One of the things that make being a working mama work for our family is the schedule I've been able to manage at work. Though this has been earned through hard work and consistent high performance, it is something I've come to rely on as a work perk that I can't give up - I get hives just thinkng about losing that benefit. If I have to work, I have a pretty sweet deal.
I typically work only 7 1/2 hours a day in the office - that looks something like 9 - 4:30. This allows me to manage getting myself and my kids ready in the morning, dropping them off at their separate daycares, and do the drive in to work. This semester I have one day a week I leave work at 3:30 and on those days I try to work from home. I have no problem taking my kids to visits, staying home for sick kiddos or home visits from the state, or any of the other things that come our way. My work is completely flexible with me on my schedule and it's extremely helpful. Of course, I work at nights after the kids go to bed and I try everyday to get to work as early as possible (this morning I arrived at work in the 7am hour) - I certainly don't want to take advantage and bottom line, I get paid to get certain results. I currently manage 9 people with a several million dollar annual budget - in entrusting me with all of that I owe my organization a good job.
I get contacted 1-2 times a month from recruiters trying to get me to move to fill the position their looking for - this has happened for the last few years. The good news is it bolsters my self-esteem a bit and that I have a good-sized network. As a working mama though, I usually start out the conversation by laying out my expectations regarding scheduling and work/life balance. If I were to seriously consider another role I wouldn't expect the exact same arrangement, but I would (and do) insist on having an organization that is willing to consider allowing me to manage my schedule as necessary. This limits my "career potential", but despite my occupation and career I've developed I'm not particularly a career person. I'll get to that in another post sometime - bottom line I feel a responsibility to give my best to anything God has placed in my path but I don't necesarily have a life-goal to make it to a certain position.
I am very grateful for the arrangement I have and the rarity of my situation isn't lost on me.