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Work-Life Balance

A question from Maple:

Just wondering... what do you all do out there to pay for rent/mortgage, food, gas, bills, auto insurance, health insurance, preschool and all of the other necessary items and also take care of your child(ren)?

I'm currently having trouble figuring out how to balance work, money and spending enough time with my son.

Just curious what everyone else's situation is.


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I have a very fortunate situation. (And today is a good day to remind myself of that as I nearly threw my cell phone against the wall). When we moved in 2004, I was on maternity leave and I had arranged with my boss before I gave birth that I would continue to work for them, from over 2,000 miles away, on a whacked-out schedule. (I work from 5:30 am until 1:30 PM).

It's about 19 months later, and it's still working, though I get impatient with it at times. I miss working in an office. A lot. I miss people - more poignantly, I miss my co-workers, who I now only see a couple of times per year.

The other conundrum I'm facing is trying to figure out whether I have torpedoed my career by moving here. I work in a relatively specialized field, and most employers are clustered in DC and Chicago, with a significant presence in Atlanta (where we were before) and Philadelphia (where we almost moved). I can move to a different field, I think, but I've made a lot of progress and done a lot of work in the larger arena of my profession and I don't want to lose that. There are so few jobs here doing what I do that I'm staying put in the job I've got longer than I otherwise would have, I think.

But the schedule is great for my family, and that is attractive, too. My husband is a history professor and teaches in the mornings and some evenings, so we get a lot of family time. On the other hand, for both of us, since we work such flexed hours, it's hard not to let work bleed into the weekends, evenings, etc.

But we love Portland so much that it seems worth it. I think. Most days.

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