Once upon a time I was a working woman. I was a trainer for a clerical company where I would teach unsuspecting individuals how to do a job that I had done for 10+ years and now would not do if you stabbed me in the face with an ice pick.
I was so engulfed in working towards a better life. Being that mother who kept a clean house, worked a sixty-hour work week and still was able to have dinner on the table by seven was my dream. I failed miserably. I was good at my job, and I was a good mother, but doing both strained me. To the point that when I focused on one of the ships the other would sink like the Titanic. From the outside looking in, I had it all together. I would have other mothers asking me for tips on how to get a better understanding of work life balance. In reality, I was far from perfect and no matter what I tried I kept failing.
Finally, near one Thanksgiving Day I watched my children eating and laughing. Not a care in the world. This made me smile. What made me frown is when my five-year-old daughter asked;
"Mommy why can't we do this more?"
"Because mommy has to work."
"You always have to work! It's not fair"
There it was. The sentence that solidified my decision to make some drastic changes. Here I was, a mother of four children in the home. Eleven, seven, five and one. All looking to me for attention, support and answers. Never spending more than a few hours with them a day because I was always busy. My mind was made up and I put in my one-month resignation at work.
My first day of being unemployed was phenomenal. I cooked breakfast, got my whole house clean and watched endless episodes of The Magic School bus. I was even able to read a book cover to cover for the first time in years. The joy of stay-at-home mom life was short-lived. I am a dedicated and goal driven person. It is difficult for me to not have something to strive for. And although it's a nice thought, the idea of an empty laundry room wasn't enough to feed that need.
That being said, going back to a 9 to 5 life was not going to happen. I may have needed a creative outlet, but I was still far too happy with spending as much time as I wanted with my little ones to go back to the grind. So, I started looking for other options. Over time, I started on many projects like blogging and content creation. I have even published two books and am currently working on my third. I chose these things because I am able to do them on my own time. Earnings I gain are based on the time I spend so it's all up to me.
Never again will I have my child ask me why I'm always working. Never again will I have to tell my child I can't play because I have a schedule to keep. The decisions are mine which is perfect for me. I may not get medical or dental benefits; retirement plans or paid vacation days. What I get, you can't put a price on. I get smiles in the morning when I cook breakfast, I get hugs and thank Yous' for brushing hair, I get memories that are going to last a lifetime and so much more. I get to be a mom. In my way and on my terms. I get to enjoy all that motherhood has to offer, create a career that fits my lifestyle and never again feel like I am choosing one over the other.
It's my Cinderella story.