I recently was officially hired – genuinely went through an application, interview, and offer process! – and now my status has changed from Stay At Home Mom to Working Mom!
But it also means change and adjustment for my family, and I’ve been afraid of that for a long time. In fact, it’s almost solely what has kept me from going out and working more, and sooner.
So, what do you do?
“So, what do you do?”
I hate that question.
Okay, maybe not hate (I do try to reserve that word for things I truly do feel strongly about, and I’m trying to teach my kids to use it mindfully and judiciously) but that one question has the ability to make me completely freeze up. The only other question that does that to me so utterly is “What song would you like to play/sing?”
How do I name what I do, and how do I explain it to others without seeming completely “out there?”
I am working for a hospice as a harpist.
And I love it so much.
What I haven’t loved as much has been negotiating child care, drop offs, pick ups, and time away from my family. Yes, I have struggled being away for long hours at a time from the people both large and small that can sometimes annoy me more than anyone on this spinning globe. But. I miss them.
I miss them.
I have spent long days in orientation, and I’ve spent late nights with patients and charting. I’ve had to turn away from my crying son and trust that he’ll be safe, emotionally as much as physically, with his caregiver. And even though I feel deeply blessed to have a caregiver I trust implicitly- she has been with him, after all, literally since his entrance into the world- it’s still hard to leave him when he’s clinging to me as if for dear life. I’ve missed seeing my older babies at the end of their school days, and the opportunity it gives me to get a read on their inner lives as we wind down into the evening. Picking them up is often the brightest spot in my day, and it re-orients my own compass as I feel whole again to have everyone with me again.
I’ve realized, I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t want to go to work for someone else 40 hours a week and miss all the things I’d crazy miss about, with, and from my family.
Then they start bickering, whining, and asking for ice cream on our way home.
But that, too, is part of the ritual. I’m okay with that.
Motherhood is one crazy, crazy ride.
So is returning to work.
Bless you, working mamas. You are incredible.