Monday, March 19, 2007
what would you do in my shoes? (aka I need your advice)


Okay my faithful readers (all 3 of you!), I need your advice on two big issues. Please read on:

1) Can you see yourself working with your mom? Your dad? Or both? Here’s some background: My father is a lawyer with his own firm in NYC –he started this firm in the late 90’s and it’s been going great for him. (My mother is the office manager and basically runs the show). He does mostly personal injury law and some immigration, but he doesn’t really like personal injury (he used to be a corporate attorney in the Philippines and complains about missing the intellectual stimulation). Anyway, now he’d rather focus on immigration law. Recently, he bought out another attorney’s immigration practice. So now, my father’s running two separate offices which he’s trying to combine into one. He’s asked me (repeatedly) to come work with him. I’ve never really given it much thought because of the following reasons:

a. I have always (been that kind of sucker who) wanted to work in public service.
b. Working with my parents feels like I would just be given money as opposed to earning money.
c. I feel it wouldn’t be a “real” job that I got on my own.
d. I’d feel once again, like the dutiful, obedient daughter who works with her folks because she feels obligated to.
e. I still like my job!

Now, if I worked for them doing immigration I would be still helping the public (helping them get visas, etc.) so that would fit my public service needs I suppose. So that leaves only concerns b, c, and d (and e). My mother says I’d be the running the immigration office side while my father stays downtown in the other firm until it consolidates. I’d be learning how to run a business and keep it afloat –which is always good experience. As much as I love my job, I am intrigued with this possibility. I do like immigration law, and the big plus is that I’ll be earning a lot more money that I am now, (and won’t feel like such a loser compared to my friends who earn a lot, travel for business, and do cool things). Another big plus is that I'd still have good hours. But if I take the job (and this would be in a couple of years), I'd feel like I didn't get the job on my own. I don't know why I feel like I’d just be getting a handout as opposed to earning money? In any case, I told my parents the same thing I’ve always told them, which is “I’ll think about it.” But this time, I really am thinking about it. A lot of my friends have said "go for it! I'd do it in an instant!" I am not too sure. And again, this wouldn't happen for another couple of years or so. What would you do? Any advice?

My other dilemma is not too difficult:

2) Would you take an almost 2 year old on an 18+ hour plane ride? I mentioned this briefly in another post. My parents are going to the Philippines in December and invited me (the baby and the hubs) to come along. The hubs isn’t too thrilled about it, but would be fine if I went with rockstar baby. My concerns:

a. The super-long flight with a persnickety 22-month old (that’s how old he would be in December). Times two!
b. The whole schlepping of the car seat to the Philippines, worrying about him getting sick from the heat or the food, etc. And did I mention worrying about him getting sick?
c. Losing vacation days when I know I should save it for baby #2.
d. Possibly being preggo during the trip (but this is just a ginormous maybe, obviously).
e. Rockstar baby and I would miss dad!

By far, the pros outweigh the cons. But the cons are my biggest hurdle. But I would love to see the Philippines (I haven't been there since 2000), see my family and chill with my cousins, meet up with bloggers (really, this is my raison d'être), and do a lot of eating, shopping, and relaxing! I just think it would be the best vacation (although the hubs wouldn’t be with us). My friends say once I get there I'll have a yaya to fawn over rockstar baby and I won't have a single worry. But getting there is half the battle. What do you think?

P.s. are there car seat laws in the Philippines? I honestly don't know.

Your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated.

Labels:

POSTED BY KAT AT 3/19/2007 03:03:00 PM |



34 Comments:

Blogger MrsPartyGirl said...

hi kat, i'll just send you an email. i was trying to write down my comment but it became super lengthy, and that was just about the plane ride! i'll be in touch. :)

3/19/2007 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger kmargrett said...

Hey, Kat! Well, I think you should go for the job offer! From what I've read, I can already see the many pros you'd be getting by accepting the offer. In addition to running a business, gaining experience, earning more and getting better hours, you'd be working with people you already know and trust. Also, I'm sure your dad's firm has worked with many different clients over the years and by being with that firm, you'd be getting more exposure and establishing your own reputation in that field. And don't look at this as a 'handout'. Look at it as an opportunity. With the extra money and better hours, you'd be able to spend more time making additions to your growing family. =P

As for the trip to the RP.. I'd say go for that, too--though it is hard to leave the hubs behind.. You might as well see how this trip goes, so that way if/when you plan on going with baby #2, you'd know what to expect the second time around. It'd be nice to see your family and to have them see you with the lil' bundle of joy. Also, how long would the vacation be? And about the carseat thing--as irresponsible as it sounds, my cousin had her 6month with her in the front seat. But with the way they drive over there, you're better off safe than sorry.

I shall end my rambling here. Good luck!

3/19/2007 07:26:00 PM  
Anonymous purplegirl said...

1. a job is a job is a job -- it's what you do to it that's important and not how you got it. take Rob Walton for example, he "got" his CEO job at Wal-Mart from his father. what would you say to that? i say take the job and let the family legacy live on.

2. it's no fun having a 2-year old trapped inside an airplane for almost a day. but since you won't be traveling alone, you and your parents can take turns entertaining your toddler or keeping him busy or walking him around. i suggest buying him his own seat so you both can be comfortable but mostly so he can lie flat and sleep. i took my 5-year old to manila when he was also 2 and he was fine on the flight. he was one of those kids that never got bothered with ear pressures. just remember to give yours something to drink or suck on (like candy) during take-off and landing.

as for car seats -- i never took one. people in metro manila drive slow enough that accidents are usually fender-benders only. but if you plan to be on Skyway or South Super Highway or provincial roads on a daily basis, i'd think twice. still, i had my then-toddler on my lap or the yaya's lap in the back seat.

most importantly -- my pediatrician aunt required us to get Hepatitis shots for our toddler before we left. not sure which hepatitis but it's the one you get when you eat tainted food or street food. the dosage is given in two successions at least 30 days apart so get them early enough.

have fun in manila!

3/19/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Email is more appropriate. but short answers: 1) I wanted to be an immigrant lawyer but due to lack of social capital, I turned to Education, 2) Take Jakey - don't you want to see me? From,Karen

3/19/2007 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger tintin said...

What a great dilemma! I mean it. They're fun to think about.

For 1, I would do it in an instant. consideratin a is taken care of, plus the matter of learning how to handle your own business. Just make sure you exert yourself and i think you'll learn a lot!

Here's the clincher for me. You'd be working for your baby's grandparents. If family emergencies came up re Jakey, they would be more understanding.

For the second, I would go. It's stressful to fly. Make sure to get one layover if possible. But if you were flying with your mom and dad they'd be there to help with Jakey.

Once in the Philippines, you'll forget all the stress until you have to fly back. Consult your pedi as well for recommendations on how to make the trip run smoothly for the baby. Oh, bring a portable DVD player to play Jakey's fave DVD programs.

Drug him with Benadryl....ok, just kidding on this one. But I know others who've done it.


P.s. I missed you and your posts!

3/20/2007 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Connie said...

Hi Kat.

Re the law firm. I WOULDN'T. It's an independence issue for me. Plus, parents have this strange way of not being able to discern where parental authority ends and professional relationship (and respect) begins.

Re the vacation. Oh, go! LOL There are car seat laws but they only get enforced strictly in the the North and South Luzon Express ways.

3/20/2007 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger vina said...

hopped from toni.

i enjoy reading your entries, will be back for more.

and yes, i hope you'll be able to make a decision on your dilemma :P

3/20/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger G. said...

i would work with your parents coz i think they are cool. but, they are your parents, not mine... so, you know them better. if you think it'll affect your relationship with them (i.e. if they tell you you're doing something wrong - which you know they will, they are parents afterall! - and you get annoyed by that - which you know, you will coz kids get annoyed at their parents - and it might snowball into something worse...) then don't do it.

regarding the trip to the PI... i would normally say do it but if i were you, i'd be more hesitant. hopefully you'll get feedback from moms that have traveled with their kids.

good luck!

G.

3/20/2007 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kai said...

His own firm in NYC? Ugh, just when I thought you can't get any cooler, or your dad for that matter. Anyway, I've always thought working with family is disastrous but it totally depends on your relationship with them. About your cute one flying to Manila, hmm. You know what, I had like 26 hours of travel from Manila to Detroit (stop over) to Dallas before and it drove me insane, and I'm what, 20 years older than your baby? :)) So if I were you, I'd wait til he's around 5. But hey, what do I know. ;)

3/21/2007 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger BatJay said...

as long as you get a real salary and you'll be independent and not second guessed. why not give it a few years more before you decide - who knows, you might have enough to buy your dad's company and they can work for you. hehehe.

there are no car seat laws in the philippines and many people do a "britney spears" with their kids everytime.

december's a killer though because over a million OFW's come home and you'll get stuck everywhere. the best time's end of january to february. the weather's nice and all the people have spent their money.

3/21/2007 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Alternati said...

Nepotism has its perks (and non-perks(?)) Practically speaking, I'd say yes to the job. No boss... that's a catch. Plus practicing immigration law sounds really interesting. I haven't the slightest idea what it is, but I'm sure you'd be helping lots of people given the tight policies US has now on immigration. I don't really think it's a hand-out. A hand-out would be a minimal responsibility clerk job. I'm guessing you'd be slumped with work if you're heading the whole office and I'm getting the feeling your Dad thinks he can rely on you. But then again, like Kai said, it depends on your relationship with your folks.

On the PI trip. I'm sure you wouldn't have a lack of sitters when you come here, with cousins and relatives and all aching to watch over ROckstar Baby... but getting here as you said, might be the problem. I remember my 20 hour flight to Germany and the Cabin Fever plus the jetlag after... ROckstar Baby wasn't too thrilled about the flight to Miami, I'm not sure if he'd be ecstatic with a longer one. But then again, he might be more cooperative in December. The end will definitely justify the means.

Car seat laws in the Philippines are non-existent. I've seen a five year old squashed between his parents on a motorcycle... helmetless! Not to scare you or anything. :P

3/21/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Solaida said...

Hey Kat!

RE: Job --- If it was me, I wouldn't, but that's just me. I'd rather be able to say I did it on my own and be poorer or have to work harder than take the easier avenue. On the flip side, my lawyer works with his dad and does absolutely great because his parents (mom is also an office manager) make him work for his earnings just as any of their employees do.

RE: Jakey to PI --- I wouldn't go by myself. If your parents are with you, then I guess it's ok. It'll be ten times harder once you have your second kid, no? As long as you've lined up the help you need, there's no reason why you can't do it! =)

TAKE HOME MESSAGE ON BOTH: DO WHAT YOU WON'T REGRET BUT MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS TRY EVERYTHING ONCE. YOU CAN ALWAYS NOT DO IT A SECOND TIME HEHEHE =)

3/21/2007 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Re: the job. It might not be too bad. I guess the only downside would be, if you decided to leave the firm for whatever reason (for example, an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime job offer/opportunity came along), how difficult would it be for you to leave? I mean it sounds like your folks want you to run the show even after they retire. Is that right? Lots to think about there.

As for Jakey going to the PI with you: I'd totally go for it with one kid and 2 sets of extra hands to help. Actually, I wouldn't mind going with just one kid and no help, but that's just me. In the end, you know what to expect from Jakey already, and I'm sure you know how to handle it. My decision maker/breaker on this issue would be all the other things you named -- all those things and money, of course.

Good luck with your dilemmas!

3/21/2007 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger JMom said...

darn, I just wrote you a long comment and lost it! grrr!

Anyway, here is the short version.
Q1 - if you have a good, mutually respectful relationship with your parents, I say go for it. Would they offer you the job if you weren't their daughter (are you qualified?) and is it a job attractive enough for you to accept if they were not your parents? Yes, then go for it and enjoy the perks that comes from being their daughter.

Q2 - is hard. Although my daughters have been travelling since they were a year old, I am relieved to say they always travelled well. But they also never travelled longer than 8 hrs up until we went to the Philippines last December. Even without all the paraphanelia involved in travelling with a toddler, it was sill a hassle and a big headache. BUT, as soon as we landed, it was all worth it and more. You'll enjoy it.

3/21/2007 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous chase said...

I think you should go for it. If I were on your shoes I would say yes but give my parents condition that this is strictly business being I have this mentality of no family in business everyone is equal in opportunities. And I know that you are qualified for the job as well!

Actually I hate travelling in long hours. I usually get bored and restless. And I think it is a bit hassle indeed with a child in tow

3/22/2007 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Eileen Joy said...

Personally, I'd do take the job. It gives you freedom to grow, and learn different aspects of a "job". You're not going to be just a counselor, but you'll see the business end among other things. So there are lot of benefits...and I'm sure if any emergencies, or doctor appointments--your parents would understand.

I have no idea about the trip, I'd go just because I haven't gone in well over 10 years...but I am without child.

Do whatever you want to do girl, just like what everyone else has been saying. What do your instincts tell you? That's how I usually make my final decisions. =)

3/22/2007 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Naku, I would also go for the job. In a heartbeat! The perks (good hours, more money, job satisfaction) are certain and I think the cons are only speculation at this point, right?

As far as getting a yaya goes, naku that so did not work for us because Annika wasn't used to having anyone else take care of her (and to be honest neither was I!) so I only left her at my mom's or my in-laws' a total of five times in five weeks. And she still slept beside me every night and most of her naps :D

3/22/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger NOYPETES said...

TAKE THE JOB!!!! Hi Kat been a while since I made a comment here.
I think you'll do very well working in your dad's law firm. He needs you and it's a chance of a lifetime to be given such an opportunity plus doing your dream public service job.

Take all the necessary anti virus shots for baby RockStar. Prepare for the long flight home and bring enough things to keep the baby busy(or asleep) and have lots of fun.

3/22/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger kat said...

MEEYA: thanks so much for the great email! so very helpful and very funny!

KRISTINE: thanks for the advice! the pros do sound good, but i'm still holding out for more time!

PURPLEGIRL:thanks so much for stopping by! yes, a job is a job is job. true indeed. i just don't know if i'd ready to be the one to carry the family legacy! and did your kid ever get sick while in the philippines?

KAREN:what do you mean by social capital? as in just plain $? and why don't you just come visit your inaanak over here?

TINTIN: welcome back from italia!! great pics you got! and thanks for the advice re: my dilemmas! my work is pretty understanding as it is right now, and i'm not too keen on having all this responsibility on my shoulders!

CONNIE: thanks for your 2 cents. yes, it's the whole independence issue for me as well. i'd still feel like a little kid if i worked with them.

VINA:thanks so much for stopping by! do come by again! and yes, i hope i work out all kinks!

GIRLIE:can you see yourself working with your mom and dad on a day-to-day basis?

KAI:haha...i'll tell my dad you think he's cool. his firm was actually in the backgroun fo the movie "INSIDE MAN" (well, the building, not the actual office). and yes, sometimes working with family is disastrous! so we'll see! and i hear you on traveling. long flights and layovers are always brutal, regardless!

SOL: well, the thing is, i'd be working harder and NOT taking the easier way out. with a family business, you'll always have to worry about it 24/7, whereas now, my day is done sometimes as early as 12:30 pm (depending on our calendar). so it's more like me willing to shoulder on responsibility. as for the trip...still thinking about it. i supposed i can always go when jakey's older.

TRISH:good point! didn't even think about it like that (if i decided to leave). i think they are counting on me to carry on the business which is scary. as i know anything! and i guess this is why they want me to start learning.. as for the trip: since i've heard from other moms who've done it, i'm learning on "kinda going"

JMOM:that is a great way of putting it! would i take the job if they weren't my folks? most likely yes. so hm...interesting point-of-view there! and i know the trip would be worth it in and of itself, but i'm still scared of him getting sick over there!

CHASE:parents sometimes have no concept of boundaries. especially filipino ones! but i'll take your advice! and i'm still thinking about traveling! it is a struggle with a kid!

EJ:yes it's a good opportunity. and i'm still thinking about it! thanks for pointing out some key points about learning about the business as a whole.

CHRISTIANNE:yeah, the job sounds promising indeed. although for the most part, my job now allows me a lot of flexibility. i work for the government so it's already family friendly.

and me too, we've never left the baby with anyone but our mom/mom-in-law. but he does go to daycare (he started when he was 6 months old and i went back to work). daycare was a good option for us b/c i don't want just a one-on-one situation with a nanny that i didn't know. plus it gets him to socialize with his peers. he likes it a lot.

NOYPETES! kamusta?! long time no see! so take the job, huh? we'll see...i still have some time to think it over! thanks!

3/22/2007 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Riss said...

Q1 is definitely hard. I think it would take a lot more thought and words than I can put right here, but my initial thought is that working for the public good is admirable but helping out your parents is admirable too. Which probably doesn't help you much huh?

For Q2, the easier question, my parents sent me to the Philippines when I was about 1 1/2 years old and I didn't come back here until I was 3. I'm told I was okay on the plane ride. Some parents will give their kids a tiny dose of medicine to calm them for the ride (which some other parents criticize but I think is better than letting them be freaked out for awhile.)

3/22/2007 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Julie P said...

hi Kat,If you truly want to do public service don't take it. but it sounds like you want to take it but just feel guilty about leaving public service and having something handed to you. Everyone else jumps at things handed to them and it doesn't make you a bad person. it makes you smart. You can always do the job and do pro bono immigration law work or volunteer or something if you wanted to still be involved with public service. Now if you seriously don't want to work with your parents..then don't do it!

as for the trip, I wouldn't go on the trip if you were travelling alone. if you're going with parents and other people then I think you'll survive (although it probably won't be a great plane ride) especially if you're willing to give him drugs (Benadryl or dip his pacifier in wine or something like that...trust me everyone does it)

good luck!

3/22/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Solaida said...

One more note on the job....

There's always your brother lol =)

3/22/2007 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I forgot to mention that my grandmother took me to the Philippines by herself when I was 18 months old. I apparently threw up on some lady's new blouse on the way there hehe... She flew back to NYC w/my grandfather, so she had some help w/me on the way back here. Also, re: the job again, Roland said he'd take the job, and if he didn't like it, he'd quit. As if it were that easy. Or is it? [cue The Rock giving you "the people's eyebrow"]

3/23/2007 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger G. said...

regarding your question, would i ever work with my parents on a day-to-day basis...

No.

Make that a Hell No.

3/23/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous evi said...

about the trip to philippines, make sure your baby gets all the necessary immunizations. you need to inform your family doctor or pedia.

i don't think there is a car seat law there but it's best to ensure safety by using one.

3/23/2007 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger marie said...

I think you better not work for your parents UNLESS you foresee yourself to be an enterpreneur in the near future and running your own business your parents will most probably hand down to you if you already gained the expertise of course. That's speaking through our personal experience. You see my MIL RUNS the company (hubby is the President) Runs in the sense that she holds on to the finances gives us our monthly allowances, etc. AND everything free (AS IN)housing,food, cars, kids schooling down to the grandkids except for my undies (yoko ng gragero, hehe.) The problem lies in the fact that my hubby tends to be more rotten than spoiled pati ako because if we don't want to work and stay till 12pm okay lang but I doubt it's not possible in there.An advantage is that somehow we can run the company kahit nakapikit someday because of the extensive knowledge and experience.Weigh things first but I would say you have more priviledges working with your parents FIRM and eventually will be yours. At least if you encounter problems, it would be with your "kadugo" than with strangers who will not understand and stand by you.

3/23/2007 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Solaida said...

A third note on the job question....

Have you tried talking to your parents?? Maybe if you got your concerns on the table and maybe if they could give you more insight on their short and long term expectations, you could make a better decision? Your parents seem extremely reasonable, unlike some others can be. At least that way if you decide to go in on the family business, you know what you're walking into. They might even be willing to let you give it a "trial run" eh??? I'm sure in the end, they just want you to be happy with whatever you do!

3/24/2007 03:28:00 AM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

Hi Kat! I'm not an expert when it comes to babies so let me try the first problem (not that I am an expert on that matter but ...).

I would take the job and not think of whatever I earn as a "handout". How about arranging for a certain percentage of the fees paid for cases that you handle? The latter means you have to work more to earn more so that shouldn't make you feel like your parents were just giving you a handout. It's a good chance to learn from your father - I'm sure he has lots to teach you plus this can launch you into a career path that will eventually allow you to carve your own niche instead of just being on somebody else's payroll.

Good luck, Kat!

3/25/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mec said...

andami commenters, mas marami ka pa ata readers kesa sakin :)

anyway...

for both dilemmas... i have a generic answer :) only you can really weigh what you can gain, and only you know if the CONS you've thought up will be automatic cons, or possible cons lang... and i really doubt either way that you won't be able to improve on things once they go bad... :) or not necessarily your way...

on a more specific note... i think any child's discomfort in travelling will be greatly affected by his parents' confidence with the situation... from what i've observed, it's the antsy, fretful parents who usually get antsy, fretful kids when they're in a strange place...

and you have to have more confidence in a child's ability to adapt... regardless of whether you come home in Dec or not :)

3/25/2007 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger kat said...

RISS:thanks for the 2-cents! i'm still thinking about it. but at least i'd still be helping people in the event i take my parents' offer.

EVI:thanks! yes i'm aware of all the shots, etc. but there's still a 50/50 chance he may get sick over there.

MARIE:OMG, i think i'd be fired if i left at 12 pm just b/c i felt like it! beside, i wouldn't be "managerial material". i'd work as an attorney and work my way up (and learn the business). thanks for the advice!

BUGSY:that's sound advice. right now, they do have a "commission-type" of arrangement in addition to a base salary. i'd still have to learn and start from scratch though --my main concern is if i'm willing to work with them at all.

MEC:ha! this is the first time i've had more than 20 comments! so don't be fooled! thanks for the advice!

3/26/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous purplegirl said...

kat -- my baby never got sick in Manila (from eating street food, much less from flu/cough/colds due to change in temperatures). on our first day in Manila when he was barely 2 years old, i saw him drink tap water while taking a bath. i nearly had a heart attack. i wanted his stomach pumped! but he was okay. after that, i let him eat all the street food he wanted: dirty ice cream, fish balls, kamote-que, fresh buko juice...

but some babies are more sensitive so make sure your little J drinks nothing but bottled water. even for brushing teeth. better safe than sorry. and slather him with lots of OFF mosquito repellent. don't use anything stronger than OFF because it may contain DEET which is poisonous to children (you have to wash it off afterwards if you do happen to use it. and make sure you get the Hepatitis shot i mentioned earlier. i heard it's now part of the prescribed immunizations) but three years ago, it still wasn't so make sure. it's the one for eating street food. my pediatrician aunt also told us to get flu shots before leaving the US.

3/26/2007 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Toe said...

Kat, if you don't take the job, can I take it instead? :)

But seriously, that's a great job... immigration law in New York. You got a lot of advice so I won't give you any. All I can tell you is that I envy you for that opportunity... so take it na. :)

3/29/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger mrs. pektus said...

oh this advice is way too late already.. but as they say..better late than never.

On the Job.. as you said in our reply to other comments above, I'm with you on thinking about it..Its a big decision and If I'm in your shoes, I'd go for it but if it won't work out the way I planned it to be.. then I'm out (of course with explanation to my parents why I have to end our professional relationship)

On the Vacation... WOW! Go! Will you be here until Christmas? As JMOm said.. after landing its all worth it.. I hope it will be the same for you and rockstar baby.

No, there are no car seat laws here in Manila... When we go to Batangas, I stay in the backseat with AJ in my lap while hubby drives.

Take care.. and happy Easter :)

4/09/2007 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger mrs. pektus said...

oh.. just on the safe side.. get rockstar baby his shots before leaving for Manila.

4/09/2007 10:15:00 AM  

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