I know the whole "stay-at-home" vs. "work" is a hugely hot-topic debate. And I know it's not as simple as "just stay home if you want to!" or "just work if you want to!" It's about money and career choices and just generally how as women with kids we're forced into a really tough position of having to choose. Or not having the liberty to choose! I ran into this issue this past Fall. I've always been so torn. My heart has always said "stay home" but my bank account, my sense of pride and the other grey matter in my brain that has not yet been consumed by motherhood (does that even still exist!? ha!) has beckoned for me to work. And when people ask me "what are you planning for work after mat leave?" the idea of telling them "nothing - I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing" makes me feel immensely guilty. This is my own issue I know but it's very real nonetheless.
But a couple months ago I ran into this problem. Me working/being out of the house 4-5 days a week, my mind elsewhere at least 10 hours a day, commuting in the rush of traffic, it all made me an awful person to be around. I wasn't happy. People around me weren't happy. I actually rolled my window down in a fit of road rage and that's when I realized - who is this person? This is not me. Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, maybe it was just a huge host of things going on in life, but I physically couldn't do it anymore and keep my sanity. All I wanted was to be home with my toddler, and every step I took in a different direction was just driving me further away from coping with the reality of every day life.
And the thing was this was nothing new!! It was something I'd prayed on diligently before I even started working again and every answer I received pointed me to: stay home right now. But I didn't listen. And in some ways I'm happy I didn't listen because I did experience awesome things in that period of time when I went back to work. I also had to come around to the understanding myself that a) when I ask for guidance it will be given to me; b) it take a lot of faith to be able to step into that guidance... and I think that's something God knows about me. I need to learn it in my own, horrible, timing.... such as it is! :)
Financially we need me working. I'm not independently wealthy (but wouldn't that be just amazing!) and we're growing our family! It is also both a piece of humble pie to "come to terms with" being "just" a mother, setting aside my degree, and not being able to move in the direction we thought we'd want to move at this point in our lives. I kept thinking things like "what if?" and "is this fair to put all of this on Mike?" and "what next?" So for me, it took a huge leap of faith to leave that platform. To jump into the unknown and just navigate it as we go.
The result? I haven't been this happy in a long time. I'm working at finding alternative ways of bringing in an income. We've had a couple unexpected opportunities that coincided instantaneously with me leaving work (when one door closes....) which we are counting every day as graces. And for now, our heads are above water, and definitely in a much better place then they were back in November. I turned off the drone of worry in the back of my head and I've stopped fixating about tomorrow. I'm focusing on not taking this for granted. I have definite moments where clearly, like any human, I still feel like I'm liable to loose it after the 10th spill, the toddler melt-down, the inability to have any second alone, but honestly, honestly, being home right now, with this face ^^ has made me a better person. And I'm open to this changing, but right now, there isn't anywhere else I'm meant to be and I am so grateful for what being a mom has done for me and how being June's mother has helped me grow.