peek-a-boo with your fence

I know there are responsible things to do. And then there are things you have to do. And then, well, there are things you just do. This week I had a quick and dirty lesson in ‘the do’s.’

A while ago I had a baby. Actually, lets jump back a few steps.  Before that, I went back to school, incurred a ridiculous amount of student loan debt, graduated, and then I had a baby.

I decided I wanted to stay home with Addie. Scratch that, by default, I stayed home, and I did want that, but I wasn’t entirely sold. She was born in early December, and I didn’t think it would work very well to start a school counseling position and then almost immediately take maternity leave, though it could have been done, it didn’t sound like something I wanted to do.

I wrestled a lot with staying home for a bit. There was a lot of joy and certainly a great amount of convenience in staying home, but I would constantly scour school district websites for jobs, think about little things I could do to work; basically, I spent my time peeking over the fence and never really settled into being there.

At the end of last year I was offered a job, not in my field, but close enough. It was a great deal for a working mom, almost as good as you can get, wonderful people, great program, in house daycare and all signs seemed to point towards, “You’re a dope if you don’t take this!” So take it I did. And I did it, gratefully, and then things started to slowly fall apart.

Addie got sick…all the time. Not just the sniffles, but the barfs. Fevers. And then the sniffles in between. I’m fairly sure that I left butt marks in the chairs at the walk in clinic. Sleep came in short doses…Tony stayed home, I stayed home, my mom drove down, and it just got ridiculously sucky hard.

At some point I lost my joy because it became clear that things just weren’t working. Tony got to a point where he couldn’t work from home anymore, I got to a point where I was slacking in planning because I was slacking in life, as a mom, tired and giving half to everything, and then Addie got sick again. I met with my boss for coffee last weekend, who’s just a classy lady, and she released me from my position. I never would have quit. I just don’t…to my detriment, and I think at times to others, I just wouldn’t quit something, but to be gracefully released from this was a blessing. I sat at coffee surprised, but relieved. Everyone was getting what they needed.

As I went back and read this blog post, I’m grateful. I know that I got a chance to be a working mom, and its not right for this time in my life. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever be, but right now, its time to be home. For a day or so, I went back and forth wondering if this is the responsible, prudent thing to do. And then we decided that this was just the thing that needed to be done, and that was that. I’m home, I’m in with both feet, and thats a great feeling.

On another note, working moms are amazing. If you know one, you should tell her she’s amazing. Give her a Starbucks card, a hug, a compliment. I didn’t do it that long, but man. They’re incredible.