This morning, I told a woman I’ve met a few times in the park that I’m having a mid life crisis.
I didn’t mean an actual mid life crisis, whatever that is, I meant something more like, there are all these crazy things happening in my life and I’m making big changes. It was my lame attempt t0 be funny and maybe a little outrageous (I like to be outrageous sometimes as my friends will attest).
The look on her face was something I was not expecting or prepared for. She looked at me with such pity and sadness. She just looked at me for a few seconds and then said “Oh, I’m SO sorry.”
Wow, what if I was really having a crisis, would her reaction have been appropriate? I’m not sure. I immediately told her that I was kidding and that I was just being dramatic. That in fact, things were fine and I had just decided to make some big fun changes in my life.
Then my husband, God bless him, tried to lighten the mood by saying “if you see her driving up in a red convertible sports car you’ll know that she is actually having a mid life crisis.”
The rest of the play date was fine but it shook me up a little and made me think again about this blogging medium.
We can share so much of our sad times on these electronic pages that we cannot share with “real” individuals in our everyday lives because of the fear of seeing that face. That sad face full of pity. No one wants to see that. We want to be able to share our sorrow in a way that will be both liberating and comforting without fear of judgement or pity.
The Internet, and more specifically the blogging community, allows for that freedom and I think that’s fantastic.
No One But Me
I wasn’t one of those mothers that decided to quit their job when they had a baby. After both my maternity leaves, I went back to work (three days a week) without too much heartache.
I’ve heard women say that they didn’t want anyone besides themselves raising their children and that’s why they stayed home. I didn’t feel that way. I felt that I was raising my children and also working outside the home.
I found a wonderful woman that would come to our house when I was at work to be with my children. She fell in love with us and we fell in love with her. Of course there were times when I questioned my role as both a mother and a professional but for the most part I was completely comfortable with my decision.
Then I started the process of finding my oldest son’s preschool. The thought of him leaving the house and not being with us was so foreign and terrifying. I was scared for him and for myself. And the closer it came to him having to actually go to school every day, the more I felt panic wash over me.
There were numerous emotional and procedural questions that came up as part of the planning, but one thing I KNEW without any doubt was that I would not be able to have someone else take him to and pick him up from school.
It may not seem that significant a thing to some people but to me the notion of anyone but me dropping of my son at this new place and picking him up from his three hours of adventure and learning was just incomprehensible.
Those minutes before he goes and after he comes back are the minutes that I want to share with him. I remember when I was young those minutes were some of the most filled with anxiety, joy, excitement, fear and love and I don’t want to miss even one second of those drop offs and pick ups.
So, because of this and several other reasons that you may have read in the last few weeks, I quit my job so that I could create a new way of life for me and my family. A way that I could both be fulfilled as a professional AND also have flexibility to share those precious moments with my son.
Tomorrow is the first day of school for him. I will be sad, happy, thrilled, scared and glad. But best of all I will be there to kiss him before he leaves my arms to enter this new phase and I will be there to receive him in my arms when he comes back!