Common Childhood Question - "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Me - "A mommy"
Towards the end of college I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was about to have a degree in public speaking and aside from that, the world was my oyster. After a bit of encouragement, I decided to enroll in grad school and get my teaching credential. Before I knew it, I had two credentials, a Masters and had been teaching for nearly seven years. Then, my dream career was finally upon me; Mommyhood.
While it took me a bit longer than I had anticipated to become pregnant, as soon as I knew I was growing twins I felt complete. I worked up until the very end with my boys, had them and went back to the best teaching job I’d ever had only five months later. The hours were great, I was loving what I was doing and my guys were with their daddy or my mommy so I knew they were safe and oh so loved.
Then, we moved. I had to leave the job I adored and was not at all excited about starting over...for the fourth time. Knowing my husband and I were planning to have more kids, we decided I could cut back to part time. I worked every other day (totaling 93 days a year) through my third baby (taking only four months off) and throughout my final pregnancy with my Richie this past year. But man, was it hard.
Each day I was at work I was constantly asking whomever was in charge how the boys were in turn driving them nuts. I yearned to be with them every second maintaining our routine (I am a sucker for structure...it’s the teacher in me), going on adventures (mostly to Costco) and playing outside. While people reminded me being at work was a "break" from them, I didn’t ask for a break. Plus, I was starting to notice that my heart was no longer in the classroom. I left it at home each day when I had to leave.
There is no doubt I was meant to be a mommy. It is absolutely, positively without a doubt my truest purpose. I live to be home cleaning, cooking, doing projects and being with my now four, little guys.
Thankfully, after having Richie I was able to take full advantage of the partially paid leave offered by my district. I took an entire six months off to be with him and it was absolutely the best decision I have ever made in my life. No more panic pumping at break stressing to get out as much milk as possible before having to start class; I could hold out until my prep. Now, all I had to do was finish out the last eight weeks of school and have summer to enjoy my best life as a mommy again.
But then I had to go back.
Or did I?
I always said I would teach ten years and then focus on my kids. Here I was about to embark on year 13. I had two boys starting kindergarten (with the same school schedule, meaning I would miss their first day), another one about to start preschool and a sweet fat baby to love on. I just couldn't bear the thought of it any longer.
Despite my husband always being supportive of the possibility of me staying home, I chose to never believe him. I felt he didn't really want to lose that second income. So I just cried about it. Did I mention I’m also an over-thinker?
Finally, I refused to accept that mentality and sought analytical refuge from my mommy, aunt and bestie. It was time to talk it out- over and over and over.
I took a deep dive into the finances I controlled and assessed everything. Incoming, outgoing, what we needed vs wanted and made notes. I had my growing business aka “side hustle”, Thriving & Organized starting to bloom, I taught cycle classes AND we’d have one less kid in private preschool. I could still contribute AND truly THRIVE! I could really live my dream! What was I waiting for?!
I soon realized I had always been the hesitant one. The one too scared to take a leave from the only career I had known since I was 21 years old. I was too scared to not feel like I was steadily contributing to the financial well being of our family. I was the one who was standing in the way of my own happiness.
So, with the support of my amazing, hard working, lives to make me happy husband and my incredible, selfless, loving mommy I decided to do it. To go ahead and step out of the classroom and into my home. All day, every day...unless I had an organizing job or was teaching a fitness class. But I was the one to decide when I was away and could build my life around them; stress free.
It took me a few weeks to not go back and forth about the decision, but once I truly accepted it and made the official request to take the year off I felt a huge weight lift off. I didn't realize just how heavy it was until I let it go. And since then I have felt free. I can finally live my truest dream and be my most honest self with my four beautiful young men.
I look so forward to all the room mommin', bake salen', PTA meetin', team carpoolin' moments ahead. Being a mommy is what I was destined to do and now I am free to decide when I leave my babies, for how long and for how often. I am LIVIN' MY DREAM!