Am I About To Get Fired?
Have you ever gotten that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you’re about to get fired?
I have that.
With honorary degrees in multi-tasking, integrative medicine, and applied science, I work unlimited hours on little-to-no sleep, pull energy from reserves I didn’t know I had, and work harder just before vacations and holidays.
I’d love to rest on those laurels, but I’m a stay-at-home mom with two very independent, self sufficient boys who are now twelve and fourteen.
I know they can’t fire me; I would stage a protest on the front lawn in my snow suit before that ever happened, but the truth is they only want me when they need me, and it’s giving me a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach like they’re about to fire me!
Raising kids is not the job I ever thought I’d have, but it’s the one job that I’ve had the longest, and the one I’ve loved having the most.
I know my job as a parent will never become obsolete, but it feels automated at the very least. The reality is, they’re growing up right fast and my job as mom-in-chief feels more like chief-wo-be-gone.
I’m at a huge crossroad.
A crossroad that my elder tribeswomen were trying to warn me about years ago when I smiled and nodded like some know-it all, hormonal teenager. Now, I’m just hormonal.
It was easy to put my career plans on hold when my kids were little. I didn’t have any plans; nothing concrete anyway.
My plan was to get a plan – to write, but like Elizabeth Stone said, “When you decide to have kids, you agree to let your heart go walking around on the outside.” I understood that intrinsically, but who has time to poignantly ponder such sediments when you’re teaching your kids how to walk and talk and then how to sit and listen.
The plan was to follow my heart – all two of them because in the blink of an eye everything changes; one phase ends and a new one begins. Until now, I was at the center of every phase – every new, first, fun, tough, phase. I was there and they needed me, but now I’m past the half-way mark of raising them with precious little time before they fly away and leave me to my empty twig-nest.
They don’t so much need to be raised anymore, as they do to be praised more often. They are kind and loving, and the young men I would have always hoped to have.
It’s confusing, and bittersweet.
I feel lost and empty.
I’ve spent years trying to keep the family machine well-oiled and in good working order; trying to keep all the plates spinning, trying to appreciate the moments as they whiz by, trying to relinquish control, trying to delegate, trying to love more, argue less.
I’m still trying to get it right, but I’m feeling more vulnerable than ever because the one job I feel good about doing is changing drastically and at a greater rate of speed than ever before. I’m being downsized.
It’s a hard reality to face.
I have to revisit plans I never made for myself.
I have to think more about what I want now and that stinks because I don’t like thinking about me and my plans. I’ve planned for everything except that and it’s been a perfectly fine distraction.
I have to reach out now, leave my house, see people, talk to them, ask for help, get a few interviews under the ol’ belt, get a job, work for a living.
Maybe I’ll get my teaching degree; work at my kids’ school.
Well, let me know if you have any ideas. It’s worth exploring all my options, right?
Until next time…
…Cheers to finding humor in your day and laughing at the absurdities!
So thrilled you are writing again… You’re just an awesome human being… Full of life energy and humor and wit. You can easily fit inside a cabinet just to make your brother remember when , and you can easily organize overwhelming total chaos into order while those around are enjoying the order you have created!!! That is a unique gift.
Your boys only act like they are independent. They will always need you and even more so when they act like they don’t!!
Awww, thanks Bev for reading and commenting. You rock! You’ve been such a great support and “encourager” in my gearing back up to do what I love most… Thank you for that and so much more!!!! 🙂 xoxo
I totally get what you mean. Raising a family is what I did best but as I’ve gotten older I realized that hasn’t been my only accomplishment. A big part of who I am but not totally and it really did go by fast! You are now morphing into the next facet of life with your sons and encouraging them to be the best they can be! Your days of attending events they’re involved in are far from over. They know you’re their biggest fan and their friends will too!
Work can be a positive thing if you can find something to do that you enjoy or are interested in. (It doesn’t hurt that you could pass for 35!) It can be beneficial and reaffirming to realize you still have the ability to reinvent yourself! Plus it keeps the brain firing on all cylinders! Flexibility is the key! How about writing a book? You’re a natural! Hugs!
Love hearing from you and appreciate your sage advice. You are so right about flexibility. That was quite difficult for me in the beginning, but I had to decided early on (before insanity made its claim) that I had to be more flexible. Patti had a great comment too about the stage she’s at being deeper, wider and richer in color… See, you are the women elders I was talking about!!!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting here, Gay. (Sorry for the delayed response, I just found this in spam, so you’re unofficially unspammed!)
great piece very identifiable!!!!!
love the photo!!!
Thanks, Laura! I know you can relate. Great to hear from you. 🙂
Well stated in words. I am at a further point in life and it does move quicker like we always heard. Yet the feelings are much deeper and wider and richer in color. Like the difference between the colors of blue and green hues verses royal blue and royal green color.
Thanks, Patti. Hard to imagine that the feelings get deeper, wider, and richer in color, but you are one of the very sage women in my life who knows… I believe, I believe! LOL Thanks for commenting here and for your beautiful words…
Mo, I loved it. Meeting you right at those crossroads.
Molllllly! So great to see you here. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed. Hard to believe we’re at this crossroad, eh? I don’t feel old enough yet, do you? LOL
Awesome article chuckling throughout, I would hire you anytime!
Thanks! Thanks for reading and commenting here. 🙂
Mo I am sure you’ve heard the old saw, if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.
Bill Shakespeare made the same point a bit more deftly: ‘A greater force shapes ours lives roughhew them how we will.”
Regardless of plans or the lack thereof, that you have and are raising two boys to exercise responsible freedom is to realize one of the greatest accomplishments available to we mortals. Few things can approach it. And to the extent that we can hold ourselves in the present moment plans will unfold themselves.
I thought your essay was excellent. Of course I am biased.
I sure have; I know I’ve provided our Creator with plenty of things to laugh about too. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to write. I always appreciate your insight, biased or not!
You are a fantastic mother. Look at it as a promotion because you’ve done so well. Well done Mo!
Thanks, Kathleen. I like the way you think. By the power vested in me, I pronounce myself promoted – officially. Now, who’s going to get me my coffee around here. Oh yeah, I am. 🙂
Excellent piece. Facing something slightly similar but it’s not knowing what to do with myself; it’s not knowing how much time I have to do it in.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. What you’re facing, is it something you can share? Regardless, I understand more than ever how precious time really is. It’s why I’m feeling so uncomfortable – so, I’m writing again, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Go do it – whatever you’re facing, go do it – no one is promised tomorrow… 🙂
I know that feeling (those feelings?) very well. It can be crippling. I’m a world-class procrastinator with an unending supply of distractions.
So great to see you here! Thank you. Yes, it can definitely feel crippling. The worrisome part is that I never used to procrastinate until I had kids… :-0