At the risk of sounding like an Oprah groupie, I had an "Aha Moment" the other day.
Have you ever wondered, "W hy am I doing this? or Why did I bother? What is my point? This is a waste of time. Or money. Or energy." Or... you fill in the blank.
I'd like to keep this post short and simple and I'm going to do my best to avoid getting too detailed with the personal side of it all.
A long long time ago, I graduated from College. I took a few years, explored the country, lived on the other coast and then, dived head first into Graduate School in Boston.
I worked very hard. I studied and studied. Tuition, books, and rent were of course, expensive. Finally, I graduated. I passed my State Licensing exam. I passed the National Boards and I completed all my internship hours. I had my degrees and all the little letters after my name to proove I was ready to jump into the work force.
So that's what I did.
Meanwhile, Mark and I were dating. For years. Then, we got married. Next, baby boy # 1 was born. Twelve short weeks later, I went back to work.
And I was missssserable. Miserable. Sad. Distracted. I was not where I wanted to be. My life had changed. I had no idea before he was born that I would feel that way. After all, I wanted this job. I wanted to work. I found it satisfying and interesting and intellectually stimulating. I enjoyed working! I had loved school and then I loved my job.
And yet, I loved this baby much much much more. As we all do. I just didn't realize before he was born that my brain would not allow me to shift back into that old job when I left him each day.
This is all off topic.
The point is, when baby boy #2 was on his way, I resigned. I left. A big huge life changing decision was made and I have never looked back.
Soon thereafter, we were holding baby boy #3.
I have never once regretted leaving my work to stay home with these boys. It has worked for us. It has worked for me. And it has worked for the kids. This type of decision is personal and I do believe there is not a clearly defined right or wrong. It's just personal. For me, this was just right.
However.....all that work. And time. And money. And knowledge. For what? I'd lie if I said there wasn't a little bit of guilt.
Twelve years later, and I am still certified. I still pay my dues. I study different topics annually. I go to conferences and read articles online. I take tests. I wonder.... will I ever? Will I ever return? Who knows. It is not on my radar right now, that I know.
After all, so so much has changed. I know have 3 boys. No longer babies needing to be held, they are boys who need constant guidance and attention. I find this age to be much more challenging than their wee little years.
I have also changed professions. I followed my true passion and skill and became a coach. I feel more than solid in this decision as well. My life has been about sport and competition and health and fitness. This is where I belong. It is who I am.
My Aha Moment? Are you wondering?
Well.... baby boy #3 was born in a much too exciting way. I alwasy tell him that he and I had a little angel looking out for us the day he was born. She convinced me not to reschedule a check up that I almost walked out on. Twenty five minutes later, after being rushed to the OR for an emergency C section, my preemie baby with the Heartrate of 50bpm was born.
Two weeks later, we left the NICU.
Wondering... would he always be ok?
Only time would tell.
My baby has grown up beautifully. He's almost 8 and smart as a whip. However, there are struggles that we haven't seen before. Things are beginning to emerge. After all these years, the words, "he was a preemie, he was born emergently" are finally becoming relevant and explanatory.
Sitting in a conference on Friday, bored, there only to obtain the critical CEUs necessary to maintain my unused license, I found myself with tears welling in my eyes.
It all became clear. He is why. My baby is why I am here. I hadn't made the connection when I registered for the course. At the time it was just 6 credits offered at the rigth time of the year. But as I sat listening to our instructor and reading the pages of handouts, it became clear.
If you believe in things like this. I have never known if I did or not. But maybe now I do. All these years and I keep studying and learning. Every year I wonder, "why am I still doing this? Will I ever really go back? I have my new job and it's made for me. My children are bigger but we have many years left before they move away and I intend to be rigth here."
I sat in class on Friday feeling excited and in a way, newly important. I spend a lot of days feeling unappreciated and ineffective. But now I know.... I can help him!!!! The struggles my little guy is having are things that I have been taught how to fix! THIS IS WHY!
I got home late that evening and hugged my guys feeling even luckier than before for the life I have.