Let’s start with the most drastic change in my life since the last time you heard from me.
I got a job. A real one.
If you have been following along, you know I quit my job in 2013 at the end of my maternity leave. A year later, I was regretting it. Three years later, I was having another baby and had basically accepted that this was my life now. Four years later, I half-decided that enough was enough.
Friends, some of you are made to be stay at home moms. I thought I was, too. You crave your children. You manage your house in ways I dream about. You are selfless, and constant, and possess a quality of patience that I have determined that I simply do not have in my DNA.
I love my girls. I really do. But it took four years for me to truly admit that I had no business being a stay at home mom. Did I try my hardest to be a fabulous SAHM? Of course. That was the path I chose, and like it or not I was determined to succeed. Except… I wasn’t happy. Which means… I certainly wasn’t taking care of myself.
I started applying for jobs, randomly. With a four year work history gap. I actually did get a few interviews, but I never followed through with any of them. Even if I was interested in the position, I was just so terrified about making that big of a change in my life. So when I applied for a job at the local high school, and didn’t hear a peep for months, I actually forgot about it.
That is, until I received a call for an interview months later. An interview that was scheduled for the next day. Remember when I was a Marie Kondo fan years before her Netflix show? Totally bit me in the ass, because I actually had NOTHING TO WEAR. I decided to go to the interview, be entirely myself, and if that got me the job then so be it. I wasn’t going to be nervous, or put on some sort of show to prove my worth. If they wanted me, they would hire me for me. I didn’t have time to fret about it.
Two weeks later I was standing in the middle of Walt Disney World with my family when the school superintendent called to offer me a job.
A new position. College & Career Readiness Coach.
Initially, I told my husband I wasn’t going to accept the job. No way. Do you know how hard it is to find childcare, especially quality childcare, in my rural farm town? It’s nearly impossible. I actually gave myself a hard deadline. If I couldn’t find someone to watch my girls by noon on the following Monday, I was declining.
At 12:08 p.m., my cousin’s in-home babysitter messaged me that she had room for Dorothy and Frances. I kid you not. Everything just fell into place, and I had every sign I needed.
The first week was rough, I will admit. I wasn’t used to getting up AND getting presentable. Frances started Parent’s Day Out for the first time, and by day two she had bit another child. After just my two hour orientation, I literally could not think straight because that was the most exercise my brain had seen in four years. But, we adjusted.
I’ve been in my position for 15 months now, and looking back I can’t believe I even hesitated. I LOVE going to work. I LOVE the people I get to work with every day. I LOVE the creative freedom my job allows. I LOVE the flexibility I have to still be a mom AND be employed. My kids have adapted to their crazy schedules. And while some days the logistics of it all are hard, it’s still worth it for the sanity of our family.
I’m happier. I have regained that sense of self-worth that was lost somewhere in those four years. I appreciate my children more, because my time with them is more precious.
I, most certainly, was made for this.
Valerie Nadi says
I love this radical candor. And how inspiring the way you manifested your future by setting these requirements/deadlines. Thank you for sharing this!
I also am a mother who hated her time as a stay at home mom. I stayed home with my daughter for four years and I was unhappy with how my life was going. I am way more happy now that I have a job that I love and spend as much time with my now 15-year-old as she lets me. It’s hard to look at yourself and say that you are just not cut out for the stay at home mom life. I feel that being a working mother makes me a better mother overall since I know how precious my time off has become.
Laura Wige says
Thank you! As a full time working mama, it’s difficult sometimes to explain to others that I ENJOY working. I love my children, more than life itself, but I would not be happy as a stay at home mom. I wish maternity leave was 6 months, not 3, but I digress. I’ve very involved in my children’s lives and school activities. I attend every event I possibly can, I volunteer more than just my time to their classrooms and it brings me such joy. Working in a job that challenges me, inspires me, and motivates me makes me a better mom too. To the stay at home mom’s – I raise a glass to you! That shiz-nit is hard.