Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Meant To Be

Two years ago, M and I wrestled with the decision of whether or not I should give up my career to stay home with Will. It should have been an easy decision, based on the fact that being a SAHM is everything I ever said I wanted to be. Life is never that simple, though, and it was much harder to walk away than I thought it would be.

After months of angst, we went with our orginal plan. I gave up the financial security of working outside of the home to raise Will. It felt "emotionally" right, even if my logical, always-need-to-have-a-five-year-plan self was freaking her freak out.

For the most part, I did not regret it. But there were moments when I thought about the path not taken. A few months ago, I needed to take our dog to the vet, so in I went. I was six months pregnant, I had Will in the stroller, and Rocky on a leash. I was covered in fur (Rocky gets nervous at the vet) and cracker crumbs (Will gets hungry at the vet) and wearing jeans and a zip up hoodie. I hadn't had much time for a shower or makeup that day, so my hair was in a ponytail and I barely had lipgloss on. I was looking and feeling every inch the stereotypical SAHM.

In walked a sales rep for a veterinary pharmaceutical company. She was every inch the stereotypical sale professional. She wore a suit and amazing shoes and walked with a confident bounce. I looked at her and felt a strange twinge of envy. She chatted up the front desk staff being before ushered into the backroom, but I kept thinking about her after she had disappeared behind the doors.

Now I am being offered an opportunity to rejoin the professional world. The emotional part of me is still screaming that it's too soon and I don't want to leave my bay-bees. The logical part of me knows this might be my last chance to get back into the industry I left. While the timing isn't the greatest, would I ever really want to go back? And this is my chance to help bring my family the financial security that we otherwise might have to live without.

We talked to a girl at church that we know from the nursery. Will has always loved her and she seems to have a soft spot for him. She is currently trying to decide whether to take another nanny job or go back to school. She was clearly flattered that we asked her and needs a few days to think about it. Which is okay, because I feel as if I still need a few more days to think about it, too.

I feel as if I am in a major war between my heart and my head. My head is telling me that this is the logical thing to do, my heart is arguing valiantly. I feel as if when you are a parent, you ultimately need to do what is right for your children. I guess the problem is when I am no longer sure what that is.


It is what it is said...

I don't have any additional advice for you, but wanted to say that being a parent is always a sacrifice of sorts and something generally needs to give.

I am in the same battle between my head and my heart as we look to adoption to build our family. As I continue to wrangle with this, I wondered on my blog if there was something I was missing; if perhaps I wasn't looking at the issue the right way. A commenter simply asked, "What are you afraid of?" And that simple question has me thinking in a whole different way.

So, I'll ask it of you, "What are you afraid of?"

christne said...

If you take the job and it does not work out then you quit. enough said.....the hard part is the 3 week training. This is coming from a mother of 3....under 2. I work 32 hours per week. It keeps me sane. Good luck with your decision. Whatever you decide is the right answer.

Rachel said...

I hope you find a solution which works both in the short and for your 5 year plan. While I would prefer to be home for at least the newborn years, I chose not to halt my career because I know that I will enjoy it (and be a better mother because of it) in 5 and 10 years.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Hmm, I don't know. That is a really hard decision. I know you'll figure out what is right for you.

peesticksandstones said...

I think about this issue at least 300 times a day. Most recently, some legal forms I had to sign listed my profession as "Housewife" and I almost crapped myself. Really, is that what I am? I used to give Powerpoint presentations and say impressive things in meetings! I used to iron my clothes! But despite that, I find myself avoiding any possible opportunities to get back into it all because I just can't go there yet mentally.

Yet I am confident, no matter what most of us moms have to do, we're all capable of making the best of it and keeping our kids happy, healthy, etc. It's just that inner ache... that's the tough part.

I'm really humbled by how hard it is juggling work/career/money versus attending to your family/personal happiness, etc. How come this is just a womens' issue, though? That drives me nuts.

ANYWAY, blah blah. Wishing you all the best as you work through your decision.

Sophie said...

IMHO, babies need their mama, esp in the early years. There is no true substitute, although yes they would be safe and absolutely fine in the long run. Advice given to me when I was stressing about this exact same thing: "Don't borrow trouble". I loved that. Is my worry here and now, or not? Babies are only little one time. I believe that things will fall into place, somehow (my non-type A personality?) But, peace of mind and a happy mama is so important too. Good luck with your choices!

Amy said...

it will be hard at first (training) but you will ultimately find a perfect balance for your fam. And comming from a former SAHM, and a former drug rep, you will really LOVE being back in the game. Gives you a sense of your old life but then you can brag about your babies to all the people you interact with. I say go for it! (what is it? are you going to be working outside the home?) call me dude!

Ms. J said...

Honey . . . I have emailed you a couple of times (regular email and FB) . . . I need your home address so I can send you lil pick-me-ups and other goodies.

Michele said...

Oh hon... I have no advice. Being a SAHM was my dream and I have no regrets about walking away. Sure, I look at professional women and think "wow... I used to wear something other than PJs during the week!" but... really... they are little once. I know I will never have this time again. In 20 years, I know that I CAN go back to work, but they will be adults. I wont be able to snuggle with them or play with them, etc. So, even if I missed my job, to me it would still be missing a job, not a calling.

But I am a firm believer in doing what is best for your family, and you are part of your family.

Anonymous said...

Oh I understand. My promotion came through when I was 6 months pregnant with Jasper. And while staying home was never an option (I've been the breadwinner for a while until just recently), I struggled with the idea of taking on more work and more responsibility. But it's worked out. I love my job and i love spending time with my girls.

I know you'll make the best choice for you and your family. ((hugs))

Mazzy said...

Tough situation for SURE. I fight the fight of working versus mommy every single week. I have felt my heart harden and soften multiple times over this same situation over the past several months. I think only you know deep down inside what is best. Me? I pray and pray and ask God to put me on the path to HIS will for our family and I know that whatever I feel MOST PEACE over is the right choice. I will be praying that He will show your heart the right choice.

Anonymous said...

I struggled like crazy to make my decision. It took me two years after my son was born and a pretty serious medical crisis for me to take a break from my career. There are days when I miss it, but I also know that I will be going back when my children are older. For me, it came down to what I would regret. Would I regret getting my PhD later in life....or would I regret missing out on being with my children.