All of me. That is what you may have. You once were a dream, then a plan, then a microscopic embryo inside my womb. You needed me then and you still do now. I quit my full-time teaching job to watch you grow, to not miss a moment and yet, somehow, I still feel like I am.
I’ve discovered there’s a difference between being physically present and actively engaged. Yesterday, after deciding to play tag and hide-and-seek with you rather than work in my office, you said, “Mommy, I just want you all of the time.” You realized how much fun it was to play with me- not just to watch me do laundry, cook or cart you around town- and baby girl, I realized it, too.
So, I surrender. Shortly after quitting my teaching job, I became an in-home party consultant. It was never my plan, rather, I had just wanted to have a fun girls’ night and was told I would actually be a great consultant. I did my research, signed up and quickly became a top consultant in the area and company. For the last four years, I’ve made the same salary I made as a teacher, working only 4-6 nights a month; however,it still takes time during the day to keep in touch with hostesses, reorder products, and handle the paperwork. And when there was just one of you, it was manageable. It became more challenging once there were two of you and now, it feels impossible with three. Any moment one of you naps, I am trying to get 15 minutes of work done and as a result, I have absolutely zero free time.
I’ve been in denial, partly because I’m afraid of truly living on only one salary- afraid of losing the cushion my job provides- but also, because my job is so rewarding. Whereas motherhood can be so thankless, my job is full of praise. When I’m at work, I become a comedian of sorts, making women laugh. But I also educate them about their bodies and empower them to communicate not only with their partners, but with themselves. It is so gratifying to have someone tell you that you “saved their marriage” just because you inspired them to open the lines of communication or that they feel like they are just starting a new life at 40 years old. You don’t tell me what a great job I’m doing, but these women thank me profusely and I am sad about giving that up.
One thing I am learning as I age is the role fear plays in our life. When we continue down a path simply because we fear change, we are no longer living authentically. In the words of one of my friends, we are trying to swim upstream rather than allow the current to take us where it may. And the thing is, we know it when it is happening; we just aren’t ready or don’t want to face it.
In my heart, I know the time has come to say goodbye to my job. Part of me is excited for the freedom it will allow and yet I am sad at the passing of an incredible era.
What I know for sure is that you are worth it, baby girl. Although the minutes feel like they are passing at a snails pace at 3 a.m. while I wait for you to fall back asleep, I know they are truly flying. And I don’t want to miss a moment.
So from here on out I choose to float on my back, eyes to the sky, allowing the water to surround me; not knowing where I will end up but nevertheless trusting its path. Trusting that any time spent with you is never time wasted. From here on out, you may have me baby girl, all the time.