Mike took Dylan to Costco over the weekend, and on the way, Dylan asked Mike what his job was. Mike explained that he was a reporter and a project manager. Dylan’s priceless response was, “Do you fix things?” Next, Dylan asked what my job was? Mike said, “Mommy’s job is taking care of you, your brother and the household.” (Why does it always sting a little bit to hear this basically true statement out loud?) Dylan’s response was, “Mommy’s job is cooking.” (By the way, I’m so glad he said cooking instead of doing laundry. I actually enjoy cooking.) And then this was the best part. Dylan said, “Mommy’s job is everything.” This is quite possibly the best job description for a mother that I’ve ever heard.
I don’t actually do everything, but it often feels like it, and it’s one of the reasons I haven’t rushed back into the (paid) workforce yet. I feel like I’ve been living inside an episode of the Wonder Pets for nearly three years, so it’s hard to imagine having the capacity to be responsible for or accountable to anyone besides my two children (and husband and dog). On top of that, I don’t want to become a Caught in the Middle Mama again. Been there. Done that. And then there’s the fear – fear of failure, fear of taking on too much and fear of, well, everything. It’s one thing to want everything, but it’s another thing to have it all on one plate.
Even with all of this apprehension, I’ve been very discreetly doing something totally and completely HUGE. I’ve started working. I’m doing freelance public relations (what I used to do), and I’m getting paid (gasp!). This is what I was referring to in my blog birthday post when I said I was taking baby steps outside of my cozy mommy bubble.
As I’ve stated (and demonstrated) before, stay-at-home mamahood can be a nerve-racking, hair-raising experience, but no matter how crazy it gets, it’s still a different animal than work. Combining the two takes courage and patience (and good friends and plenty of Pino Grigio), and balancing them must be done delicately. Baby steps, indeed. I’m working from home, making my own hours, earning some money and still “cooking.” I’m a Fortunate Mama tiptoeing very slowly toward…everything.