So you probably know that I am a stay at home mom now. After LucyKate was born I stopped working full-time and went extremely part-time, only working 10 hours a week. It was an awesome gig and I am thankful to have had that job as I transitioned from full-time work in an office to full-time work in my house chasing my kids.
Although my job was technically only 10 hours a week, I worked waaaaayyyyyy more than that. I had the chance to fill in for my boss while she was on maternity leave for about 2 and 1/2 months and I also got to work in an interim position in addition to my 10 hour job while they were looking to find a permanent back-fill for a separate position. I was kind of a utility player all last year and honestly I loved it. It was fun to be able to step in and get it done. I like it when I know what to do and am given the freedom to just get it done without needing a lot of direction. I enjoy knowing that I can be counted on for that. It was also nice to have the extra hours at times, knowing it was only temporary and that I would be able to refocus my time back at home after these temporary assignments were complete.
Earlier this year, just as Lucas was born, my employer went through a pretty significant round of lay-offs and I was not at all surprised that my position was eliminated. I actually welcomed it as a happy parting of ways. It was time for me to fully focus my time and attention at home, especially now that our family had grown.
But if I am being honest, sometimes I really miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely happy and very very blessed to be there for my children full-time. I want this job, I feel called to this job and I am thankful that I can make this my priority right now. But sometimes I miss using that “part of my brain” if you now what I mean. I worked in the communications field and worked my way up to a Communications Director position before transitioning out of the “work force.” I LOVED my job. I loved the team I was privileged to lead. I loved the collaboration with a variety of stakeholders. I especially enjoyed coming alongside different areas within the organization and acting as a consultant of sorts, shoring up various communications needs within their specific areas of influence. I worked with and for some amazing people and I was always challenged creatively and satisfied with the outcomes of my work.
I use Evernote to keep track of my blog posts (among other things) and today I was going through cleaning up and deleting some old notebooks that I no longer need. I found a really old notebook with some notes in it from when I was still full-time. I saw a master list of goals and action items and it made me sad. There are many things I didn’t get to see through to the end. There are many things I wanted to try but never had a chance to. I look at that list and feel unresolved with all kinds of loose ends waving in the wind. Seeing that list makes me want to break out my white board and start color coding a punch list.
I know that season came to an end at just the right time, though. It was time for me to move on to other things God had for me, and it was time for other leaders to step up to the plate and lead in ways that only they could do. I feel good about how things concluded there, and I am always so excited to see the folks who are still there and am amazed at what they are accomplishing. But I still miss it. I miss them. I miss the work. I miss the challenge.
It’s such a strange tension to live with, there is NOTHING that would take me away from being home with my babies right now. I am certain this is where I am supposed to be and wouldn’t let anything take my attention off them right now. But at the same time I feel like I have something to offer and I am just sitting on it. Sometimes I wonder if I will be useful in my field again. Communications is constantly changing, and changes are coming faster than ever with technology and methodology redefining how we communicate. I wonder if I will even be relevant if and when a time comes when I could offer more of my attention to work outside the home.
Despite how I am feeling about working, one thing I know is that I have never had this kind of time to focus strictly on writing. Which is why I am glad I took this 31 Day writing challenge. As a former press secretary and spokesperson I never have felt like I could truly speak on behalf of myself. I was always a representative of my employer. Not that I would say anything contrary to my past employers. It’s just different when you are (finally) free to speak on behalf of no one but yourself. I don’t have to stick to the talking points now. I only have to answer to God and to my Christian faith, which would be the case if I was back at work or not. In some ways I am starting to see how I’ve been hiding behind this identity as spokesperson for someone else. Now if I speak I need to be sure it’s on behalf of my own personal convictions.
So all this to say, we are 15 days into this 31 day writing challenge. So far I have learned some things about myself as a writer and am still beginning to discover a bit of a “new me” as I realize that I have permission to speak freely, under the Lord’s leading of course. Please know that I do pray over these blog posts. You may find that strange but I don’t care. Some of these were written long ago and I do not post a blog until I feel compelled to by the Lord. So I appreciate your feedback when you tell me that a blog touched you in some way. I believe that was the Lord’s work, not mine.
And as a former spokesperson, forgive me for feeling compelled to offer this disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to make statements or cast judgements on any parent’s decision to work outside the home, part-time from home, or strictly at home. Each parent has to decide what is best for them and their families. This post is simply my own musings about my own transition out of full-time professional work to full-time professional diaper changer. 🙂
This post is one of several in the series “31 Days of Life as I Know It.” Click here to see a list of all posts in the series.