A transition. It’s such a sneaky thing. Even when it’s what you want. As i look back over the past year I can see things that I was expecting, sleepless nights, learning patience, falling in love with a baby and even more in love with my spouse. But many times, it’s the surprising changes that make me stop dead in my tracks to say, WHOA, where did that come from?
I always dreamt of being a stay-at-home mom. I knew that it might not be possible or that I might never be able to have children, so I prepared for life in an office too…just in case. I got my degree in Political Science, minored in Spanish and traveled to many places. I worked for 15 years in various office settings learning new things and increasing my earning potential. I never wanted a career, honestly. I really looked forward to being a mom. And then I was blessed, SO blessed with not only a healthy pregnancy, but the opportunity to stay home and raise Oscar.
Why then, did I start to worry about my value as a person once I stopped getting a paycheck? That was the slap in the face. I don’t want to stop being a stay-at-home mom. I would just like my check please. I mean how else do I know that I am doing a good job? It’s not like I can get fired. And after a life full of pats on the back, bonuses, and annual raises, sometimes I feel like I don’t know how to qualify success.
It’s not a climb-the-ladder thing. I don’t want to get to the top. And it’s not a money thing. While it would be nice to have some extra income, we are making it work for now on just Jerry’s salary. Yet, all of a sudden I feel this need to contribute financially. Like I am somehow no longer pulling my weight. Of course, none of this is from Jerry. In fact, he said the nicest thing possible when we talked about this very thing. He told me, “but you ARE successful! Just look at Oscar, he’s awesome”.
And so I am learning to find my ‘paycheck’ in the little things. Oscar’s satisfaction when he learns a new skill. Or when he says ‘thank you’ as I hand him his milk. Or gives me a big giant lick to the face which is his way of kissing at the moment. They are truly more valuable than anything I could earn in an office. And I get that. I love it. I stumbled across this blog which focuses on this very thing. I think it will come in super handy on those low self-esteem days. And who knows, I still might get a job one day that pays actual money. But for now, I am going to see each day as a bonus.