Something strange happened last night. I couldn’t sleep. This is strange in itself, because ever since Tommy came rocketing into our lives a little over a year ago, I’ve appreciated sleep and grabbed it at every opportunity. Man, that kid deprived me of so much sleep that he’s going to be a teenager before I have even begun to catch up on sleep.
No, I couldn’t sleep because I had a realization. Every year since having kids, I’ve prayed and prayed for a change in situation. I’ve prayed for a way to stay home, some way, ANY way. Except that this summer, I stopped. I let go. I prayed for peace when I returned to work. I prayed to find comfort and happiness in new transitions, new beginnings.
And it happened. The little pangs that I get from not being able to wake up on a Wednesday morning and decide to go to the park are still there, sure, but those little pangs no longer destroy me. Today I taught essay writing. I made jokes. I teased them for moaning and groaning about an essay on the third day of school, and somewhere along the way? I enjoyed it.
I know going back to work is so hard and scary. I know so many moms in the same position as me, not wanting to leave their babies. And I know if we have another baby, I’ll be a wreck over leaving him, but the truth is, I don’t have a choice. There’s no guilt to be had in my husband and I both choosing the career path that our hearts led us to, even if it’s a career path that doesn’t (and never will) make us much money.
In this happiness, I’ve found clarity. I’ve found so much more beauty in everything and everyone around me. I’ve found perspective. My house is cleaner than it’s ever been, because I’m not allowing myself to become mired down by excuses. I’ve put aside the things that don’t matter and gathered close to me the things that do. I’ve let go.
I know it’s only day three and if you ask me how I feel in the middle of October, I might start crying and say I never want to go to work again. I know the honeymoon and the newness will fade and I’ll be wishing for park days and play dates and all of those things that I want but can’t have. But in the end, I am where I’m meant to be. I have the two precious boys who I’m meant to have and in my heart, I know that they don’t suffer one bit for having me gone five days a week. Maybe you’re mired down with working mom guilt. Or maybe it’s guilt at staying home but feeling like you’re not good at it that mires you down. Maybe you don’t have children at all, but it’s something else that keeps you awake and not in a good way.
Just let go. Find your fine. It’s out there.