Thursday, 17 September 2009

The unnatural

I was thinking about work today on my way home. Not about my workload or the politics or my paycheck.

Just about the idea of going to a place for most of your waking time, away from your family, where you are expected to be on your best behaviour, be productive, dress half decent, sit in a chair for hours and hours, and get along with all the people around you.

I'm not knocking my job - it's where I am right now with the amount of education I was willing to pursue.

I saw a documentary on Google a while ago. It focused on what it was like to be an employee for the company. Admittedly it looked and sounded incredible. They offer things like free food, bringing your pet to work, financial planning classes, a gym, $12,000 a year education allowance and an awesome retirement savings plan.

I found this quote on Google about Google:

“The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees’ way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.”
Eric Schmidt, CEO Google

It made me wonder what the ideal working conditions really are. When I first went back to work I was devastated to leave Deaglan. I felt sick all the time as if by being away from him, I was not fulfilling my life's purpose. I cringed thinking about how his needs were most likely going unmet all day at the daycare.

But slowly, week-by-week, I adapted. I found myself enjoying the freedom to finish a meal, go to the washroom by myself, have hours at a time where my clothes were snot-free. And then I got back into the swing of the business and it felt good to be productive in another way if you know what I mean.

Still, I wonder if it's natural. Being somewhere else for most of your waking hours. Sitting at a desk. Wearing an underwire bra and heels. Away from your family. Stifling emotions that easily peak in this place. Getting along.


  1. I have worked at home for going on four years, no underwire bra, no heels, I do get cabin fever once in a while though. I have to GET OUT!

  2. Yes sometimes I feel the same way! Though we are married and stay together, me and hubby meet for only 3-4 hrs of waking time , sleep, go back to work. It sometimes feels unnatural!

    ♥ Chaitra

  3. Kim-the way we live has changed so dramatically with the industrial age that centuries of living a different way must be stripped away and there is bound to be growing pains. ~rick

  4. So very true Kim! I was exactly like you - worried, felt guilty all the time leaving my daughter when I returned to work. Then I adapted and almost became a little happy to let someone else (day care) help raise her. Now I'm about to shake things up again and watch her from home again. Will I resent her and miss being able to lunch and use the restroom by myself? I don't know. I guess trying to find a balance is key. We take time off from work to spend with our family and we take time from family to work. It helps if you like what you do. If you don't, then it's much harder. I hope you like what you do and I hope you make the most of your time with Deaglan when you can. As long as you're both happy, that's all that matters!

  5. It's funny but sometimes I don't feel like the true me (or natural) when I am home day after day with the kids. Of course, there are moments of joy and fun, but there are also many, many moments where I feel kind of empty. Just getting along.

    By the way, I wonder if I could walk in heels again :)

  6. many times i would gladly ditch the job if i had another way to pay the bills. but there are some elements of work that i like. sometimes. i think the human condition might just predispose us to wanting the opposite of what we have, at least some of the time.

  7. Hmmm - I've lived both lives - going to work each day and sitting at a desk and also being home all day speaking toddler. I guess I just have to say there is a time, place, and season for all of it.

    It's only been in the past 80 years or so that people have moved off farms where they were home all day and started working in the cities and living the city life.

  8. Oh, you are so right...for women, there is such a choice...and a pull from all and love can be so complicated for us!! Love to you, my friend! You are a WONDERFUL mother!!! ~Janine XO

  9. It gets easier when your kids get school-aged and you'd be away form them anyway. I was really luck to be able to work just part-time when they were little.

  10. There is a balance to be had, and it is different for everyone. However, it would be cool to work for an employer with a philosophy like google's (or Nike's or Microsoft's....)

  11. Kim, what a thoughtful post. I have struggled with these feelings as well. I think for me, I strive for balance. I miss Noah but cherish my career and adult time as well. I hope you find peace in your choices my friend. :)


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