I think about my old job often. Much more often than I ever thought I would. I still keep in touch with several colleagues and am very blessed that some of my dearest friends came from that job. I would have never understood before now how, over a year later I still don't feel closure on how it ended. It is like a really bad break up where they tell you it is them and not you but yet you still don't get it.
It is strange. When I use to day dream about leaving and being a full time mom it always seemed unreal and even though I have been home now for 15 months, it still does not seem real. I guess the reality lies in the fact that I may (sooner than later) be going back into the work force. My being home has never been a permanent arrangement. I knew that 15 months ago and I still do today. As much as I would love it to be, it just does not seem like we can make this work forever.
This thought brings up all sorts of anxieties in me. None of which have to do with my ability. I have confidence that I could still work, do a good job. It would be nice to surprise myself at my strengths and be creative again. It would be nice to talk to adults and yes, sometimes it would be nice to escape from autism for a while. But I feel so much anxiety. My anxieties now come from the very rational thought that... nobody can take care of my kids like I do. Even on a bad day, I know that they would rather be with me than anyone on the earth. Even on the bad days there are moments of wonderful perfection where my heart is filled beyond what I could express.
Before, when I worked I did not know what I was missing. I had both Carson and Fin and knew I would be returning to work. We had wonderful child care and I never worried about their care. Now, as I start to deal with our reality I feel my chest tighten at the thought of trusting their care to someone else.
I already feel jealous over the memories they (a care provider) might get that I would miss. I worry my relationships with each of them would change. Of course, I worry how Carson would get all that he needs with 40+ hours of my week filled. I worry about exposing Fin and Mia to the potential germs of a day care setting (remember, they are not vaccinated).
I can't even wrap my head around how I would get everything done. How I could work, be a mom and wife and still get house work done, laundry, etc. To tell the truth, I am so busy now that some weeks I have to let things go.
I can't even imagine finding a job in this horrible market that would provide us money less day care costs. When I factor all the expenses to working, I start to think if it is really worth it at all.
Then I remember how fulfilling it was to feel needed (believe me I know I am needed at home, just in a different way) and most of the time, appreciated. I remember how working provided me growth as a person and enjoyed the challenges. Yes, there was stress from time to time but I guess I might have been lucky that my job was an enjoyable one.
So, I go back and fourth. I try to convince myself that if I have to go back that it wont be so bad. We would find a new normal. The money sure would be great and we could do some things that we have not been able to.
But then, I look at my three greatest gifts in the world and realize there is nothing of material value that can replace what I have been able to experience these past 15 months. I don't shop much anymore. There are no vacations planned. Big nights out are not common. But that is okay. I really does not bother me.
And the cycle starts all over again.
I guess in time, I will know what my options are. I pray that I will have peace with whatever they may be.