Monthly Archives: October 2016

Value

This is a work related post. If you want cute fun stuff this is not that post. 🙂

I’ve worked for my boss for eight years, at two agencies. She’s someone I value greatly. She’s a 65 year old lesbian, she used to run a bread baking commune, and she loves whiskey. We’ve always gotten along well and drank together during the sixish months 4 years ago when I did not work for her. Her granddaughter is our dog sitter, she was one of the first people I told I was pregnant, and, in general, I really love her. That’s not to say she is not a boss. We have had hard conversations. She does my evaluations. I’ve been in trouble in various ways.

There has been a change in the past few months where things have gotten bad. It has been hard to pinpoint but I am feeling it and over the past few weeks I realized the other two people in our four person team where feeling it as well. A shift has occurred and our relationship with our boss has turned very boss/employee. We don’t feel recognized for the work we do and we don’t feel particularly supported by boss. One of my coworkers has always had a tumultuous relationship with out boss (coworker is totally useless) and the other is fairly new to our department. While this has hit them I think it has been especially hard on me.

There are many reasons for this change. Someone left our department last year leaving my boss to take on a caseload when she is already over worked. She gets shit from different managers in meetings about being too friendly with her staff. Our stats aren’t great this year. And, as stupid as it sounds, the agency started a new award thing where are quarterly meetings they give awards to people. At each meeting my boss has presented an award to someone (not any of us) but failed to mention any of us by name. It seems small but as a small department it gets noticed when your boss never says your name in public.

Yesterday I met with the other two people in my department about bringing this up at a staff meeting today. We discussed tactics and what we wanted to say and, loud mouth that I am, I was nominated group spokesperson. So I did it. I brought it up and told our boss we were all feeling a bit under valued. I tried not to get into specifics but told her that things had happened in the last few months that made us realize we need some appreciation we aren’t getting. I told her that we did not blame her, these were things we realized about ourselves and things we did not know we needed. I suggested we set up a half day retreat with us and the two other folks she supervises who are not in our team to talk about what we need to feel valued, what we need to be an effective team, and what kind of support we need to do our jobs. My boss was receptive. She talked about her own struggles with the agency and how she can understand why we would feel this way. She cried. She thanked us for coming to her and telling her. Immediately after our meeting she scheduled a time for a retreat and started looking for a place.

So I guess my point in this post is just to put it out there in the world that I did something that was hard for me. It was hard because I am outspoken and blunt and needed to say something delicately to someone I care about. And it was hard because my feelings are hurt and I cry easily and I wanted to hold my shit together (which I did, mostly). This has been weighing heavily on me and while now I have to get through the damn emotional retreat I feel like maybe I am on a path to things being a bit better here. Here’s hoping she feels okay, too.

A tip. 

If someone says their kid’s birthday party  and request no gifts, don’t bring a gift. 

Two of our friends brought gifts. (three counting Tracy but a) I know she is a bargain hunter b) we are making Declan something and c) I don’t ever feel obligated with her.) one was a $50 card for us to go out to dinner, babysitting included. The other was maybe $40 worth of stuff. Both of their kids have birthdays in the next three weeks. 

Our oven doesn’t work. We are finally getting it fixed after months of no oven (by using birthday money given to our child….) tonight we turned our heat on and it doesn’t work. 

We have no money. I had a plan to get caught up in November and things felt okay. Now the heater went. 

And now I have to buy $90 worth of birthday gifts because people went against our wishes. 

A shirt. 

Newborn Gus. One year old Gus. Two year old Gus. 

I don’t have the shirt in a larger size and  crying hysterically. So maybe this two thing is emotional?

Two thoughts on two.

Gus turned two yesterday. It was  a great day – a rainy park play date with singing and cupcakes in the morning, a nap that was not long enough, and then a beer for moms at a kid friendly brewery in the afternoon. It was fun a simple. He got a massive dollhouse compound that I have been accumulating on craigslist for months and we got our closet back now that it no longer houses said dollhouse. Friends came to play, my dad is in town, and Lesley’s best friend came down from the big city two hours north to spend the day with us. It was good and there are leftover cupcakes.

It’s not too different having a now two year old. The funny thing about kids is that sometimes it seems so sudden and other times more like the gradual progression that it is. Lesley looked through his first pictures last night and he was so tiny and fresh. Timehop is now going to start sending me newborn pictures all over again. I’ll probably be more sentimental about it when my dad leaves – he likes to tell me all the things he sees on Fox News so that takes a lot of my brain space.

 The other big two i have been thinking a lot about it two kids. We know so many people that are pregnant with their second. Now that the kids we hang out with are 2 – 2.5 it’s time for everyone to have another baby. This progression has been a bit hard and I couldn’t figure out why. Lesley and I are one and done – we knew that before Gus was born and for the most part have been sure of it since he arrived. But here are all these ladies having babies and it just makes me… sad?I realized that most of the issue is that I do not feel like we have control over this. In a perfect world where things were easy we’d likely only have one kid. But in our current world there are so many other factors that move us towards that decision. We have a sold out donor. We can’t afford daycare for two. We are not as financially stable as we would like. We don’t feel we could comfortably fit a family of four in our house. Some of these things we could change and some we really can’t. While in the end we would likely make the same decision it is hard for me to feel like we do not have a choice.

The other side of having everyone you know be pregnant though is that I see them talk about it.The exhaustion and sickness that comes with being pregnant. Their worries for the adjustment of their older child. Their sadness to be spending their final days as a family of three. The financial stress. The relationship stress. While I see great examples of having a second child going amazingly well (ahem you two lovelies with my two favorite little girls) I also understand these concerns. And while some of them would likely be worked out eventually after having another kid some might not.They are real and fair concerns and a good reminder of some of the reasons why we are sticking with one.

So there it is. My baby turned two and I will never again have a baby that is one. Around me I will watch my friends grow their families – I will love and support them the best I can – and I will watch my one baby grow from a toddler to a full blown kid. It’s not a bad life.