My future entrepreneur/homemaker
Avery went through my magazines this morning and asked to take Inc. and Southern Living with her in the car to school. Of course she can’t read and doesn’t realize the significance of her selections. It struck me though and that’s why I took a picture. It made me wonder which choice she’ll make as an adult: entrepreneur or homemaker or some combination of the two.
I’ve written before about the concept of women having it all – a fulfilling career and a happy home life. It’s a choice all moms have to make at some point. Finances often guide our decisions, but some women are meant to be stay-at-home moms and some are not. I’ve always considered myself in the latter category. I adore my kids, but I like working. I’m enjoying this break, but I still have the kids in school for part of the day, so I can work on business ideas and seek out potential work.
I was talking to a newly pregnant friend yesterday about working, telling her you really don’t know what is best for you until the baby is born. I have friends who I thought would stay home who went back, and others who I thought for sure would continue working, who quit. Some couldn’t imagine ever leaving their babies and others went back to work after six weeks.
I was lucky I had four months off with each baby, and I worked from home (with them) two days a week when I went back to work. I took my most recent job when Avery was nine months old and lost that flexibility. It added so much stress to our family, which I didn’t fully comprehend until the past week. My new schedule of working out in the morning, working at home during the day, picking the kids up early and having dinner ready when Chase gets home is pretty fantastic.
There is a balance between the Southern Living girl in me and the Inc. girl in me. My recent job loss is going to let me find her. I’m hopeful she’ll do great things!
For the past few months, Sunday evenings and Monday mornings have been hard. After spending the weekend with my family, it was time to go back to work. With the exception of eight months of maternity leave, I’ve always been a working mom. I like working, and I rarely felt bad about leaving my kids. They were happy and safe, while I was doing work I enjoyed and contributing to my family’s financial well-being.
All of that being said, for me to be okay with leaving my kids for work, I need to like what I’m doing. When my job changed in recent months, I started to get anxiety at the end of every weekend. Leaving my kids for a job that did not use my skills gave me a pit in my stomach.
The anxiety would start Sunday evening, though I don’t think the kids could tell. We’d have a great day and once they were asleep, and I was packing Clay’s lunch, doing laundry and setting out my laptop, my demeanor would change. Chase and I would watch Mad Men and try to enjoy our normal Sunday routine, but I wasn’t all there. The dread had set in: the idea of dropping the kids off the next morning and heading to the job that I no longer enjoyed.
For months, I dealt with the anxiety because my job paid the bills and I was too scared to make a change. I had ideas of starting my own business or finding a job that better fit my skills and interests, but it’s awfully hard to walk away from a well-paying job just because you aren’t fulfilled. Especially when you have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed.
Someone once told me that the universe occasionally forces you to “move or be moved.” Last week I didn’t choose to leave my job, yet being “moved” was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
Yesterday was my first truly relaxing Sunday in a long time. I had a great Mother’s Day, then Chase and I watched a movie. I watched the whole thing (while folding laundry, of course) and didn’t feel the least bit anxious. The kids and I laid in bed this morning, and I took them to school late. I’m working on business ideas and writing today. Not feeling anxious, just feeling free. And happy that the crazy events of last week have allowed me to say goodbye to work anxiety for good!