Thursday, June 19, 2014

WAHM, of sorts

So we're still moving to Macon.  We don't know exactly when or where (house/neighborhood wise) we're going.  We have an appointment with our realtor next week to look at some more potential houses, which is exciting!  I plan on documenting the house hunt on the blog.  But more on that as it actually gets underway.

I have an update on my job situation and it's actually really exciting.  I will be more or less quitting (for lack of a better word) in about a month.  At that time I'll be unemployed and not working, like, at all.  So it's like a maternity leave without a newborn.  But with a big move.  But without legal work.  Hooray!  So I'll take about 6 weeks to move to Macon, get settled in (you know, find the grocery store, hook up the TV/internet/phone, find and enroll the boys in school, unpack), and get a home office up and running.  (All of which I realize can't happen until we actually buy a house. Details, details.)  And then sometime after Labor Day I'll start working with my firm again, but on a contract basis.  The details are still fuzzy and I'm not sure how much work I will be doing, but it is so exciting for a multitude of reasons. 

1.  A paycheck!  While we can make it on Mr. Cob's new government salary (thanks only to the much lower cost of living in Macon), it would be tight.  So my still bringing in some sort of paycheck is very exciting to us.  If I didn't bring anything in, our income would be going down by 66%.  Yes, SIXTY PERCENT LESS money coming in the door.  That's no chump change.  That's a whole LIFESTYLE change.  Thankfully, Macon is opening the door to that lifestyle change and we're grabbing hold, but it's still nice to have some of my money coming in the door.  Especially considering most of our family lives a plane ride away and the last time I checked flights were only getting more and more expensive.

2.  I continue getting to use my law degree and feel like those student loans weren't for naught.  I was not ready to walk away from my career.  Sure, there are days I hate it and moments I wish I'd never gone to law school in the first place, but for the most part I like having a career and making my own money.  I actually enjoy drafting legal documents and love marking up other people's documents (perhaps I should've been a school teacher given my love of the red pen?!).  So this arrangement allows me to continue being a lawyer without having to go find a new firm, which was a very scary prospect for me.  I've been with my firm for 11 years - for a year before law school, as a summer associate, and then the past 6.5 years!  I like my firm and my co-workers, so I'm happy to continue working with them.

3.  I get more flexibility, which is something I've craved since Julian was born.  There's no denying that the past 8 months have been hard for me with the juggling of work and motherhood. The long commute from the suburbs has only made that worse and most days I get home from work and have to put Julian to bed as soon as we walk in the door.  I'm getting very little time with him (and Lukas for that matter).  Working from my house on a part-time basis will give me back some of this wasted time.  No showering in the morning.  No commuting.  My productivity will increase and I can use that time to actually play with my boys.

4. I get time to move without having to worry about hurrying back to work.  I think that's pretty self explanatory.

There are some downsides to the arrangement, sure, but the positives outweigh the negatives.  I'm so excited my firm is working with me and allowing me to continue to be a part of the team.  Granted, I won't be an associate any longer and am therefore off the partnership track, but for me and for my family, the track isn't the number 1 priority.  I think so many lawyers focus on one way of doing it and my impression is that there's a certain stigma associated with being a "contract attorney".  But that's fine.  Being able to continue practicing law while also honoring what is best for my family is what is important to me.  And for the time being, I've found a way to do that!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Swans are Swimming

And by swimming, I mean moving.  We've finally figure out where we're going after this little jaunt at my parent's house.  And it's not where I would've thought a month or so ago.  We're heading about 100 miles south of Atlanta... to Macon!  Bizarre turn of events, I know.

So it all started a few months ago.  Maybe February.  After the end of the sequester all of the United States Attorney offices in the country posted job announcements - all the offices needed lawyers and they wanted to fill the positions while they had money in their budgets.  Being an assistant US attorney (a federal prosecutor for the United States for you non-law folks) has been one of Mr. Cob's goals for a few years now.  So we talked and decided he should apply. He picked a few offices all over the country, sent in his resume, cover letter and writing samples, and then we sat back and waited.  And waited some more. 

Would fate bring us back to his home of Chicago or close to his parents in Grand Rapids?  Maybe closer to my brother in San Diego?  The US Virgin Islands would be a nice change of pace.  Or perhaps our current home, Atlanta, would call and we could continue on with our regularly scheduled life while Mr. Cob put away the bad guys.  We were open to any possibility, figuring we'd make a final decision once it was in front of us - no use cutting off potential jobs because of location before you're even offered something, right?  Detroit was the only city I was really hesitant about even considering, but he assured me there are some upsides to the city?  Admittedly, I secretly hoped someone else called before Detroit. 

So for months we just waited and Mr. Cob continued applying as more jobs opened up.

Then he got a call from Savannah and we got all excited and hoped we'd be moving to the beach.  Unfortunately that didn't work out.  A month or so later, San Antonio called and I fell in love with the idea of canals and everything being bigger in Texas (margaritas included, right?).  A great interview followed by a few weeks of waiting ended in another rejection.  At this point, Mr. Cob was getting a bit down.  It seemed his dream job wasn't going to happen.  It'd been months since he sent out his initial batch of resumes.  A few other "you were one of hundreds of well qualified applicants but unfortunately we cannot offer you an interview at this time" letters came in the mail.  Hope was running out.

But the flip side of not getting a call was staying in Atlanta and continuing with our life here.  We love our life here.  We love our friends and I have a great job.  We love the boys school and my parents are here.  At the end of the day, we always knew we'd be happy to live the rest of our lives here in the A.

And then the Middle District of Georgia called.  And an interview was scheduled.  For my 33 birthday no less.  So he went to Macon and thought the interview went well.  A few weeks later they called back and asked him to come down for a second interview.  He felt confident after the second interview, but wasn't ready to get excited.  We'd done the excitement thing before and feared another round of rejection.  I didn't even look at houses online this time (oh the restraint!).  And then we found out they called his references, and we started to get excited.  Then last Wednesday he got the call that has changed the course of our life: he got his dream job and I couldn't be prouder to be his wife!

He called me before formally accepting the offer and without even considering the alternative, I said yes.  Of course, yes.  This is a HUGE opportunity for him and there was no way we weren't going to take it.  There were (and still are) a lot of unanswered questions, but I knew that we had to jump.  It's what you do when you're married and your spouse needs your support.  I'm not sure what this means yet for my job/career - I realize it means it will now be taking a back seat to his career, but that's OK.  This decision is the best for our entire family.  We'll figure out my job as we go.  I know there are a lot of feminists who will think I am wrong for more or less walking away from a lucrative career, especially when you consider I'm leaving a few months before potentially being put up for partner.  But like I said, it's not just about me.  I'm in talks with my firm to try to work something out - part time or contract work, and hopefully that will work out.  But maybe it won't and maybe that means another door will open.  I no longer know the path my career will take, but I've decided that a fork in the road doesn't necessarily mean I'll hit a dead end.

I'm nervous about moving to a city where I know next to no one.  I'm leaving a huge support network here of great friends, and even harder to leave are my parents.  I know this won't be an easy transition.  I know it will take time and effort for me to make friends.  I know it could be isolating moving and staying home with two small children should that be my fate.  I know I am going to be have to put myself out there, which is scary.

But I also know that everything is going to work out.  I'm so excited for this adventure with my husband and our boys.  I'm excited to find our next house and make it a home.  I'm excited to explore a new town and hopefully fall in love with all it has to offer.  But yes, I'm also scared as hell.  Change is frightening, but change can also be amazing.  So here's hoping this change is for the best!

Building a Support Network

Check out my latest post on 360 Parenting about building a support network!  Oh and in case you didn't know, we're currently living with my parents in the burbs of Atlanta.  But that is all about to change.  Change might be the word of 2014 for our family...details to come soon, once we've figured them out!!!

Building a Support Network