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Own it

I have had a lot of emotions swirling the last few weeks. . . Going back to work and a major family decision looming at the front. I feel like I have a bit of clarity today on both these fronts.

Yesterday, Hugh asked me how I would feel about this particular point in our life if I were in 2054 looking back. Would the decisions we are making today feel as big? Would we laugh at ourselves for worrying so much? Would we regret anything?

I am choosing things now that will shape where I am in 2054. I realized today that if I look back on the last 20 years of my life, I don't have regrets and in truth am quite happy with where I am in my life. Recognizing this, I want to find more enjoyment in the life I have, because my life is mostly shaped by choices I made. I need to own those decisions. Rather than getting rattled about the ins and outs in my everyday life, I want to be at peace in those moments knowing I would not change anything about them, because it is my own decisions that have brought me to where I am today.

Owning the choices I make has everyday ramifications. Boone is a crank from about 4:30 pm until bedtime (with bath time being the small window of exception to this). I find it stressful when he needs me to be with him every moment of that time. Most of this time I need to be carrying him around. In spite of getting most of our supper meal prepped while Boone is napping, I still bank on putting the final touches together with one hand, knowing Boone will need to be in the other.  At supper time Boone mostly screams and throws food. Being an hour into what we not-so-affectionately call the "Witching Hour", I am at my wits end. Sometimes in those moments I can't even recall what a great day we have had when Hugh asks. It seems like the 2 hours of screaming and neediness overshadow anything else that has happened. As crazy and stressful as those two hours feel, in 2054, I might not even remember them - and if I do remember, I know the only emotion that will arise having thought about it will be surprise. Surprise that I had forgotten what a crank Boone was. I won't remember what the stress felt like, or the achey feeling my arms felt. The two longest hours of my day in 2014, won't even be a blip when I sit and look back in 2054.

So for the next few days I am going to try and find peace in Boone's two hours of crankiness. I have tried it all and there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to live through it. So rather than allow my emotions to climb up and strangle me, I am going to try and recognize I chose to have this moment and others like it. I chose to have kids and with that sometimes comes two hours of crankiness. Rather than get mad about the moment, I am going to live with the chose I made. Own it. There is peace in ownership.

My new strategy of owning my choices should help me in the big aspects of my life as well. I am choosing to go back to work. It will be hard, but there are some experiences I want to give my children that love alone can't buy. I want them to be lake rats in the summer, spending their days at the cabin getting pulled behind a boat for hours on end. I want them to play sports. I want them to go on a holiday. My choice to work is driven by the love I have for my kids. Instead of feeling guilt for leaving them, I am going to own my decision. Working is what I choose. I need to stop feeling bad for a decision I have made. I need to think about 2054 Jordan and what she will see looking back. I am confident she will not regret her choice to work, because she will be able to see all the things that her hard work gave her children and she will feel satisfaction having done it.

Happy Tuesday.


Comments

  1. I also felt guilt at returning to work, but I feel as though I am happier having done so. I love my kids so much, and like you, I want to give them experiences in life that would not be possible on one teacher income. I do not regret going back to work one bit; I really enjoy the balance in my life, as hectic as the mornings and few hours before bedtime can be. I keep in mind that it won't always be like this; that there will come a time when I long for these days because my babies have grown and don't need me in such a demanding way any more.

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  2. "My choice to work is driven by the love I have for my kids. Instead of feeling guilt for leaving them, I am going to own my decision. Working is what I choose."

    Thank you so much for this. I needed this for my soul this week!!

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  3. I feel for you and "The Witching Hour". I have had babies like that. My current baby is not like that, and it is surprising. So that just shows me it is the baby's personality, and not anything you are doing wrong. My encouragement for you is that "this soon shall pass!" Hugs though in the meantime!

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  4. P.S. It sounds like Boone is a needy baby. If when you are going back to work he has not improved and it is going to be very difficult with childcare, don't feel guilty about taking an extended mat leave. You can take an extra 6 months unpaid and still keep your position. A loss of income for 6 months is not that big a deal in light of your family's sanity -- in the whole scope of things. I had to do that with one of my children. There was no way I could go back to work when she was 12 months. When I did go back to work later, it was very easy; she was like a different child. I'm glad we waited...it would have been torture. Every baby and situation is different!

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  5. Rebecca - Thanks so much for that.
    Dani - We seem to always connect on stuff, hey! Glad to be able to do it :-)
    Anonymous - Thanks for the encouragement. It is needed. I have actually had a good couple of days with him. Relaxing myself during his needy period. Not getting upset that he is upset has helped.

    It actually might be hard to believe, but I wouldn't call Boone a needy baby. He definitely has 2 hours of the day that he is needy, but it isn't that much more than that. I have actually left him with our caregiver 3 or 4 times for appointments and he didn't even cry. He was great for her. Thanks for mentioning taking a bit of extra time. It is something I have considered, but for other reasons! I agree. Every baby is different!

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  7. Ergo :) If Boone will ride on your back in an Ergo or Beco, that is how I'd do the things I needed to do with a cranky baby. It frees your hands but he's still up with mom.

    Good luck!

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