Is this pattern familiar to anyone else? I remember when I started working at my first “real” job at the age of 17, thinking that I would know I had “made it” when I was working 9-5 Monday through Friday. Or something similar. Considering I started in retail, this is a mind boggling, almost impossible concept to wrap the brain around. Still, I kept at the dream. I went to school and worked on a degree. I got “promotions” (HA!) and a department change at work. I LOVED my new department, and worked whenever I could, whether it was open, close, or a random mid-day shift. I finished my degree and was working four 10 hour shifts Monday through Thursday in my much loved department. Despite still being on the low end of the world’s pay scale, I thought my Monday through Friday 9-5 schedule was just over the horizon.
Then my husband and I decided to have a baby. It took a year for me to get pregnant, and set off a roller coaster of events that kept me from searching for that “perfect” job that would combine my degree and my current love. My initial thought was that this was no big deal, I’d take maternity leave, return to work for a few months, then continue on my search for that ideal job.
Then my husband was offered THE job. A chance to use his master’s degree and more money per year than our current two jobs provided combined. Suddenly, a whole new world of options was opened to me. The most frightening, and intriguing, option being that I could be a stay at home mom to our daughter. At first, I was confused. I’d always wanted to be a mom, but I always pictured myself as a working mom like my own mother. I took an extended maternity leave and decided to give it a try.
And fell in love. Not just with my newborn daughter, but with the ME that I had discovered. Once the insane newborn days passed, I was more relaxed than I had been in years. I was on a chore schedule that kept the house presentable. My daughter and I started going out to story times and checking out all the kid play places. Now, we’re on the go to MMO, two story times, Tumble Time, and swim lessons.
In doing that, I found my ideal job. Motherhood is not Monday through Friday. It’s not 9 to 5. It resembles a 24/7 highly demanding roller coaster ride that only pauses briefly to let others on or off before it takes me on another ride.
But do you know what it IS?
It’s 5 days on and 2 days off.