"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky
I am a 43-year old stay at home mom of two, ages 10 and 7. I did not return to work after my second child was born. My career as an environmental engineer had been at a standstill for five years. So when my second turned three, I returned to the work force.
I accepted a part-time position, working three days per week, so that I could be home with my children on the other two days. It seemed like the perfect situation. I would be at home for my children part-time and be contributing financially to the household, in hopes, that someday my contribution will allow us to improve our home and visit places we've always dreamed of visiting. Additionally, it would get me back into the workforce and I could start building my career again. After all, I did not go to college and spend my parents' hard-earned money for nothing!
I quickly acclimated to the position, building trust with my supervisor, colleagues, and clients. My responsibilities grew, and the time spent tending to these responsibilities also grew. I soon realized that I was not fully present in any part of my life, mother, wife, or employee. I continued with the facade for at least a year, hoping things would change and someone would miraculously see that I was not happy.
My A-ha moment occurred when my mother had double knee-replacement surgery and I spent a week staying with my father while my mother was in the hospital. Their father (my husband), friends, and a local after-school care program were caring for my kids. I had arranged for my colleagues to cover me at work. Had I covered all bases?
Apparently, I had not. I returned to my job, only to be told by my supervisor that I need to get back up to speed and get my priorities straight. I thought I had them straight, but not according to him. Was I supposed to leave my thoughts and concerns for my family behind because I was now home and back into my "normal" life? It was at that point I realized I needed to make a change. It took me two more months to get up the nerve to hand in my resignation, and another two months to be completely released of my responsibilities.
The timing was perfect as my last day in the office was the last day of school. My kids and I had a wonderful carefree summer, spending days at the pool, visiting family and friends, and just doing what we felt like doing. I was a bit apprehensive about what my life would be like when my children returned to school in September, but a few friends reassured me that I would have no problem filling my days and keeping busy.
Were they right! I now am a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout leader, serve on my kids' school's PTA executive board, along with shuffling the kids to various activities, cultivating my friendships with fellow mothers, training for various athletic endeavors, and maintaining a household. I never thought that all this would be as fulfilling as it is. Shot taken, goal scored!!!
Recently, a few fellow mothers have started personal ventures from their passions/hobbies. Of course, that has me thinking, "What is my passion, and how can I share it with the world?" One of these mothers is Jenjen Furer. As a show of support to her recent publication of her fifth child, "Out of Status", I downloaded and read her memoir. I was blown away! Not only was it a compelling, well-written story, but it evoked various emotions from me that I was not expecting. I shared my thoughts with her, posted a review of the book on the web site I purchased it from, and VOILA, Jenjen asked me to be a resident writer for her web site, GottaLoveMom.com. Thanks Jenjen, for believing in me and providing me this opportunity.
This could be the start of my reinvention of myself. I have decided to take another shot at the goal of life. Are you ready for a reinvention? If so, how will you do it?
Gwen and I bump into each other almost every morning as we drop off the kids to school. We smile and exchange quick hellos. Her daughter takes piano lessons from my son. She has quietly supported every creative endeavor my family has ventured. I was surprised to find out that she was one of the firsts to have downloaded and read the book. I didn't even know she read it until she emailed me her feedback about the book. I noticed that she's an eloquent writer. So earlier this week, I told her that she has a gift - a talent putting words together. Needless to say, I asked if she would like to be a resident writer. And luckily for us, she said "yes"!