A few weeks ago I posted about ending the so-called fictional ridiculous Mommy Wars. I was so happy to see all of the positive responses and also that so many of you like red wine.
We can now remain friends.
Anyway, the reason there really are no mommy wars between SAHMs, WOHMs, WAHMs, or SAMIAMs or Whatever is because everyone is either doing what the need to do, what they choose to do, or what the want to do, or what they enjoy doing, or what is right for them and their family and OMG – it’s about THEM. So leave them alone and invite them over for coffee.
I take mine black.
So this post. This post about why I am an “At Home Mom” – this post is not for any of you reading this today. This post is for me.
And for my kids..when they read this silly blog someday.
I never thought I would do anything but work. I started the “big corporate” job work as a 20 year old intern while still in college. I loved it. I loved everything about it.
I loved the business suits, the paper, the meetings, the lunches, the deadlines, the challenges, the people. the friends, the travel, the PowerPoint presentations, the stress, the successes, the long hours, and most of all THE MONEY!
My work defined me. I put everything into it. Everything.
I moved across country and back for my career and it cost me my personal life. And the end of a relationship.
But really at the time I did not care. I got another promotion and another move. I bought another house.
Now I traveled all over the world and soon moved to Europe. For my career.
And then I got pregnant. After fourteen years of cultivating a successful career.
And I remember so clearly the whole time I was pregnant – I visited day cares and never questioned that my baby would be in a day care center when she turned two months old and I would return to work..and nothing would change.
Nothing prepared me for the day my daughter was born. And in an instant everything changed inside me.
When I went back to work a few month later I left my heart each day at that center.
But I worked and still ran a successful business unit at the company. But my day now ended at 4:30 and I started saying no to travel opportunities. This was no longer my happy place. I dropped my happy place off eight hours ago and I ached.
And then I was pregnant again.
I believe there is always a moment or an event that changes everything and gives us clarity about what we are meant to do…and this was mine…
A new CEO had just started at our company. He asked all of the business managers to give him a 15 minute presentation summarizing our business – plan, financials, marketing, etc. The meeting was scheduled from 3-5pm and my timeslot was 4:15. Perfect – right after my turn I would be out the door and to Eloise by 4:50. Did I mention that I was also seven months pregnant at this time.
But as all meetings go..we were running late. 4:15 came and went. At 4:40 there were still two people in front of me scheduled to speak.
So I stood up at 4:50 in this meeting of this $2 billion dollar company – this meeting with the CEO and the Vice Presidents…and all of the managers. This room of about two women and about 50 men.
And I walked over to the new CEO and said in front of everyone “I have to go. My daycare closes in ten minutes and I’m already late. And besides trying to get there before they close and charge me extra, what’s more important is that Eloise knows that Mommy comes by 4:45..right after Tommy’s mom and right before Ava’s dad. And now Ava has already been picked up and there is an almost two year old sitting there wondering where her mommy is…and that is why I need to be there right now and not here.”
And I walked out of that conference room before anyone could say anything to me. And I exhaled.
But that wasn’t really the moment.
The moment was ten minutes later when I was driving 87 miles per hour on I-94 to get to my Eloise and I got pulled over by the State Patrol. Yes. oh yes I did.
By the time he reached my window I was this crazy seven month pregnant woman sobbing hysterically as if everyone I knew had just died and I just started talking “my baby is in daycare” and “there was this big meeting” “please let me go get my baby” ..and just bad, bad blubbering and excuses and just bad. Awful.
But I must have gotten my point across because this sweet man said to me “Tracy, I’m going to let you go – yes even at 32 over the speed limit because I get it. I’m a new dad and I get it..but you will reach your baby going 55 just as well as 87..and maybe even alive…so go..but go the speed limit that last five miles.”
And he followed me the rest of the way there..and waved as he drove past as I ran into the building.
Six months later I was sitting at work. Esther was four months old and Eloise two and a half.
I sat in a meeting and then I went to pump.
And then I sat at my desk and sobbed and went to the supply room found an empty box that would fit nearly 17 years of my career. My whole adult life.
Turns out I did not need a box that big. And it only took me about 15 minutes to sort out what I would take with me. Turns out that there were no big and important memories made for me for all of that hard work I put into that life for so long.
And I walked by my bosses office and I threw him my badge and told him that I was quitting as I got a better job offer. I didn’t mention that the hours and pay at my new job are complete shit.
But the benefits are immeasurable.
Telling my story for MamaKat’s World Famous Writing Workshop.