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Archive for the ‘Identity’ Category

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Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be an actress.  I did plays in my youth with high school, community theatre and even in college.  Then, in the early 90s, I moved to Chicago and got an MFA in acting…

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I recently wrote a blog about the value in quality time.  At the time, I was off from work because my son was on spring break, and I was struggling with the balance between work life and home life.  I wrote that I wasn’t sure if I had a job to go back to once his break from preschool was over.  Well, sure enough, I was no longer needed at my job.  In all honesty, it wasn’t work I wanted to do.  My boss brought me on because he started a firm, which was different from the work I did for him last summer.  I went along because I thought it would be a good opportunity for me.  There was the hope that I’d eventually get back to the more exciting work I was doing for him, but that wasn’t the case.

The whole thing feels like a whirlwind.  I was working from home part-time last summer, then took a break, then began working from an office still part-time but more hours, and then 3 months after that, I’m back to being a stay-at-home mom.  Even though I wasn’t working for long, I really enjoyed it.  I absolutely love being a mom and am grateful everyday that our family is in such a place where I don’t have to work.  But, I liked working.  It was fulfilling in a different way than being a mom, adding more flavor to my life, more colors.  And, I liked my little paycheck, which also felt good to contribute in another way.

No Luck

When I found out I wasn’t going back to work, at least at that job, I had a little identity crisis.  For many years I was in the workforce and then we brought The Littlest E home with us from Ethiopia.  I became the mother of a 12½-month old baby boy and wrote a number of blogs about adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom after working for so long.  I even gave myself a title, The Executive Director of the Elliott Family Residence because I started resenting doing the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, etc.  I loved and relished the mom part, but the other stuff got under my skin.  That title shifted things for me.  I totally owned my job, I’m a Mom and I’m the Executive Director of our family.  I rose to the occasion and excelled at my position!  I got really into planning meals and running the house.

Then, the job offer came.  It was tough balancing everything.  We aren’t able to hire a nanny so it fell on me to go to work, and do the housework.   My husband is a true partner in all aspects of our family life.  He is great with our son, does his chores he has.  He is a wonderful, present father and husband.  There were still things I had to do, my responsibilities.  The balance between home life and work life is a difficult one and I was processing working it through when I got laid off.

Balance is everything

It’s been interesting adjusting to being solely at home again.  I’m looking for part-time work, but my hours are pretty specific.  I need to be available to take our son to and from preschool, plus be with him after school.  Who knows if the right job will come along?  When I was working from home, it was perfect because I worked the hours I wanted and still got paid.  I’ve been taught that everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be.  When I’m focused on that, I don’t resent being home anymore.

The time with my son is fleeting.  He’s in preschool now, but soon it’ll be kindergarten, elementary school and after school sports or other activities, then middle and high school.  Before we know it, he’s off to college.  If everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be, then for now, I am supposed to be here.  There’s that old saying, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the Present.”  Today is a gift and each day is a gift.  I only have this day, this now and how do I want to live it?

Peace of Mind

Another thing I was taught when asking the Universe a question, there are three answers: “Yes,” “Not now,” or “There’s something better.”  I have a project that I’m working on and if something happens with that, I’ll definitely be working full-time.  When that happens, my husband and I will make the necessary adjustments in our schedules and hire a babysitter for after school.  Perhaps this project is my something better.  No matter what, it’s all going to be okay.  I’m settling into life after my layoff, and it’s a nice life filled with love, family, gratitude, and peace of mind.

Images: Jason Langheine, luluemon athletica, luisar

©Melanie Elliott

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