It’s funny because I thought I was ready. I thought I was ready to leave my corporate job and focus on the family. So it came as a shock when I was emotionally wounded by my recent layoff.
The dialog is not new but after searching the internet I found little consolation. It seems that there is the camp that strongly promotes being a working mom and advises you will lose yourself if you do not take this path. Then there is the camp that says you are abandoning your children if you do work. Where are all the people like me? Where are all the people who want both and feel lost?
As I ponder these events I realize it really wasn’t losing the job that hurt. It was saying goodbye to the person I had been - the independent woman who took on a man’s world and won. The woman with confidence to walk into any auditorium and give a presentation that could move people to action. Potty training is the call to action now and I love it. But there is a slight sadness in knowing that I have said goodbye to my youthful, carefree, driven self in exchange for diapers and dishes.
I know there are people reading this who are saying, “Boy how selfish, she really doesn’t get it,” I do get it and there in lies the struggle. I love being a mom! I love art projects and playing in the mud and the baths that follow. I am amazed by my little people and think at least five times a day that these really are the best days of my life.
The opportunity that this layoff provides is invaluable. It allows me the chance to discover who I am as a full time mother (yes, I can do this) and to follow my instincts with my hobby turned heart song the bizzyBee and ChicksWithKidz LLC.
I may not be starting with the exuberance of carefree youth or the size 6 pantsuit that looked sooooo good. But I do have the wisdom of motherhood and the compassion that comes from seeing people with real problems triumph. So in my post partum size 12, I will work to grow the impact ChicksWIthKidz can have on other working moms who struggle when leaving their little ones. And I will continue to try and create solutions for families with sick children who struggle to maintain their routines. But I will also negotiate play-doh wars and navigate through naptimes, and have picnics at the park. Through job-sharing, technology, caffeine, a supportive business partner, and some late nights, maybe, just maybe I can have it all.