Friday, July 07, 2006

Driving home today, from yet another lovely session with those fun-loving phlebotomists at the hospital, I was listening to the radio. Dr. Now-Go-Do-The-Right-Thing Laura to be precise.

A mom called in, upset and wondering how to deal with the fact that she was jealous of the time that her husband spends with their kids. They were like, 7 years and 9 months or something... but I digress.

Long story short, she worked full time out of the house building her career - while her husband worked less hours and did the Little League coaching - bathtime - bedtime thing.

Sounded familiar. Way too familiar.

I was the product of a home where my mom had a full time job. Me. Her first outside job was when I was 16.

When my kids were growing up, hubby and I worked opposite hours. I worked days, he worked swings- and the kids were in daycare for maybe 2 hours a day while I was driving in and he was driving out. I ended up getting fast promotions, fast money and took better and better jobs - that took us from California to Oregon then within Oregon to Arizona to Oregon to Louisiana to Montana. Did I mention my kids are only 12 and 13?

They have been to 5 or 6 schools, homeschooled for two years, and left friends behind all over. Although incredibly smart and gifted, my daughter had gained a love of travel and experiencing things while my son has gained a huge resistance to change. But, I made really good money and had a really cool title.

Hubby retired (at 44) to be the stable thing at home FT with the kids as we saw the USA. He became the homeschooling dad, and started what I affectionately called "Camp Fun Daddy". That meant, the kids liked to spend more time with him, than their cranky, tired, over-worked, highly paid and decorated, professionally written up and lauded mom. I was jealous, moody and had no desire to own that this was my fault. Never. N.E.V.E.R. Not MY fault.

And then, my dad got sick.

April 25, 2005 I got a call. Dad was sick. Cancer. Terminal.

God provided an exit out of my current contract, our house was put on the market, everything went into storage and we were on the road before Memorial Day. Back to Oregon.

The four months we spent with Dad were priceless. They were rough, emotional, fulfilling, tearful, draining, exhausting- and amazing. My dad had a thing about others. His legacy was to populate heaven. To educate. You can see that in my Father's Day post below.

And a really amazing thing happened. When we made the decision to come home to Billings, I was offered a job at just 20% of my set-in-stone "going rate" and I took it. Without hesitation. Cause I finally got "it".

Now I work from home. Full time. With my husband. All day long. And see my kids. All the time. And I am happier, and more fulfilled and my marriage is stronger, and I'm now a FT staff member of "Camp Fun Parents". My dad's final gift. Given with all his love.

My daughter and I now hang out and have fun. My son and I do more things together. I see them grow, go on every field trip, pick them up from school (taking them to school is just way too early now- LOL) and break up their fights. And I love, cherish, adore and thank God for every one of them. I don't miss the money, enjoy a different kind of stress, but still enjoy the industry that I have spent years in. God is Great.

It took me a really long time to realize what so many of you never even considered "not" doing.

I'm now part of the "Stay at Home Mommy" club.


Blogger Michelle said...

I love Dr. Laura. *sigh* And God sure is good! It's amazing what you do!

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

loved this insight. What I think is important is that YOU decided for yourself - it wasn't imposed upon you.

3:01 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

It's amazing how God provides, isn't it, when you just make that leap of faith. I went from being a daily newspaper editor to being a ftm with a few hours on the side doing PR work from home. Haven't regretted the decision for a second, and God has met every need.

10:44 PM  

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