The Pickle.

by Christina Michael 



Here is no surprise: the full night’s rest did not un-pickle my dill pickle created by the really full time, really real job offer from the government agency. Onto Plan B: bother your husband and anyone else who happened to be in my bandwidth to discuss (and discuss and discuss again) whether to accept the job offer.



Plan B, Part 1 (why do I have such O.C.D. that I outline everything in my head like that?): Have a meaningful, eye-to-eye conversation with my husband (over a nice bottle of red wine and dinner) to analyze this job offer. As you can imagine, Plan B, Part 1, did not take shape in that rose-colored glasses kind of way. The reality of Plan B, Part 1, was the kids screaming in the background, my husband not paying much attention to me or the kids at all, and the baseball game humming in the background on T.V. I’ll concede that my husband says he wants me to do “whatever makes you happy” (a.k.a. don’t bug me, I’m watching the ball game, just do whatever you need not to make you {and me} any more miserable or stressed]). Regardless, he was no help with the job offer analysis.




Onto Plan B, Part 2: Bugging my close friends and family. The problem was that they were busy and have their own problems to solve and lives to handle. I really didn’t want to bother them (or bore them and myself) any longer.




Onto Plan B, Part 3 (a.k.a. Court of Last Resort): Discussing the job offer with my seven- year old son. Though he really has the mind of a 40-year old, that was not really effective at solving the job dilemma. His response was, “Mom, can’t we just play a game or watch ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody?’” Where was my mom when I needed her? Mom, if you’re “up there” listening, show me a sign. Tell me what to do (she would have said, “I understand, honey, I know you will make the right decision either way”).




Well, the skies weren’t parting (darned, Mom, why did you have to die too young, too quickly?). My kids just wanted to finish their Disney channel show. My husband just wanted to hang out and watch the bottom of the ninth. My friends and sisters just wanted to carry on with their busy lives and worry about their own dill pickles. So goes Plan B.




There I sat at my desk with the offer letter, in black and white, staring at me squarely in the face. No revelation. No dawning upon me. No “gotcha” moment. No light bulb went off. Not even a night light 3 watt light bulb.


The discovery of your blog has come in the midst of my own onramping journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


I don't know that the doubts you're having are a sign it's the wrong job. Maybe it is, but maybe you're just going through the same type of anxiety and analysis that accompanies any big career or life decision (and this is both)... I've had the same type of back-and-forth (including the fruitless dialogues) on an impending change in my career (albeit firm to firm). A friend of mine who is a headhunter says she always cringes when people ask for long notice periods at their old jobs because "it gives them time to think... and to overthink." Just try to relax and let the answer come to you, but don't be surprised if you flip flop back and forth (perhaps even up to the day you start)!


I agree with Beckstress11: this was not the right job for you. Even so, remember you don't have to commit for life. If you don't like it, then quit. This is the beauty of having a working husband and at-will employment.


Thank you for writing this blog! I sooo needed to read this about 1 year ago! I've been working a 7 days on/14 days off schedule (nights) so have alternately been fulltime working professional and fulltime stay-at-home mom, with a few transition/hybrid days. Both have their advantages, but for me both are a little extreme, so I have been talking to a lot of working moms about what works for them (in the professional world, anyway). Seems most find a 3-4 day work week more than enough, and if they can work odd hours (to avoid wasted time in rush hour, allow dad some alone time as sole caregiver and benefit their work group by working odd hours that allow others to come late/leave early/avoid weekends or overnights, super). I too looked to the heavens and waited for that "a-ha" moment, that didn't come. After a year of angst, I'm finally coming to realize what just might work for us...hang in there!




Clearly the job isn't meant for you. While I understand the angst of giving up your stay-at-home status, the decision would be easy if it was a job you were truly excited about. Rather than asking "should I do this", when the right job comes along, you should be asking "how can I make this happen?" When you are asking that question, you'll know it's the right decision for you and your family. Good Luck!