Several years ago now my brother and sister in law announced they were expecting their first child. Perhaps to a complete outsider the timing would seem weird. They were living in a small one bedroom apartment in “the hood” but knowing these two people you knew that they were destined to be amazing parents and nothing else mattered. I remember distinctly one day when she was “very” pregnant asking her if she was ready. I’ll never forget her reply.
“Ready is a loaded word. We have all the necessities for the baby so in a physical sense, yes, we are ready. But am I ready to be a mom? I guess I’m about as ready as one can be. There’s never a perfect time. There are always more things that you could do. But sometimes you take the leap and you make the timing work for you rather than waiting for the right timing”
She went into labour shortly thereafter and as we all suspected was instantly a wonderful caring “textbook” mom. She and my brother have 3 children now and are amazing parents.
Her words have always stuck with me though. There is never a perfect time for anything. It’s about taking what life gives you and making it work. It’s about taking leaps and trying new things when others would cowar away. How many times have you heard people say it’s just not the right time? I’d love to go to grad school, but it’s not a good time to move away. One day we will get married we love each other very much but financially it’s just not the right time. We’d love to have a baby but it’s just not the right time. I’ve always wanted to be a ____ but its just not the right time to be starting a new job right now.
So I guess you have to decide who you want to be. Do you want to take a chance that life might pass you by while you are righting for the “right” time or are you willing to take a jump, realizing things aren’t perfect and never will be, and make the timing work for you.
I say all this because I am about to make a jump I never thought I would. I am leaving my beautiful, perfect son in 8 days to go back to work. As you know if you have been following this blog, my dream is to be a probation officer and in 8 days that dream is going to come true. This has been the hardest choice I have ever made in my life. I have been so blessed with this amazing son and thanks to being a working Canadian citizen, was blessed with the ability to be paid to stay home with him for now. I’m choosing to leave “free money” (and lots of it). I’m choosing to leave my son with a friend during the day when he is only 4 months old (and still breastfeeding and not sleeping through the night!). I am making the choice to leave my care free days, naps, and pjs behind. Why? Because there is never a good time. This choice means that my family will have financial security. It ensures a strong future for Jacob. This choice means we can purchase a home. This choice means that unlike so many people I know I won’t simply have a job, I’ll have a career, and not only that, I will have “the” career, the one that I have dreamt of and worked my ass off for. Its true what they say, good things don’t come to people who wait, good things come to people who work their asses off and don’t give up.
I always feared that as a SAHM I would lose my sense of self. Sure for the 5 years Id have Jacob before he goes to school I would have an amazing role. But what am I left with when the children are in school? I would be a mom with no kids to mother 8 hours a day 5 days a week and homemaking is not my strong suite. Before they go to school I would get to help my children grow and develop. My hubby and I would be the only ones that were teaching him to walk and talk. We would teach him his ABCs and how to say please and thank you. We’d get to share everything with him preparing him day by day to be ready for school. Looking into his beautiful blue eyes and knowing that I am now trusting this care to someone else breaks my heart. I know I can still do these things, and will still need to. I am still going to be able to take him to the spray parks this summer and take him camping. I’m still going to work with him to help him crawl, and walk and talk. I’m still going to help him learn his animals and colors and get to listen to him in the back seat of the car excitedly point out yet another truck. But its different. I’m terrified to lose that time with him. In fact, thinking about it almost has me in tears and I have been fighting them back for the last week since I made the choice to go back to work. I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye to perfect smiling face every day. I realize now the joy there is in “just being a mother” and how amazing that calling really is. I am so blessed to have had these four months at home with him to “Just” be his mother, to “Just” be a wife, to “Just” be the family chef and to “Just” be the family maid. The house has never been cleaner, the meals have never been healthier (no more quick processed fast foods) and I have truly never in my life been happier. Of course I wish I had more time.
But it all comes down to timing. Everything always does. I was prepared to leave him at a year, so leaving him now seems like a cruel and unusual joke. But sometimes you need to take the leap and hubby and I have discussed it in detail and we believe that taking this leap is the best move for our family. Am I ready to leave him? Absolutely not. Am I ready to start my dream career? The thing I have been gearing myself towards and working my ass for for the last 5 years? Yes. I know I can be successful in this role. I know that if I have to go back to work this is where I want to be. I know that there are literally hundreds of other people out there fighting to get this position that I have been offered. I am replaceable. If I don’t take this position who knows when or if it will ever come up again?
I have already been hassled by a few people that I have told. How on earth could I think about leaving my baby? How incredibly selfish of me. But I don’t see it as selfish. I think that in our very personal situation choosing to stay at home with him is much more selfish. He is going to be just fine without me, I’ll have him 2 days a week, hubby will have him 2 days a week and loved ones will have him the other 3. I’ll see him every morning and every evening. I’ll still get to give him a bath and snuggle up with him and read him a good night story. We will still get to have those nights where at 3am he finds himself in bed with Hubby and I and get to cuddle him and sleep smelling that amazing baby smell while he nuzzles in and holds my hand. I will still get to be there for him. and I will still get to be his mom. We are keeping him out of daycare. I am going to pump at work and he can still have all the benefits of breast milk. He is still going to be loved regardless of whether he is with me 24/7 or not. He is going to know is that his Mom loves him so much that she decided not be selfish and stay home when this amazing opportunity came up. We are going to be financially secure. We are going to be able to take him to Disneyland, Mexico, Europe. We are going to be able to put him in after school programs and give him a good home. And we are going to be able to give him our time because by taking this job neither hubby nor I will ever need to work 2 jobs again. When we are home we are home. We don’t need to bring work home with us ever. We will be able to give him our undivided time and attention. What is 8 months in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. Nothing at all when it leads to something so much better.
I’m scared. I’m sad. I’m happy. I’m nervous. I’m a giant ball of emotion. But I know perfect timing doesn’t exist. I know how important it is to just take the jump and make the timing work for you.
So how about you? Are you willing to take the jump when opportunity comes knocking? Or are you sitting back waiting for the perfect time that may never come?