The December before last--we're talking December 2005, when I was barely in my second trimester with Iyyar--I had a talk with my boss about working from home. She put in a request to have me moved offsite, for a variety of reasons that boiled down to "Uberimma can work more, better, and faster if she's home than she can here."
The weeks and months went merrily by--bedrest, baby, maternity leave. No word from the Man Upstairs. A week before my leave ended, as you may recall, the request was denied. I decided to pull a dangerous bluff and said I'd quit if I had to work in the office for all of my scheduled hours (22.5 a week, which boils down to 6 hours a day out of the house and away from my kids). My boss convinced the Man Upstairs to reconsider, and I was told I could have three days a week in the office, two at home, for three months. Iyyar's now nine and a half months old, so that request has now been extended twice.
Earlier this week, in light of all the extra hours I've been working for some very high-maintenance clients, my boss asked me if I would consider going from 3/5 time (22.5 hours) to 4/5 time (30 hours). More benefits paid, better benefits, and obviously more money. (I get paid straight for extra hours now, but it doesn't affect my standing so far as my benefits.) I said no, I couldn't. I told her I had thirty hours in a week that I could devote to my job, and I felt that that was all I could handle. 13.5 hours in the office, 4.5 commuting, and 12 at home is how it currently breaks down. I already have no time to myself and not nearly enough to sleep--more would not be manageable. We talked about the basic problem we are having, which is that we have some high-need clients who will be around for a while, and there is not really anyone else who can do the bulk of the work they will be needing. We're trying to break in a new freelancer, but there's a limit to what can really be offloaded. It's down to me, and there's more work than I can do in the time I have.
What happened today? (Nothing bad, don't worry. I didn't get fired.)
I went into the office, worked my regular day, had a couple of chats with my boss about various things (not the above issue), and came home. Played with the kids, had a nice afternoon, the usual. Around 4:30 I did my regular almost-end-of-the-workday email check, to see if there were any fires to put out. And I had a three-sentence email from my boss saying that my request to telecommute had been approved, the details were being discussed, I should still plan to come in on Friday, and someone would be coming out to my house to assess my workspace in the next couple of weeks.
I mean, this is great, obviously. I don't think it means that I'm now committed to formally increase my hours, or even that it's necessarily expected.
I think I'm just too shocked to be excited.