Out of no where the other day I was contacted by a head hunter. He was contacting me about a director of financial aid position at a large university in Denver, Colorado. Starting salary was $130,000 plus relocation, full benefits, etc.
My first reaction was surprise. I started to think about how we could make timing work. what types of jobs Bret would find, etc, etc. Then in the same string of thoughts I realized there was no way. Bret has very clearly expressed his desire to work in a small town. He is adamant that he is not a city guy and Denver is not an option. Then my thoughts continued and I thought about the fact that even if the location and timing where better a director position at a large institution is still not really an option.
Growing up I was convinced that I could have it all. Great career, super wife, PTA mom...hard work and I could make it all work. What I have realized over the past few years is that you can have it all but the costs are pretty high. Bret's job is super demanding but any job is demanding. Trying to raise a young family, being married to a doctor, and trying to have a career is too much. I have been working from home with my three kids for the past two months and I can immediately see the affects. My kids are happier, Bret and I are better than ever, and even my work has been better because I can focus without the stress.
The contact from the head hunter is kind of like picking a scab. I love my life and I am SO thankful for the many blessings I have. However sometimes I forget that I am also a qualified employee that used to have work goals. I worked hard for my MBA and degree. I have 8 years of experience and a great employment work history.
When Bret and I were engaged I was looking for jobs all over the country. We had a long heart to heart talk about med school. We decided that KU med was the best option for Bret and that I needed to narrow down my search to KC. This meant turning down the interviews I had received from great companies not in KC. Then when residency came around and we matched to PA I had to quite a job that I really loved. The promise at the time was that when residency was over I could do a job search wherever I wanted and then Bret would look there also knowing that it would be easier for him to find a job than me.
Three years later and a lot has changed. I think that Bret loves me enough that if I REALLY pushed the issue he would try and compromise. If the Denver job had better timing and if I really wanted to pursue it he would give a good effort in looking for a job also in Denver. When I mentioned the job to Bret his response was that if I thought I could go 6 months without the kids and was really interested I should see what happens. Ha ha. Him keeping the kids for 6 months by himself would be a struggle on a good day but he made his point. We then talked about how hard it would be on the kids and us if I went to work full time in a high stress demanding job. I could see the relief in his face when I was the one to point all of this out.
I get I do. I'm not upset either. It's kind of like I'm mourning what could have been. Although Bret encouraged me to "see where it went" I knew that would be too hard. Instead I replied thanks but no thanks and deleted the email.