However, that is not the point of this post.
Our family has gone through quite a few "new normals" in the past 15 months. Here's the rundown:
-Peter and Julia work in the same place, same schedule
-Peter is home, Julia is at work
-Peter and Julia work in different places, similar hours
-Julia is home waiting for baby, Peter works
-Julia has baby, is home with baby, Peter works
-Julia works, Peter works, Ellie is home with babysitters
-Julia works, Peter works new job, Ellie is home with babysitters
-Julia is home with baby, Peter works!
Each time we started a "new normal" we've had to adjust our schedules, figure out transportation (we are pretty much a one-car family), figure out how new responsibilities will be divided, etc. I think we've shown that we are great at adapting to new circumstances, and almost every "new normal" seems better than the one before. Which leads me to this one, our newest normal.
Yes, I've left my job and have decided to stay at home with Ellie for a while. This will not be status quo for the long run, we have some plans in place for me to start a new career (!!! - to be discussed later). This decision took many sleepless nights, some unhappy tears, a huge leap of faith on all parts, but each day that passes I find myself shedding some of the unhappiness that weighed so heavily on my shoulders and slowly coming out of the fog.
I have so many feelings about this transition. I'm thrilled, of course, to stay home with my girl. She's the love of my life, and while I was at work, my arms used to just ache out of loneliness. I'm stunned to find that this option is something that is feasible for my family - for so long it was out of reach. I'm saddened by leaving my old workplace, and even more than that, scared at what leaving a job means (not only in this economy, but for the long run. What if we find ourselves needing me to go back to a corporate job? What about long term advancement? Our current plan is that I won't ever go back to a corporate job like the one I left, but you never know...). I'm also a little angry and feel a little betrayed by the notion that is so perpetuated in our society that women can have and do it all. For so long I bought into that, and knew that if I worked hard enough, I could be one of the women that seems to have it all - a family, a home, a successful career, a life outside work. The truth seems to me that this is just not the case; there is simply not time in the day for a woman like me to do it all and be satisfied with my efforts. I wanted more time with my baby than working full time (and commuting!) allowed me to have - that is, more than a handful of hours with her Monday through Friday. I wanted time to keep my home up in a way I could be proud of, time to pay attention to my husband, time to help alleviate some of the responsibility that fell on his shoulders, time to run errands, time to cook dinner, time to see my friends and family, time to focus on what I really want in a career, etc.. Working full time simply didn't allow this, and I felt that life (and not only my life, but the first year of my baby's life) was passing by without me. So, we ripped the band aid off, and home I'll stay for the time being. :)
Now everyday is Saturday for Ellie and I. My "new normal" revolves around her nap schedules, the chores at home, keeping Ellie entertained, and watching crap reality TV while drinking martinis. (okay, just kidding about that last part!). And at the end of the day while I am equally as tired as I used to be, I feel so much more fulfilled, that I've finally risen about what I couldn't live with.
In short? Happy days are here for us! (now, bring on the sunshine PLEASE Seattle?).
Thanks for reading. To reward you, here are some pictures of Ellie over the last 6 weeks since we've been gone. :)
hanging out at home:
back home. :)