I have recently had a major life change: I went back to work. For the past few years I have been home with my kids and I’m so glad I was. But an opportunity came up that was too good to pass up. And I jumped on it.
Not without reservations, of course. I worried: Will anyone take care of my kids the way I can? Will Marco still feel loved? Will his babysitter “get” him? Advocate for him? Push him and nurture him? If I am not present constantly with his teachers, will he fall through the cracks? Worry, worry, worry.
I’ve only been back at work for a few months but I am happy to say that so far so good. And here is the thing I didn’t realize until I started working again: my self-esteem had taken a horrible beating from being home full time with my son and all of his needs. I put all of my eggs into the mommy basket and, then, when my son struggles the way that he does, I feel like a failure.
Now that I’m working again, I have one place where I can feel successful.
I realize that I am very lucky to have had the choice to work or stay home. Many people do not have this option. Perhaps you have to work because financially you cannot make ends meet if you don’t. Perhaps you can’t work because your child’s special needs are so great that it doesn’t allow you to work outside of the home. But I challenge you to do this: Find something- ANYTHING-that makes you feel successful. My job now does this for me. But when I think back to the past year I also notice one other success story. I also have to say that YOU all have done that for me too.
I want you all to know that, even though we have never met, you are an invaluable support system for me. I cannot tell you how much it has meant to me to read your comments after I’ve posted something and feel that we’re on the same page. Raising our children is a wonderful adventure but a challenging one. To feel that we’re in this together (even if just through a website) is a blessing. I am amazed by your dedication to your children and your strength and perseverance, for waking up every morning to climb Mt. Everest again and again. Every day. Our kids are lucky to have us. Let’s not forget that! Let’s celebrate our successes with one another. We deserve it!
So, job or no job. Hobby or no hobby. Outlet or not outlet. Thank you, out there, for making me feel successful again. Thank you for giving me perspective and for reminding me that I’m never (ever!) in this alone. Do you have something or someone that does that for you?