The Perfect Job
So I applied for a job less than a week ago. It was the perfect job in many ways. It was a combo of teaching, wilderness instruction, extracurricular assistance in music/theater, language arts (not my major, but a hobby) and advising. It was near my family, so the kids would have been able to hang with Nana and Pop a bunch. It would have been a beautiful place to live for a while, with access to good hiking/skiing within minutes. Randy was supportive, even though he would have been the most impacted by this shift. I was, in my head, making plans for where we could live, how I could take the bus into my job and therefore not have to buy a second vehicle, how to juggle the childcare so that Bennett and Elias would still be in the best of hands. It seemed destined to be, save for the fact that I didn't actually get the job. (Perhaps you astute readers had already caught onto this fact.) Disappointment is an accurate emotion, but even deeper than this is the newfound soul restlessness that comes with the unrealized dream of my glorious return to the working world.
I assume every stay-at-home mother/father struggles with the question of whether they are committing vocational suicide. I have had plenty of conversations about the new identity that comes with motherhood. Sometimes it feels (and is) very sacrificial to "let go" of who you were in order to invest in your kids. Embracing the "new normal" is not so easy when you liked the "old normal". After your stint of 3-10 years investing in your babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, how do you transition back into your calling, vocation, job, call it what you will? Perhaps it has changed somewhat in this time away. Perhaps you realize that your kids ARE your calling, your vocation. I assume many parents find great peace and satisfaction in this role of full-time caregiver. (I have not personally made this jump into motherhood nirvana.) I can truthfully say that there are days that I thank my lucky stars to be at home with my kids. But, there are also days that I long to be back at work. I waffle back and forth, and in light of this recent thinking of returning to work, I find myself struggling to be at peace again with being a mom.
I don't presently know how to resolve my unrest. This morning, while walking my parents' labs with Bennett in the backpack, I prayed for wisdom, for peace, for patience to wait until I am specifically "called" back into 9-5 work. Prayer, in my experience, is not a magical cure-all for what ails me. I don't feel better yet. I do know that I adore my children. I, theoretically, know that it is good for me to be with them right now. I know that it is good to dwell on what I know, rather than what I feel. Given that, I am resolving to ramp up for the coming year in Seattle. I am trying to get my head in the game again, and remove it from the cloud of dreams of what could have been.