I got a huge promotion. It's big, scary, nerve wrecking, and for the first week, I was reaching for tums because I was not confident that I could fill the shoes of a formidable expert who had been doing it for the last 10-15 years. It is a job that is rumoured to be difficult and possibly accompanied by challenging personalities. Why me? I prayed for the right direction from God. I asked for peace. I seeked signs from above that this was the destined path that God wanted me to travel down. And one fine day when I was in the throws of decision making and hand-wringing, my Bible app popped up with a notification of the daily verse "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). I looked for peace and got it. God was telling me that it is going to be difficult but he is going to be right there with me.
Dear Readers, as a working mom, I am often grateful for reasonable employers. I tend to work harder and put in more hours from home because I feel that I own the employer for being flexible. And possibly through the years, I may have made less money because I did not venture to ask for more. Flexibility was currency in itself. There is a sense of indebtedness to the employer and I'll take whatever I can because I am just happy to have a job where the employer understands my circumstances. Why do I sell myself short? I don't know.
Well, for once, I did not.
Prior to accepting the job offer, I asked for a meeting so that I could lay out my requests for vacation and possibly negotiate salary. Going into the meeting, there was even a possibility that I would turn down the offer if things did not go my way. I had nothing to lose and I was willing to walk away (that is a great position to negotiate from). As the conversation turned and flipped in unexpected directions, I decided to be honest and tell the manager that this is a job that many would not accept because it is challenging and I cited my source of information. I listened to his reply before asking for a better offer and more compensation. He agreed to my terms. I accepted the offer.
It took every bit of courage I possessed, God by my side, and a wonderful husband. When I emerged from the boardroom and pulled out my cell phone, I said a prayer of thanks and texted my husband. My hands were shaking and my heart rate was definitely not normal.
The negotiations took the form of an intelligent conversation, well thought out, calm, soft-spoke, yet assertive and strong. I can think of one lady who lived that mantra and I would like to dedicate this blog post to the late Mrs. Bush.
To ensure that they all eat their vegetables when I am traveling, I tend to favor salad bags in a kit. All the big grocery stores have some and they are actually rather tasty. But salad in a bag has become more than a just nutrition, in our family, it is flag for things to come ......
Teen: [standing in front of open fridge] Mom, are you going away? Why is there bag salad in the fridge?
Me: Hahaha. No. It's for the potluck at Phil's house on Tuesday evening.
Teen: Phew! I thought you were going away.....but there was nothing on the calendar. But, you never know, I had to ask.
The lesson in this is that your teens are always watching and observing for the little nuances & patterns in your behavior. Nothing slips their notice even if there are earbuds in their ears 24/7. Don't forget to eat your vegetables!
The real deal about what it’s like to be a working mom. I often hear the following phrase, “I don’t know how you manage it all.“ The reality is, I don’t even know. Deep down inside, I’m wondering the same thing about them. I have two kids, a wonderful husband, a normal suburban life. I’ve always been achievement oriented and simply love to tackle things that sometimes make other peoples eyes glaze over… in boredom. I’m a researcher and my view on the technical stuff is that nothing is difficult, merely complex.
Flat Stanley at the Changing of the Guards.