Because we know each other so well by now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I never wanted to be a stay at home mom.
In fact, I’ve been looking to return to work for the past few months.
Before staying home with the girls, I loved my job. I worked in marketing and public relations for a children’s hospital and was blessed with the most amazing work environment. I learned so much about writing and public relations and life in general.
I went back to work after E was born. It was tough. Like, heart-wrenchingly difficult. Getting out the front door each morning was a circus act. Diapers, check! Breastpump, check! Bottles, check! Baby, oh no. Left inside the apartment, again.
The logistics of getting both of us to our respective destinations while navigating rush hour traffic and juggling doctor’s appointments and late night media calls was positively exhausting. J spent four hours each day commuting two and from work so I was a solo parent during work hours. It was insane. I wasn’t being an awesome momma. I wasn’t being an awesome employee. Don’t ask how I was doing as a wife. It was scary.
After a few months of this chaos, we decided to move closer to where J was working at the time. I quit my job and became a stay at home momma. And it was terrifying.
That was exactly three years ago. October 30, 2009 was my last day of gainful employment. Since then, it’s been three years of Yo Gabba Gabba and countless renditions of “The Wheels on the Bus.” Nary a high heel or Blackberry in sight.
In a series of events that in hindsight were clearly God’s way of telling us to hold our horses, we ended up staying in Ohio a few more months before being sent to Savannah. Then came another pregnancy, bed rest and a chubby little baby whose presence came with a big question mark looming over her little blonde head since before she was born.
And here we are. The girls are a bit older now and E will probably be in full-day preK next year. Shortly after, B will start preschool and then… then… what? Do I want to be a room mom? Or volunteer for bake sales? Not really.
So I’d been keeping my eyes open for the right gig. I found one, applied and interviewed.
I donned my dusty high heels, updated my portfolio and actually enjoyed the interview. I forgot how much I loved interviews.
It was amazing to feel like a professional again. Things came flooding back and knowledge about trade techniques that sat unused for three long years seemed fresh on my tongue. I remembered what it was like to be really, really good at something.
But something felt off. And it was more than awkwardly driving in high heels.
Yes, I could do the job and I’d enjoy it. I’d be gainfully employed and could provide my family with some extra cushion for our bottom line. I would be me again.
Have you ever read the children’s book, Runaway Bunny? It’s about – my interpretation, anyway – this little bunny rabbit who dreams about going on all of these adventures trying to find independence and excitement and the Momma rabbit continuously tells him that wherever he goes, she will go along and be part of his adventure. In the end, 6 whole pages later, he realizes that even if he tries to change who he is, he can’t and doesn’t want to because he’s where he’s supposed to be – with his Momma.
After talking to pretty much anyone who would listen to my ramblings, I realized it wasn’t the right situation for me. The job itself was great and the company was impressive. And although the “me” I felt during that interview is genuine and alive, she isn’t alone. I’m still passionate about writing and public relations but there are a lot of other, new things that are also very important to me and taking that particular job wouldn’t have left a lot of time or energy for them. I’ve become incredibly vested in health, diet, my family, simple living, community, my faith and discovering myself along the way.
I suppose I was like the Runaway Bunny; I had to go out and see what’s out there before realizing that for right now, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
I still want and need to work to my skills fresh. Ideally something freelance, telecommute or part-time that would give me some flexibility with J’s crazy work schedule. But I’m not going to make a shoe fit when it just doesn’t feel right. When the right opportunity comes around, and I’m sure it will, it will be just fine. A perfect fit. I won’t be Runaway Mommy, I will just be me.