Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm One In Six Billion

In case you haven't noticed, I've been around a lot more lately.  Why?

I'm officially unemployed.

And it's a good thing.

My employment started out as an unpaid internship, working for the state in child welfare.  It was harsh, difficult, rewarding work.  I truly felt God's hand leading me as I witnessed life changes in the children I served.  I loved my work and it showed--I was soon offered paid employment.

I nearly turned it down, but then heard that recently, there were 500 applicants for the EXACT same job I was being offered.  Five hundred!  Surely, I might never get that chance again! 

Still, I worried how it would affect my family since I was still in school full time.  My boss showered me with compliments and offered me the chance to work my own days and hours--some from home.  It sounded too good to be true.  She even offered the job hourly, so I could work 3/4 time.

I had to say yes!

And then?  My life was crazy full.  I often did not even have time to PEE!  I got up at 5 am, so I could fit in work hours when my kids were still asleep.  On the days I went into the office, I would work 12 hours straight--sometimes until 9 pm.  My own college classes were during the kids school hours--homework was done after putting the kids to bed.

On weekends, I was completely immersed in my family.  Honestly, I felt I was balancing my life as well as any human could.  Every second was full, with only a few things falling through the cracks (I just recently shopped for and sent my sisters their birthday gifts.  They have birthdays in MAY!).  Our entire family worked together so that the little boys only went to the sitter a couple of hours a week.

But more and more, I questioned my decision.  After all, I didn't have to work--my husband is blessed with a job that provides well.  And while I found my work rewarding, I missed time spent with my family.

NOTE:  I have to stop right here to add that I know there certainly ARE women who DO have to work in paid employment and never get the chance to question whether they should or shouldn't continue.  My own mother, a heroine in her own right, raised three girls on her own for many years. My mom did an amazing job combining work and family most of her life, as do many other women.  This post isn't about whether moms should or shouldn't work, it's about ME and why I'm not working now.  Okay?  So don't anyone send me hate mail. K?

Anyhoo, I knew I was doing God's work, but questioned where He wanted me to be.  Helping children in need?  Or with my own, large brood of needy children?  I seemed to be making it all work, but I was increasingly numb with busyness.  I knew I could never get back the time I was losing with my own kids.  I rarely connected with my extended family, and my friends thought I had fallen off the face of the earth.

And then, one night, when I was putting Patrick to bed, he said something.

Something I will never forget.

Patrick looked at me tenderly, and very sincerely said, "Mommy, you don't smile as much as you used to."

And I knew it was true. 

It was then and there I decided I would not continue to work--at least not while completing my master's degree, which begins this fall.  And shortly after that decision was made, Rose came into our lives--a blessing we almost missed because life had become so crazy. 

I am certain that one of the hundreds of people who applied for my position will do the job just as well, if not better, than me.

BUT, of the SIX BILLION people in the world, I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BE A MOM TO MY KIDS!  The only one! 

And that is pretty cool.


thecurryseven said...

I have a happy smile on my face for you. I know you enjoyed your job, and I know you will again in the future. But, oh, that comment from Patrick...

Enjoy your beautiful family. Now you'll have more time to travel and you can come visit us again. Right? :-)


"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

YEAH! That smile to your children is the most important! You know in the south a lot of people have their children call them mam or sir. I can respect that - as their decision. When we moved south people asked us about reply- my child whom I have fought with every ounce of my being for...prayed over.....loved on even when it seemed hopeless.....NO WAY! They are the ONLY ONES who can call me mommy! I want that more than anything in the world!!!

Stevens Family said...

So happy for you Ann. I've sure missed reading your blog :) We're now moved (yet again) and settled in Topeka. I look forward to being a more regular reader again. Very excited to see you're adopting again. I have to go back and read some more :)

amber said...

For eveything there is a season:) You are an amazing inspiration to mothers everywhere! I love that I am one in six million as well!

great post!

OneThankfulMom said...

Such good words. I know how hard it is to sort the good from the best and then let the good go. I am so often tempted to add more to my plate -- the things that are "important" or "impressive" -- and they are important, but not as dear to me as the ones that need me most right now.

I suspect that working on your Masters will be plenty of work in the midst of your busy and lovely family!