Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Battle for Family

Ok.  I've been silent for a while.  There's just been so much going on that this has had to take a back seat.  That's life, I suppose, right?  But I've got my knickers all up in a bunch, and I just have to let this out.

Our culture is messed up.  MESSED UP.  We have got our priorities so out of whack that it seems impossible that we can find our way back again.

So here's where I'm coming from.  I work for a big, huge, giant corporation.  They shall remain nameless.  If you know who I work for, please don't leave a comment with my company's name.  It could be bad for me.  Ok.  So the deal is that I went down to part time after Eisley was born.  There were lots of reasons for this.  I'd love to be able to be a stay at home mom.  That's where my heart is.  But like most families these days, this just isn't a possibility for us.  We need my income to survive.  That being said, I don't make enough to justify working full time and paying for day care.  It would eat up more than half of my income, take me away from my baby for much longer periods of time than I would like, and just not really make a whole lot of sense for our family.  Before going on my maternity leave I sat down with my managers and we agreed on a 4-day a week schedule.  It was great.  But I didn't get it in writing.

Everything was fine for a while.  The supervisor who was writing the schedules for the first three months that I was back is awesome, has kids of her own, and really cares about making sure people are able to work the shifts they need.  She was still always able to make sure there was good coverage.  Unfortunately we got a new assistant manager in my department about 2 months ago, and they had him start to write the schedule.  I know it's a lot to deal with, there are a lot of people's availabilities that you have to take into consideration.  But my issue became that they seemed to have decided that it didn't matter what people's availabilities were anymore.  They were just going to write the schedule however they wanted.  Every week became a battle to make sure that I wasn't scheduled at a time when I would have no child-care.  We don't have much family in town, and the family we do have isn't able to watch Eisley anymore, so our options are limited to friends from church for the most part.  It's really not do-able for me to have a schedule that is all over the place like I've had for the last 7 childless years at this company.

So now I've been told that "Childcare is not an availability issue" and that basically I'm just going to have to suck it up and find a daycare.  They want to schedule me whenever they darn well please.  They'll accommodate school schedules, other jobs that you had before you started at this company, and religious beliefs, but not a baby.


I can't even tell you how messed up I think that is.  I mean, really... my daughter is 8 months old.  She needs stability, and so do I.  I get it.  I work retail, and they need to run their business.  That's what they keep telling me.  Yup.  I know.  And I need to take care of my family.  You can hire more employees.  My daughter only has one mom.

Honestly, I feel like they are anti-family masquerading around as a company that is pro-family.  Maybe it's just the store I am currently at.  I don't know.  All I know is that it seems like this is just an opportunity for me to surrender my circumstances to the Lord and let Him move me where he wants me to be.  Because I'm thinking this job isn't it anymore.

The bummer (and real source of my anxiety) is that I get paid quite a lot where I work now, and our benefits are through me.  They are super affordable.  Finding a job that pays the same, and has similar perks will be impossible.  I'm sure we'll have to cut out the little luxuries that I've just come to accept as necessities (they're not).  Here's the crux of the matter, though.  I get one chance to be around as much as possible while Eisley is growing up.  ONE CHANCE.  There are no do-overs, no instant replays, no second chances.  So maybe we'll have to cancel Netflix, go down to one car, and sit in Starbucks drinking a short coffee when we need to get on the internet.  It will be inconvenient and sometimes frustrating I'm sure, but my daughter will grow up knowing that SHE is the priority in our lives, not convenience.  She will grow up feeling loved and protected, and she will know stability.

These are the things that I keep thinking about.  I don't know what God is trying to do in my life outside of asking me to put my faith and trust in him in a way that I really haven't had to do in quite some time.  It's hard, and painful, and it's certainly not coming easily to me right now.  I know that He has always worked things for good for us, and He has always provided for us what we need.  I know He always will.  I just need to have a little more faith in Him right now.

So I guess the hunt is on for a new job.  I want to use this as an opportunity to find something really rewarding, and something that is a step closer to the direction that I think my calling will one day take me.  Nick and I will sit down and look at our budget and see where we can cut a couple hundred dollars out here and there, and I'll look into ways to make some extra cash.

In the midst of all of this, however, I can't help but feel that this is just one tiny example of what is happening to our culture.  This slow but steady shift away from "family values" or even just "valuing family."  It's all work and play, and family suffers in it all.  I know there are pockets of people out there that are living proof that family can still come first, and I am lucky to live in a church community where that is a reality for so many... but the state of things at large is depressing.  I'm not sure when America's values shifted from "working to live" to "live to work," but the disconnect that it has caused is massive. The lack of empathy and humanity that has followed closely behind it does not bode well for us all, and it is especially worrisome for women and family.  When we place a higher value on the needs of those in college over the needs of those trying to provide for their children, while still being around enough to raise them... we have hit a dangerous shift in what we value and esteem.

I believe that family is vitally important.  Having parents that are not only around, but able to spend time together as a family unit regularly is so important to raising children that are well-adjusted, confident, and one day ready to run this country.  So I think it is time that we stand up and fight for what is important.

This is my battle right now.  I'm just praying I fight it the right way.  One thing I know is why I'm fighting it.

my little inspiration


  1. How did I miss this post?? Have you found another job? I'd suggest talking to a lawyer, but that's easy for me to write since my dad is a paralegal who works for a lawyer.

  2. No, no new job. I'm just trying to keep it at a manageable level. Once they saw one of my facebook statuses about calling our corporate offices it was "we would never ask you to put your daughter in daycare... blah blah blah" but it hasn't gotten all that much better, really. I've started selling Mary Kay. It's not something that will let me quit my job right now, or even for a couple of years, but hopefully by the time we are ready to have baby #2 it will provide my family with enough income to go down to working at my corporate job maybe 2 days a week, and that's it. If you know anyone who needs some Mary kay my shop is www.marykay.com/CopperS =)

    Thanks for the support! =)