First Impressions That Last a Lifetime

Today was my first day at my new job.  I was scheduled to be in training at the training center from 8:30 to 4:30.  As training started, our trainer informed us that her son had been admitted to Children’s hospital just an hour prior and our day would be extremely short.  She’d get our IDs and SS cards copied, we’d fill out the tax forms, and then we’d be done for the day.  Though we’d be compensated for travel time and mileage.  And then she apologized profusely.

What I heard: I’m now working for a company that in no way for any reason expects you to put in a full day, if any, hours after you child is admitted to the hospital.  Your family is more important to them, then you being at work as scheduled.  And there are no exceptions.

And that was my first impression of my new job, and there is no better first impression.

As the mother of 3, one of which is only 2 months old, I am a mother first.  I was a mother long before I became a bank teller.  I’ll be a mother long after I’m a bank teller.  It’s the one job I can’t and won’t clock out of.  For. Any. Reason.  Will I miss work because my kid has the flu?  No, that is what my husband is for.  Will I miss work because my kid is so sick he needs a hospital stay?  Yes and with no apologies.  Well, I’ll apologize for the inconvenience, but not because of my decision.  And if you treat me like my kid in the hospital is an inconvenience to you, then I no longer want to work for you.

That’s where my last job went wrong.  And in 8 years, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve missed work because of a sick kid.

I work for a company that respects my first priority simply isn’t them and never will be.

45 minutes after getting there I was out the door.  On my way out I passed: A mother’s nursing room.

And suddenly, I want to marry the company!

Both Sides Of The First Day At A New Job

I’m so ready to be back to work, and so very grateful I’m going to a new job and not the old one.  This will be good for me.  I’ll be good at it.  This is the right, awesome move.

The next week+ will be rough.  I have training all day for the next 7 business days.  Which is standard and fine.  I’m just going from 4 months of not working to a sudden 40 hour week.  But it’s training so it won’t be like a standard 40 hour week would be.  I’m not worried about it.  I’m ready for it, I’m excited for it, and I need it.  I really really need it.  And for reasons more than just income.  It’s just a sudden change to the past 4 months is all.  But, after those 7 days, I go to my regular schedule which is pretty light, all things considered.

What I am worried about is Sammy.  She’ll be in the best of loving, capable hands and I know that and even she knows it.  Those hands have never shown her anything but affection.  Pat adores her and shows her.  And she has never had those hands falter at changing her and feeding her.  She knows love, comfort and stability with her father.

But in the past 2 months (as of today) she and I have been almost inseparable.  She goes everywhere I go unless she literally can’t.  The past 2 months has been dedicated to securing our relationship so that when I did return to work, we had our mother, child bond in place.  Which means, right now we are close.  Very close.  She knows me as the one attending to her most of the time and I am for now, her greatest source of comfort.  (Well, me and my bed.  She likes my bed.)  I have no hesitation in passing that on to Pat.  I rest assured that when I’m home, I have my baby.  I enjoy being her source of comfort, but I look forward to seeing the daddy’s girl bond Pat has been desperately wanting his whole life.  So I’m looking forward to me stepping back and watching Pat step forward in his role.  Not that he’s been absentee the past 2 months.  He usually does the morning bottle so I can eat.  If I have an interview, he has the baby.  There have been a couple of headaches I need to sleep off where I needed to not focus on the baby, he was wonderful.  But I have been the primary with him as backup.

With me working, he becomes the primary.  Or it becomes more 50/50.  When momma is home, momma is on duty.  But the point is, the time is coming for Sammy to see what her daddy is really capable of.  At it’s amazing.  Really amazing.  And I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow.

That said, the few times I’ve left the house without her? Oh she let me hear about it.  I’d come home and she’d go into, “Where were you, I thought you left me forever!” meltdown mode.  Which is totally and completely normal.  And kind of ego boosting in the, my baby really missed me, sort of way.  But it’s going to make for a long few days.  For all of us, really.  And with time, just like the boys did, she will learn that momma always reappears.  And then as she gets older, she’ll learn where momma goes in the first place.  And it will all be fine.

Everything will be fine.

I’m just sad that I know that tomorrow I will break my baby’s heart and there is no warning her and nothing I can do about it.

Well, there is one thing I can do… I can come home to my baby and make sure she knows I missed her as much as she missed me.

And I will.  Because I truly will.

28 Goals and Lessons From (Almost) 28 Years

1. If you need a fresh perspective on life, talk to the youngest person you know.  3-year-olds work best for this.  No one sees the world with more truth and humor than they do.

2. Your mental health comes first.  It affects everything else in your life.

3. If it won’t cost you your life, your friends or family, or your job, close enough is good enough.

4. Monsters Inc or Miralax at the first sign of a problem!  It can get so much worse!

5. Remember the days when she was your lap kitty and you were her mattress when she becomes a teenager.  That foundation of love will never change, it just might be obscured.

6. Instilling a bed-time does wonders for insomnia!

7. It’s not worth the drama.  Just defriend and move on.  Life is too short to be wasted on dramatic spam.

8. If the toddler tells you the call on his play phone is for you, you answer it.  Nothing is more important.  This applies to many things!

9. If given a choice, choose to be the cool parent.  But be this because of being supportive and understanding, not an enabling doormat.

10. Remember always that you can get by without debt.  Unless it’s for school, a home, or maybe a car, it’s not worth it.

11. The Band.  Never leave The Band.  Follow it wherever it takes you!  They are good people doing amazing things with much more wow to come!

12. In addition, never leave your own blog.  You really are helping people!  Even if it has to mature and grow with you, your target audience will find it’s worth.

13. This feeling right now of, “Yes I’m big but I’ve had 3 babies and a decade plus of psyche meds!” will never stop being true, so don’t lose that feeling.

14. Never second guess a sign that your child needs help.  It’s much better to be wrong and they don’t than to be wrong and they do.

15. Stick with Pat.  No matter how bad things get, they have been worse and you’ve seen the awesome.  Remember the awesome.

16. Keep this job unless the next is remarkably better.  Only a degree can truly end the search and maybe not even then.

17. Buddhism.  Don’t give up the search to understand and give yourself the option to worship in its natural setting.  It might be the answer, and if it’s not, it still won’t be a waste of time.

18. Get a degree.  Business. Maths.  Psychology.  Pick one, but make it good!  And not photography!  There is no time, money, or future for that!

19. Open a savings account NOW!  Even if it’s just an automatic deposit of 5$ a week for now.  House.  College.  Oh shit.  But make sure it’s only being spent on 1 of the 3.

20. Do better with her.  She deserves it.  Then let her teach you how to do better with the boys.  It shouldn’t be so different and they deserve it too!

21. Twice a week.  Not because you have to, but because you want to.  If you don’t want to, then it’s time to fix the problem.

22. Give each kid 30 minutes of your undivided, individual attention every day.  But that doesn’t mean you get to ignore them the other 22.5 hours each day.  They just have to share that time with the rest of life and each other.

23. Stop picking!  You are in the best mental health of your life and you don’t need this habit!  Besides, you look gross!

24. Sick days are done.  Unless you literally can not leave the bathroom or the hospital you must always be at work as scheduled.  You had that discipline before and lost it to depression.  Well, you aren’t depressed so get it back!

25. Never underestimate the power of a bra that fits, well-worn jeans, and the pants free, yet public appropriateness of a skirt.

26. No matter how broke you are, having some fun money is important.  You just have to set a reasonable limit.  You work way to hard to not enjoy at least some of the reward.

27. Yes, people really can change.  But only if they honestly want to and you have no say in any of this.  Remember this for your own ways as well.  If you don’t honestly want to make the change, you won’t.

28. You only get in return what you put into it.  There is NOTHING this doesn’t apply to!

It All Comes At A (High) Cost

I would argue that cost is gas money, while some might argue it’s my soul.

Buddhism keeps popping up in my life.  I’ll read something and go, “Wow!  I could belive in and/or follow that!” I’ll take a silly quiz and it will tell me it’s the best suited religion.  The first highly noted incident of “WOWZERS!” was in reading Siddhārtha by Herman Hesse. It just sounded so simply obvious.  So over the years I kept meaning to do some research.  But it never happened.

Well a week ago, I decided it was time.  I wanted to at least see what my temple options were in my area so I could go and learn more in person.  Which led me to a problem.  What sect?  It hadn’t really dawned on me that like Christianity there would be different paths.

So, I did some reading.  My first thoughts where that I wanted to follow the path of Gautama Buddha which is a lot easier than I hoped. To put it so it’s easier understood, it’s like saying you want to follow a Christian sect that follows Jesus.  Sort of.  The point: big figure.  There are many Buddahs through history, but he was an important one.  So that still left me open with many options.  After viewing a chart (that is no longer online), I decided Theravada was the one that felt most right.  I liked that “Theravada means “The Way of the Elders” in Pali, reflecting the Theravadins’ belief that they most closely follow the original beliefs and practices of the Buddha and the early monastic Elders.” It was after all the original practices that peeked my interest.  Should I do some soul searching there and it not hit me as right, I’ll try Zen or another Mahayana subdivision next.

Ok, so realistically, will I become Buddhist?  I’m not sure.  It’s always peeked my interest as the possible answer to things.  It would also be a healthy means of achieving the calm I’ve always searched for.  But at the same time, I’m not one for organization and rules when it comes to spirituality so I might continue to have a problem with that.  Either way, I could at least see the teachings being used as everyday life skills not unlike that of DBT.  Basic meditation is healthy for everyone no matter the walk of life an belief system.  And well, I’ve never been able to properly meditate because I always panic I’m doing it wrong.  I end more stressed than I was when I began, even when guided through it.  Really, it kind of defeats the purpose.  So, even if I don’t end this quest with a belief system that guides me through life, maybe I’ll end it with the ability to at least meditate with out the need of an Ativan.  That would be something at least.

Oh, and as for my soul?  I can’t seem to be bothered to worry about it.  If the peaceful ways of the Buddhist monks and followers lead to damnation, then maybe that what I want anyway.  Sorry, but that’s how I see it!

Now I just need to find a temple near enough that follows the sect I’m after.  And a group that meets in the basement of a local church doesn’t cut it.

Helping Each Other

Triberr is a new social media tool for bloggers on twitter. Basically, up to 7 people join a tribe, and when 1 person writes a blog post, the other 6 automatically tweet links to it. The benefit is that it broadens your reach. If person A is followed by 200 people, and person B 300, and person C 400, that’s 900 people being tweeted the link to the new post. It’s a I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine sort of system.

It is, however, also invite only. But once you’re invited into someone’s tribe, you can form up to 3 of your own. So if all 4 tribes are maxed at 7 tribe members, that’s 24 people tweeting a link to your new post. Every post.

That’s the basics of it, anyways.

Here is where you come in:

I am looking for Tribe mates for my new mental health tribe! I am looking for bloggers who don’t just blog about mental health but are real advocates in the community providing resources and help for those who need it! I’m looking for those who really want to make a difference! It is less about how many are following you and more about your affect on those who do! If those sounds like something you want in on, give me your contact information, link your blog, and if I agree you are a fit, you’re in!

Job Hunt 2011 Reaches It’s Conclusion

I’ve been thinking to myself here and there, almost daily, over the past month that I should update you guys on my job hunt.  But I never did.  I blogged a lot about the school thing, which is not forgotten just on hold until we see what’s going on with the economy and Wallstreet.  I blogged about a few other random things.  But not the job hunt.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe in part, I was just so busy not stressing about it, because I just didn’t want to stress, that when I wasn’t actively hunting, applying, and interviewing, I tried to keep it off my mind.

Yeah, well… I go back to work Monday so I’m going to have to go ahead and fill you guys in!

I applied to many places.

  • 2 retail companies where I wouldn’t mind working and would LOVE the discount
  • 1 photography company.  You know those people that show up in hospital rooms to photographer the newborns?  Yep!
  • Many banks
  • 2 credit unions

One of the retail stores called me for an interview and I went.  And it would have been a decent job. But during the interview, I realized it just wouldn’t be enough money.  Really seriously not enough money and I was honest about that.  I didn’t see any need to waste her or my time.  So no biggie.  Some holiday season should I want some extra cash I might see about picking up some hours with them.  But in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be.  Which is fine because retail wasn’t my real goal.  It was just a realistic one should the banking goal not happen.  I really would have loved that discount though!  *sigh*

The photography people never contacted me.  This does make me kind of sad but whatever.  Not losing sleep over it.

Credit unions were something I stumbled upon idea wise while searching career builder and monster.  I even interviewed at one.  However, they chose someone with more experience.  *shrug*

For the banks, I made a list of all the main banks in the area and started searching their sites for job listings.  I applied for like 20 jobs between 5 banks.  3 main banks called me back.  We’ll call them A, B and C.

A was 20 hours a week at 10$ an hour.
B was 20 hours a week at 9-11$ an hour
C was 23-28 hours a week for 8.70$ an hour

So clearly my first choice was A or B, right?  All of them I passed the phone interview stage so it was about getting me into branches and hired by a manager there.

My first interview was with B.  They went with someone with more experience but told me to keep applying at other branches.  I did.

Next, I interviewed with C.  That was a week ago today.  I was told I’d have an answer by the middle of this week.

After that interview A called me wanting to interview me 2 days ago.  So I’d be interviewing with A the day I got an answer with C.  Awesome.

Yeah well C didn’t wait for the middle of the week.  I had an offer before noon on Monday.  At the time I was upfront about Wednesday’s interview and asked for a couple of days to see what exactly my options are.  I was upfront that I was making a choice of where I wanted to spend the next few years and needed to be sure I was making the best choice.

Then I had a conversation with my mom and spelled out everything I knew about C and A.  And it was becoming more and more clear that with what I did know, while C was more hours for basically the same amount of money, it really was the better choice.  For that matter, I didn’t even know if I was going to be offered anything by A, and with C I had a guaranteed job!

One thing I really liked about C was that I had a set schedule that I was told during the interview.  And it’s a schedule that I really really like!  I mean best schedule ever!  Mon and Tues I’m 12:30-5:30.  Wed off (which I need). Thurs 12:30-5:30.  Fri 12:30-6:30.  Sat 8:30-12:30.  Sun they are closed.  So basically the only day I have to be at work before noon is Sat and that’s because they close at noon!  I’m home for lunch every day.  I’m home for dinner every day.  I’m never not there to tuck my kids in.  I’m gone just long enough to say thank god I’m out of the house but by the time I’m starting to really miss my kids, I’m back home.  Perfectest.  Schedule.  EVER!  Ok, the Saturday hours aren’t my favorite.  But that’s purely based on it being so early and not me working Saturday.  I’ve always worked Saturdays.  And really, with me out of work by lunchtime, it’s almost like I’m not even working Saturdays at all!

I’ll have benefits which is nice.  I’ll have paid holidays if it’s a day I’d normally be working.  I’ll be able to have vacation days.  I work to earn them which is legit and normal.

The branch is less than 2 miles from my house.  Which is fantastically awesome.  I can get there in 5 minutes if I don’t hit every light as it turns red.  I could walk to work should my car blow-up.(Don’t put it past my car.  Also, don’t give it any ideas!)  It also means if Pat needs/wants the car for the day, him taking me to and picking me up from work isn’t a huge amount of gas.  This is a must!

Well then!  See you guys Monday for training!  *grumble*

(No really, I’m excited!  Thursday just sucked.  lol)

Also, someone is going to have to break it to Sammy.  She is at this time Momma’s girl.  As in, if I leave the house for any length without her, I hear about it for a couple of hours when I get back.  Breaks my heart but I have to work  And someday she’ll understand that.  She’ll also grow to learn that things don’t stop existing when out of her sight and I ALWAYS come back.  But, she’s only not quite 2 months.  Her sadness is allowed.  And it makes me feel loved. (Not that my boys don’t make me feel loved.  Sammy is just more limited in how she can show it.)

Luke also won’t be too thrilled with me going back.  But he at least knows what’s going on.

Thomas, except during the summer, will hardly even realize I’m missing because he’ll be in school for most of my work day.