Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Mental Shift

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"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." ~Mildred B. Vermont

I am no longer a rookie in the ranks of the full-time, stay-at-home mom army. These last five months have flew by and what a glorious blessing in disguise it has been. While I was on maternity leave, I recieved a call from my HR lady. The tone in her voice was as if someone had died. I don't envy her position, it can't be easy giving that kind of news to anyone in these times. Initially, I was stunned. I had such a great career for a great company, but when my division was acquired by another company...not much you can do when you are in management. I almost took it personally, but then soon realize that it was just business and I was one of many casualties in this arena. I woke up the next day with a renewed sense of perspective

After discussing our situation, my husband and I thought that it might be best if we try to make it work on one income until the fall. The main reason for this was our daycare provider could not take Amelia until September and who wants to have their kids in two seperate daycares...PITA! And since it was my husbands idea, the guilt of not working for the summer was virtually eliminated...or so I had hoped. Hello SUMMER VACATION!
I decided that I was going to embrace this hiatus. Live life in a new way. Cherish and relish this small gift of time with my family as much as I could. Embrace spending quality time with my children and creating memories that would be held on to forever. I had lofty ideas: plant a garden, landscape our yard, make homemade baby food, get back to painting, clean the house on a regular schedule, get physically fit, do family outings weekly with the kids, volunteer weekly, re-organize everything, learn how to cook and bake, read and write more, and the list really goes on and on. Doesn't it all sound so great! And it all is...but what a huge shift!
The adjustment was monumental really. Going from being career (me) focused for 20 years to being a working mother of one and now a full-time, stay-at-home mom...the mental shift is great. The sad part is, the biggest obstacle has been changing my mental perspective on being home and not "working"(earning a paycheck). I think many people think that if you are not earning a paycheck, you are not really working. That is a HUGE lie. And it's strange that you can actually place such a high value and importance on making money. I was one of the many women who had a higher salary than my husband and that felt like a bit of an accomplishment. Not that I was competing, but it gave me a strong sense of self-worth to provide for my family like that. I could spend and live freely. But now, I feel like I need permission and I feel more constricted. And this is ALL self-imposed, as my husband is wonderful and supportive. Never says a word really. It's just what I do to myself and as we know, your self-imposed prisons have the largest walls to break down.
For the last couple of years, while working, I had this strong feeling that I wanted to make a career shift and do something that had more of an impact on society. Something that made some kind of a difference, rather than slaving over web advertising for "the man". Well, my prayers where indeed answered and certainly not in the way I ever expected.

I never truly understood the job of being a full-time mom. It is the hardest "job" there is but it is by far the most rewarding and gratifying. I never thought less of stay-at-home mom's, but I didn't UNDERSTAND what it actually entailed. It entails love and joy. It entails patience from DEEP wells. It entails firm routines and discipline. It entails mutli-tasking and baby-driven deadlines. It requires flexibility, lots and lots of it. It requires you to always be on the move, there are no breaks and you're lucky to fit your lunch in. It requires creativity beyond your wildest imagination to comfort, fix situations and curb meltdowns. I could go on and on but why bother. Mothers KNOW and those who are not don't really care or get it until they are one anyway.
But believe it our not, I now I have that dream job. The one that makes the biggest impact on the most important people in the world. The one that makes a difference. I am making deposits in my childrens' memory banks and I am praying that the investments are fruitful for the Lord, themselves, my husband and me and society. This is the most important job that I have been given and I have shifted my entire perspective based on that. "Lives are like buildings and the quality of their foundation will determine the quality of the whole." ~Author Unknown

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