so we enrolled her in some Khalsa school classes at the Gurdwara. The Little Mister and I have established a loose weekly routine which includes library trips and yoga. I even found a sitter for the Little Mister who comes two days a week to give me a chance to job search and do other things.
In other ways, I feel so scattered. We are trying to figure out boundaries with family. We are struggling with the differences in parenting styles with the grandparents. I did not expect to have to frequently remind my parents not to yell or constantly use screens (computers, phones, tablets) to entertain the kids. The job search is a big source of headache and heartache. I go from feeling panicked that I do not have a job yet to resenting Partner when he expresses concern about our finances.
I had heard that parents, particularly mothers, face challenges in the work force. A lot of assumptions are made about commitment and focus, but at least for the job search in the DC area, I was focused on social justice organizations. I thought that it would not be an issue for me. I have gotten some interviews, but no offers. I saw an opening for the organization I was working for when I was pregnant with the Little One. In spite of my misgivings because of the tough parts of my experience before, I applied.
A few weeks later, the ED called and I thought she was calling to schedule an interview. Instead, she said that she saw my application and wanted to make sure I knew that the job was more than 40 hours a week. Since I have small kids, she wanted me to be aware of that and to see if that changed my candidacy. I said that for now I wanted to be in the mix and if I changed my mind I would let her know. The encounter felt odd, she was cordial. I could not tell if she was talking me out of the position or trying to convince herself that I would be a good fit. After I hung up and thought more, I felt really angry with the assumption that my commitment had to be verified because I have small children and I was upset because the organization has helping parents parent the children they have AS PART OF THEIR MISSION. I wish I had thought fast enough to tell her that being a parent is the ultimate more than 40 hour a week job. That I have experience working through extreme fatigue and exhaustion. That I have experience working with difficult personalities and managing tantrums and meltdowns while in public.
I wonder if I am not getting offers because other organizations share the concern about my commitment and capabilities. As I continue to apply for jobs, I am struggling to stay positive and optimistic.
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