8/19/10

Tug of War

If I've learned one thing from numerous lay-offs, it's that one can't possibly be optimistic and hopeful every day. It's not natural. There's a tug of war in my head these days. The side that's pulling hardest lately is the one wearing a t-shirt that says POWERLESS. For most of the past three weeks, the WE SHALL OVERCOME side was winning.

There's no two ways around it. I feel rather powerless right now. When we made the decision back in 2003 that I would quit my well-paying corporate marketing job in Chicago and we'd make the move to a city that wasn't so expensive (not LA) so that at least one parent was a constant in our kids' lives, I never would've imagined the road we were destined to travel would be so full of massive sink holes. But it hadn't occurred to me that the economy would lose its footing either.

As so many women (and men) know, making that decision to step out of your ten year career to care for your kids is a really tough one. I agonized over whether or not I'd even be good at being a stay at home mom and when I finally did, the adjustment was brutal but I found my way. Carving out a new career was both exhilarating and exhausting and I couldn't be happier with the success of Mod Mom Furniture, but at times like these, I can't help but compare salaries and know that mine falls far behind what I was making before I left my marketing job. We're in that catch twenty-two stage of life where even if I went back to work full-time and did Mod Mom at nights and weekends, I couldn't even come close to making what Scott has been earning now that he's been climbing the ladder since 1994. And that brings us back to powerless.

I won't lie and say I haven't, at times, wished we'd just stayed in Chicago and I kept working at A&E and The History Channel while my kids were in daycare from 7am-6pm. But I've also learned through our ups and downs that it's ultimately what was planned out for us from the start. Life lessons and all.

We're definitely growing and learning from this latest lay-off in many ways we didn't from the last one. I'm trying to acknowledge the feelings of fear and lack of power but not let it always win the tug of war. I think you have to be allowed to feel what's real in order to work through it so I'm doing just that. Today I feel rather POWERLESS but tomorrow I plan on being back on the WE SHALL OVERCOME side tugging away.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Have you thought about doing a YouTube show on woodworking and/or furniture design? I suspect you guys have the skills to pull it off, and it might be a stairstep to other things...

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Hi Mike,
Good idea and one that I've kicked around a few times...even going as far as being approached and filmed by producers of TV shows and such. So far, no luck. Youtube is a great idea -- may have to try that in the future. Trying to make up for your husband's VP salary with one month's severance is a toughie. Look for that 400% increase on the price of my toy boxes soon. :)