So, I had some news to break to Miss Observant last night, but I just wasn’t sure how to do it. She actually sparked up a conversation on her own about Halloween and her preschool party yesterday evening, and I knew I couldn’t wait much longer to tell her…
“Hey babe, I am not going to be able to come to your party on Thursday. I r.e.a.l.l.y. wish I could, but Mommy has to be at work.”
“The stinks, Mommy! That really stinks. You were at all my parties last year.”
“I know, sweetie. I am so sorry.”
Ugh. Sigh. This moment was inevitable. A let-down I knew was bound to happen. Last year, Miss O was only in preschool during the mornings, and I worked in the afternoons, so it always worked out perfectly. This year, all-day preschool. So, an afternoon party is just not in the cards for tomorrow. And yes, “That stinks!” It’s the moments like these when I wish sometimes that I was home full-time with my girls. I’ve said it before; it would make some things a lot easier for us. But, in the real-world, sometimes easy isn’t always better. Losing an entire income would require a lot of sacrifices. And with today’s economy, that’s a little scary. We would lose investment opportunities. We would have to pull back away from some of the more expensive purchases and trips we might want to take.
Both of my parents worked…my dad, during the days, and my mom, three-four nights a week as a nurse. They did such a great job of balancing always being there for everything they could attend. And that’s a lesson that we are just diving into with our own sweet girls. There are days when they want for me to stay home, and I just can’t. There are times when all I want to do is swoop them up, hold them in my arms and snuggle on the couch all afternoon. This is a constant battle within myself…an ever-present tug-o-war…working to set a strong and inspiring example for my daughters versus being present at every. moment. possible. For now, working part-time seems to be a solid balance for our family. And wow, do I ever feel blessed to even be afforded that opportunity.
Parenting is jam-packed full of choices. Sacrifices. Schedule-adjustments. Balancing and adjusting. And making those decisions that we just plain-and-simply don’t want to have to make. At the end of the day, it comes down to what feels like the best move within our own hearts, daily balances and lives. We may have to miss out on something special to be able to be in attendance for something spectacular. We may end up putting off a career to raise a family. We may put ourselves in the go-go-go of the daily rush to try to support both a personal dream, as well as supporting our loved ones.
Above all else, I will always and forever remember that the most important work that I will e.v.e.r. do will be within the four walls of the place we call home. But being able to set a strong example for my daughters, that I can still be “Mommy”, but also follow my dreams of being both a teacher and a writer, is one of the best feelings in the world.