Failure to Re-Launch

FireShot Screen Capture #049 - '(8) Favorite Things Friday_ Dear Lillie -' - www_pinterest_com_pin_396950154636361179To work or not to work – what a question. What a fortunate place I am in to have the option of considering this question. I use the term option very lightly…I consider it optional, my husband not so much. Eh.

With my first born gearing up to start pre-school in a few {very short} months, the question of me re-launching into the workforce has popped up. In every conversation my husband and I have had lately. It’s also popped up in every text, email, page, fax, smoke signal and hand delivered letter. But, at least he’s persistent?

Since my son was born I’ve done some marketing consulting, but as of late I am completely jobless. So, I think that technically makes me a SAHM…stay-at-home-mom. My pre-child self would have never dreamed of not returning to work. When I was running around the streets of Boston until all hours of the night – putting myself through school, working late shifts at a hotel to pay for said school, and even later shifts with a fake I.D. at Sissy K’s – I couldn’t have fathomed that one day I’d step away from literally the exact career I had always wanted and dive head first into #MomLife.

I would always be driven, leading to a successful and challenging career that allowed me to travel the world, buy expensive clothes and likely just be an all-around glamorous person that everyone finds endlessly interesting and effortlessly attractive. Never in my wildest nightmare dreams would I have pictured myself becoming someone who spends her time fake smiling at Gymboree, or a person who has traded in heels, blazers and skinny jeans for yoga pants and flip flops. Endless conversations about kids? Kill me. Going to bed by 9 every Friday? Bore. Oh, and having a car filled with diapers and kids toys? Never ever, ever would I become that person.

Oops. The moment Devan was born, I lost those heels faster than a newly 21 year old loses her self-respect at Sissy K’s on dollar draft night.

So, here I am. A different person, a different chapter. Maybe this person was there all along, but there are definitely some days when I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. I’ve traded in my life to be there 24/7 for someone else’s, and for a while that worked for our family. But things change, and now I decide – do I take back a piece of the “old me”, the person that feels much more familiar and easy to define.

And if I do, what will I lose? What will my kids lose? I know I’ll miss the opportunity to snuggle with Devan before every nap. To spend our days finding fun things for him to do and explore, or just playing in our backyard. We are already so proud of the little person he’s becoming – without me there to guide him every day, who will he be? Will it change him in a negative way? Or will it make him stronger – seeing both of his parents working to provide for him?

And my biggest fear: when I am old and gray {hopefully still somewhat attractive, but definitely drinking a bottle of wine a day} and my children are all grown up, will I regret missing the time with them to work, help to provide and honestly, take back a piece of myself? There’s nothing like #MomGuilt to keep you up at night.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the answers to these questions. Like many questions once you become a parent, I don’t know that there is a right answer. For now, I am working through it and exploring my options. As I usually do when I am faced with a tough challenge in life, I’ve turned to…books! And blogs. And quotes. And generally any form of writing because that’s what helps me to process.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, hopefully these resources help you find your way:

  1. ‘Working Mom Struggles’ blog by Meg O on the Go. Not having truly faced thee struggles yet, I found it helpful/emporwering to read Meg’s honest account of how she feels.
  1. ‘Baby Steps Back to Work’ blog post on the website Working Mom’s Against Guilt. Ah-mazing resourced. This post, and many others. Read it, soak it in.
  1. ‘For the Love’ by Jen Hatmaker…because you can’t read this book and not feel better/have a clearer outlook on life.
  2. 5 job-hunting tips and resources for moms who want to go back to workforce, Today Parents
  3. Ready to re-launch? Check out the company  ‘I Relaunch’ for expert tips, classes & help.