I gotta be ME

I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized that a lot of my heartache is because I am holding onto a life and a person that no longer exists. I have expectations in relationship to past experience and memories that don’t apply to my life anymore.

I am me, but I’m not the “me” I used to be. Having a baby forever changed who I am. Who my baby is, his health, changed how I look at everything. Someone asked me yesterday if I think things went sideways for me after I had my little man because he has a metabolic disorder, and if he didn’t if I would have sunk so far into postpartum. I could only answer…I don’t know. That was not my experience and I have no reference point, no way to know if I would have “bounced back” and all of that.

He looks so healthy there are days I forget. Then we have a day where you can tell he doesn’t feel well, or an “if’y” diaper, and as his momma I fret again, and watch everything he does until some time goes by and I relax…and then the whole cycles starts again.

The carefree, unhindered, slightly selfish person I was before him is long gone. Now I barely take the time to get my hair done, have a hot bath (by myself!) or do anything with friends. Correction: I never do anything with my friends. Wait…do I even have friends anymore?! But I digress…

The point is, my life is different and things aren’t going to be the same again. Ever. This isn’t bad. This is great since I always wanted kids, and he’s such a joy. I just have to let go…and that might mean my job as well.

I know a lot of full-time working moms. Times are hard enough now that it’s almost impossible to live off of one parent’s salary alone. I am not trying to get out of working. I just feel that the stress of my current job is making my life hard. I’ve walked a fine line with my employer since I got back from maternity leave…a year ago. I have been on write-up since then, which is very stressful because I haven’t until now thought about what I would do without a job. We need the income, but does it have to be at a job that I feel like I’m failing every day? Does it have to be from me working like a dog all day long and taking abuse from people over the phone? Does it have to be at the expense of my self-esteem, and happiness and health? I have finally realized this does not have to be my reality for the rest of my working life. I can find a new job, or stay home and find other ways to earn additional income. I can be the mom I know I’m capable of, and want to be every day for my son.

Every day at work is a stretch for me. I have to dig deep to find my optimism, and my smile for people that do deserve for me to be at my best. I talk to people all day, and not all of them are rude, or mean. I love my coworkers, and most of my bosses. I don’t have arguments with anyone, I am professional, I know my job…I just have a work environment that isn’t very flexible. I am timed all day long. When did I clock in? When did I go to lunch? How many bathroom breaks did I take? I wish I was kidding, but this has become my reality at work. Most days I’m reduced to a statistic and a number, and I either pass or I fail everyday. Literally I get a pass or fail grade on my record. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to fail than it is to pass. I have a smaller bladder I swear since being pregnant and that alone means I might fail every day if I drink too much water. It’s exhausting. As if I’m not tired enough already because I’m a mom of a busy toddler. I’m not type A enough for this job, and it’s not where I’m meant to be anymore.

I had a small breakdown over something trivial at work but it just added up to a difference in my work environment, and since I’m already stretched so thin just to perform well enough to keep my job I snapped. We’ll call it the straw, if you know what I mean. I flat-out told my boss I’m looking for a new job, and that for someone who claims to want her employees to be happy she doesn’t seem to care that much when something affects them. I instantly regretted it, and it’s very out of character for me, but it was out there before I even had time to rethink it. I spoke with another supervisor in my office about my issues, went to lunch and when I came back I took a very important call. The customer at the end of the line yesterday afternoon gave me hope, and changed my thinking. She’s my age, has two small children, and stays at home. She was so inspirational and encouraged me to make the leap to staying home with my son, and enjoying every minute while he is little. I sat for a moment after that call and cried silent tears and thanked God for giving me direction, and pointing the way for me.

I have to wait it out here for a few more months because…we are still trying to buy a house. I don’t feel like the timing is right for me to quit right now. I know things will work out how they are supposed to. In the meantime, my fortune from lunch today says I’m getting a new job soon! Yay!!! đŸ™‚

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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