One week. That’s all we have left. Story will be leaving preschool and I will be leaving my full-time job in one week. I think we’re both afraid—but even more excited.
Leaving the security of employment may seem irresponsible to some. I include myself in that group. So . . . temporary insanity? No. It was a decision that took months. You see, I really like having a steady paycheck that takes care of all my expenses and then some. I really like my colleagues, my teammates. I really like my work. I really like my boss, even. I like all these things an awful lot, but I love my daughter. Mind you, I don’t mean that working moms do not love their children (that’s just ridiculous); I know full well how rewarding and trying it can be to have both a career and a child. Each situation is unique, and the circumstances of my situation demanded that I make a choice; I could not do both successfully any longer.
In my quest to be a good, responsible parent, I’ve become a bad mom. Story takes her tablet to bed and stays up to work with me. Our together time is spent on the couch cuddling while I work and she watches television. She takes swim lessons while my manuscript pages curl with the damp as I mark format corrections instead of watching her. Weekends that should be spent at the park are spent at home with me at the computer and Story in “independent play.” I used to be able to justify all this though. In my mind, I was doing what I was supposed to do to take care of my daughter and give her everything she needed.
Story, creative genius that she is, let me know that I was, in fact, not giving her what she needed in a way that was not at all straightforward and therefore debatable. Rather than choosing the usual children’s books, she began handing me piles of chapter books to check out at the library. After this trend continued for a bit, I asked her about it, thinking way too excitedly that she was ready to begin reading. I did not get the answer I was hoping for. I got a smack on the back of the head instead: “You spend more time with me when we read these books at bedtime.”
It is time for a change. So here we are. One week left of this life, one week left until our new life. I will be freelancing from home. I’ve done this before, so I am aware of the dangers of taking on too much out of that need for security, but I can combat that. I have a good reason. Granted, I won’t have the luxury of a reliable paycheck, but I will have the luxury of taking Story to school and picking her up. I’ll be able to help her with her homework and play games with her at the park. And she’ll have her mom back.
Maybe I’ll make it; maybe I won’t. But I’m trying, and I can tell that it counts in Story’s eyes.