Posted by: whirlabout | November 10, 2008

Taking the Dread out of Going Back to Work

whirlaboutpostOne of the most frequent conversations I have with girlfriends (other than how to deal with temper tantrums and those embarrassing – but truthful – shout-outs about strangers in the grocery store) is how much we dread going back to work. If you take that statement literally, though, it’s not true at all. In fact I feel the opposite. I really look forward to working again. What I dread is returning to what I did before.

How can I endure that rigid drudgery of someone else defining my duties and prioritizing when they should be done? The mundane days and inability to move forward. Sitting in a cube, whispering into the phone, knowing that others can hear every word and move I make. Taking promotions that steer me further from my passion, simply because they are promotions.

How can I go back to that?

Thanks to my children, I’m now trying my hardest to make sure that I won’t.

Being a stay-at-home mom has been like a sorely needed slap in the face. I know people say this a lot, but having a child really does make you feel like a kid again. My children’s joys are my joys. Everything is new, and everything is experienced with raw emotion, both the happiness and disappointments. My children remind me how I want to live my life.

Think about it. Remember what it felt like to make decisions with your heart? That’s what kids do. They know what makes them feel good and they’re not shy about going for it. My kids remind me to make choices based on what I believe is good, inspiring, and rewarding, no matter how much work it might take.

Somewhere along the way, between graduating college and having children, I veered away from those ideals. I assume it came from the temptations of higher paying jobs, more prestigious titles, and what others told me was a “good move.” It’s hard to know what’s right for you — especially with so little life experience. And it’s hard to accept that your ideal might not be as perfect as you expected.

So stepping back from that race has given me a chance to think and feel again — feel what truly inspires me. When I combine that with lessons learned in my career and as a parent, it makes it a lot easier to paint a new picture of how I’d like to make a living.

Looking at work that way, I can’t wait to go back. I can’t wait to grow myself. I can’t wait to explore my talents. I can’t wait to find new ways to inspire my children. I can’t wait to contribute to my family’s finances. And I can’t wait to do what truly matters to me.

And that gets to the core of what this blog is about – that magnificent metamorphosis we stay-at-home moms can go through – from inching our way through rapid growth, to a phase of secluded transition, and then emerging in beautiful flight.

More later…


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