I wrote earlier that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. At the time, I had submitted half a dozen applications and hadn’t heard anything, so I was in a rut and soul searching.
Well. I got a call. And then another one. An interview I thought I blew. An offer.
Then I panicked.
The number on paper looked amazing in comparison to my current number. The benefits were pretty good. But then I started crunching numbers and weighing the intangibles. I spent three days sobbing uncontrollably because I didn’t know what to do.
If I took it, it meant longer hours and less involvement with my kids, but huge professional growth. Challenges I think I need. But no matter what, I couldn’t shake the thought of losing time with my kids. My three, so little still. My boy is learning so much at school, and right now, I’m invited to go see a special project they do at least once a month. My girls, they’re still nursing every morning before I leave for work. Still looking to me to rock them to sleep for their 5pm cat nap in the living room recliner in my arms while my son sings me songs about the planets.
My brain trust all told me to be proud of myself first, and then to trust my gut because it would guide me. If it was right, I’d know it. I got what I wanted, didn’t I? Why wasn’t this an easy decision? Was it because change is so scary? Was it because I lacked confidence in myself? Didn’t I want more for my family?
I did. I did want more. But when it came down to it, more wasn’t more on paper or in the bank account.
More wasn’t tangible.
I’ve had my more in front of me this whole time. More preschool Thanksgiving lunches. More classroom birthday cupcakes and Christmas programs. More Mardi Gras parades of decorated wagons and proud, goofy grins. More trips north to see my in-laws. More well baby pediatrician visits. More holidays. More vacation days where I can take off if I want to have a family day when my teacher husband and kids have off.
I needed this kick in the pants for so many reasons. One, to remind me that I’m worthy and valuable. And two, to remind me that I’ve got it pretty darned good. We may not be rich in the traditional sense, but we are SO rich in love and time together. I never want to lose that. I will always be grateful to the person that interviewed me and saw my worth. Always. I will also be more grateful to the people at my current job that allow me to put my family first. Always.
It’s true, I’m not necessarily satisfied professionally. Many in my office say the same. But I AM satisfied personally. Right now, that’s what matters to me most, so I’m staying the course.