Having spent the evening on Saturday justifying my decision to keep working, I find that today I get offered a great new job. It is internal at Gnome Bank where I currently work, two or three steps up from where I am now and I would be mad to turn it down.
However, it was a horribly difficult decision. The job I have now is with a nice team and a lovely boss. I get to work pretty flexibly and from home whenever I can. I seem to be doing rather well at it. But it isn't the new job and the amazing career move that new one is going to be.
Yes, it was a really, really difficult decision to come to. I will no longer be able to work from home, well, sometimes but it will be the exception rather than the regular pattern I have now. This means that every day of every week I will leave my baby at 8am and not get back until after 6pm. I have no idea how I will feel about this. In reality, I have not been working from home much recently because I have been so busy and have been travelling lots (which the new job won't require me to do as much, if at all) but the option and flexibility was always there and it won't be with the new job. I'll have a team to manage and be expected to be in the office.
I keep telling myself that Eve will be off to nursery soon anyway so there won't be as much point in working from home then. Except I will be there when she comes home two days a week, which would be very precious. Yes, it has been a horrible decision and one I feel very selfish over.
In the end the choice was clear. I am lucky and financially I don't need to work, I work because I enjoy it and the money does come in handy, but I could give up and we could still pay the mortgage. At the moment I am spending time apart from Eve for a job that is OK but not stellar and isn't really going anywhere. This is partly why I've not become reconciled with the whole working Mum thing, I kept asking myself why I was doing it. If I am going to give up time with Eve then I would rather it be for something I love, that is enhancing my career, that I feel adds a huge amount of value to my life. When I thought about it like that the choice became a very easy one. Over time I may even be able to get more flexibility again. After all, I did with my former two jobs and someone has to blaze the trail.
If it doesn't work out? Well I can always give up work. At least I will be actively making the choice having given it a really good try.
As two wise women have told me, you make the choice and make it clearly and for the right reasons. My reasons feel right and I can always do something completely different if it all goes wrong. But I may yet come to regret my last post about trailing spouses.