What do you do when you get that thing you wanted so badly you couldn’t think about anything else for years?
In my case, a baby.
Lola has brought such joy to my life, if I could, I would skip out of work for a good long while and just hang out with her, watching her do all the amazing and hilarious things that babies do.
Alas, like most women, it is back to the workforce for me. And after six months I’ve actually had a good while longer with little L than many mums out there. So this is not a lament. This is the kind of dilemma I dreamed about having when I was going through IVF.
Having a career/work change forced on me at this time is forcing me to really think about my priorities. What is most important to me? What do I love to do? How does Lola change things?
I’ve had a good career run – for 15 years every career decision I’ve made has been based upon whether I want to do something. Nothing more. Did I want to move to London? Hell yes. Did I want to move to NYC? Yes please. And Lima? Why not?
This is the first time I have had to consider anyone else in that equation. As far as Rufus, Lola and I are concerned, staying put would be the best thing for the next 18 months or so. (Assuming there is no catastrophic earthquake, which is a worry that lurks in the back of my brain). So my preferred scenario, scenario A, would be to stay put, so Rufus can continue a nice career roll of his own, Lola can be with a nanny rather than in a childcare centre, and we can take advantage of cheaper cost of living to find our feet financially.
I have asked my boss if it would be possible to work in a remote capacity in the short term. This would tick all of the boxes above, with another attractive benefit – I’d be working from home and so would still have plenty of time with Lola.
The boss says this is a possibility, depending largely on a big new project taking shape this year. It’s still a remote possibility, however, so I’m faced with scenarios B and C.
B would be accepting a new job with the same company, possibly in Hong Kong, Washington or London. This was how I envisioned things going when I first moved here. But how things change! Such a move now would make me the main breadwinner and Rufus a stay at home parent in the short term. Cost of living is much higher. Childcare is scarily expensive.
C would be leaving this company and finding something else here. I could do that, but it would mean leaving my chosen career, and I worry that would mean throwing away everything I’ve worked for. But another part of me wonders if it’s time to choose a new path, one that involves more security, benefits and a higher salary to help pay for Lola’s education etc. Would it be great? Or would I end up in a job I didn’t like for the next 20 years?
I’ve been told that identifying what you love is the best way to figure out what you should be doing. Maybe I should just open up a coffee shop that sells really great patisserie and tea in china cups, with loads of great magazines, movie nights, tastings and exhibitions.