I am long overdue for a post. Also, took a look at some of my recent posts, cringed and realized I need to make some changes to improve my quality of life. So, about a week ago, I broached the topic of part-time or reduced time, whatever you want to call it, with the managing partner of my firm and the partner I do the majority of work for (i.e., I’m “his” associate, so it’s really his schedule and clients I’m working around).
I wasn’t planning on approaching it the way I did. I was taking the time to formulate a plan – how many hours a week, what my schedule would be, which clients I wanted to continue to work for, and what I thought was a reasonable compromise on my salary. And by reasonable, I mean: “how can I justify a minimal salary cut with the maximum time off that I need/want?”
Anyway, I still wasn’t ready to have the conversation, and then a few things happened that week.
First, I started bleeding. For those of you who don’t know, I’m 16 weeks pregnant with Baby #2. I bled for about 45 minutes – it was probably more what you would call “spotting,” but since I had nothing like this during my first pregnancy, it scared the crap out of me. Great, I thought. I’m going to have a miscarriage at work. What should I do? Should I call my midwife? She’ll just tell me to go home. I have work to finish … can’t go home … oh well …
Luckily, the bleeding stopped. Not so luckily, it started again a couple days later. This time, it was a lot shorter and a lot less. But still …
Ok, and if that wasn’t bad enough, one morning before work my foot cramped up really badly. Not sure if this is pregnancy or a preexisting condition (I have flat feet), but oh man did that suck. I couldn’t even move, and Mackenzie was just toddling around and we were alone. It’s really not good. I have to start taking care of myself.
So … that day, I had the talk. I was told to think about what kind of hours I wanted and then let them know. I was also told my work is valued and I will always have a job if I want one. That’s so nice to hear. I don’t know what I was so worried about, or why I waited so long.
I’ll update more on this later, if it makes for an interesting story. I know I’m not the first mom-employee to negotiate a part-time schedule. On the one hand, the fact that we’re a small business without an official policy on part-time, reduced hours, etc. means I can come up with my own plan and explain how and why it works for everyone. On the other hand, because we’re a small business with no official policy (and no one else currently working part-time), it’s sort of the Wild West when it comes to figuring out what works and being able to justify it.
Does anyone have any tips to share on this topic?