1. What is your current occupation? Is this what you choose to be doing at this point in your life? Why or why not?
I’m a Mommy. I do volunteer work maintaining websites and helping to run an online safety organization, but mainly I’m a Mommy. Obviously, this is what I’ve chosen, or I’d be doing something else.
2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be?
This is pretty much it. There are other things I enjoy, like writing, and I hope to return to technical writing when I return to work. But I write now, too.
3. What did/do your parents do for a living? Has this had any influence on your career choices?
My father is in the HVAC industry and has been for most of my life. He was (is) a Marine but left the service shortly before I was born. He’s taught HVAC in vocational/technical schools and run service departments and now he works for one of the big vendors in the industry.
My mother stayed home with us until I was in high school and my little brother was in elementary school, when she started working part-time at various jobs. She’s a records clerk at a local high school now. It’s clearly a job rather than a career, just so she isn’t too bored.
I think the biggest effect Daddy’s work had on me was that I knew I didn’t want to do anything blue-collar, but also that I knew I could do anything I really decided I wanted to do (he dropped out of high school and has little formal education, but has been a pretty successful executive). Mom’s good about being happy wherever she is and doing whatever she needs to do without complaint.
4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family?
Well, I know that taking several years off is going to hurt me when I return to work. I may have to work back up to doing what I actually enjoy the most (technical writing) because it was difficult to get into it in the first place without a degree. But between Katie losing her father, blending two very different families, and health concerns (mine and Katie’s) it was really more important for me to be home full-time than to be out working. And it’s worth it, honestly. Katie and I are really enjoying homeschooling.
Yes, I want to go back to work, because I miss the challenge and the interactions. But I’d prefer to do it either part-time or as a telecommuter, and I’m unlikely to find an employer interested in me on those terms quite yet. So it may take time. And as the kids grow older, they are better able to take care of themselves—daycare just isn’t a positive thing as far as we’re concerned.
5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? What is the hardest? Why?
Easiest is anything that actually engages my interest for long periods of time. Hardest is anything that requires dealing with a disorganized, high-stress/crisis environment or lots of politics. Like being a step-parent. Especially with two ADD kids and an extremely hostile bioparent who refuses to be civil or cooperative.