A few weeks ago, while sitting with half a dozen girlfriends at the Canada Games Centre, an email arrived on my blackberry announcing that I’d been accepted into school this September. I read it aloud to the moms while sitting in the comfy chairs drinking coffee and watching our children swim… receiving a warm and hearty congratulations from all.
My friend told me later that I’d announced it as if I was nonchalantly saying, “Oh look…I have dog shit on my shoe”.
To put it mildly, I wasn’t thrilled.
I remember my acceptance into two different universities on two separate occasions many years before and will never forget my daughter’s reaction to being accepted to X last year. However, my demeanour this time was no where near the same.
I figured I’d be accepted…though admit I was beginning to worry as it was taking a while and I started to question if my “portfolio” was what they were looking for. As crazy as it sounded to me at the time, part of the admissions into the Graphic Design program was to put together a portfolio of my work? Work? I was applying to LEARN how to do this stuff so why would I have work? However, on closer reflection…I’ve done quite a number of design pieces through the years from business cards to party invitations and it seems in the end, the portfolio granted me a position in the program. Either that or my partying did!
The real problem for my lack of excitement was simple…I love being a stay-at-home mom.
I received a degree in Information Technology when my eldest was just a babe and loved working in the industry…even getting to the point of officially being called a “geek.” However, after firing a full time Nanny for questionable reasons (she was stealing from us), working long hours with three young children and a partner who worked away from home four days per week…I’d reached a point where I wanted to be at home with my children and in doing so, felt “whole.” I made “being a mom” my job…and I was good at it. Damn good at it.
Although I’d enjoyed my career, my decision to leave was an easy one…when my youngest was just a few months old, I switched to part time work teaching IT at the university with a bit of consulting thrown in for back up. A few years of being a part-time prof, long hours consulting and juggling three kids…I stopped working and started baking cookies, going on field trips, and volunteering. Every moment being home with my children has been a blessing and I truly believed this was the job that I was cut out for…the most important job in the world!
As time gets closer, I know I’ll love being back at school…learning something new. I love to create and this program is perfectly suited to me. When researching on upgrading my skills I spent quite a bit of time finding a course to suit my needs. It didn’t feel right to switch career paths altogether and with skills to draw on I began looking into Project Management, Programming or any number of technical certifications… but nothing excited me. Going back to teaching at the university would require me to get my Masters and again, it just didn’t suit my life anymore. The Graphic Design program at NSCC allows me to grow skills I already posses…and to be honest, I’m more creative than technical anyway…so I think it’ll be the perfect fit.
However, hard as it is to explain, it’s just one more thing about moving forward and away from the life that I dearly loved that irritates me to the point of wanting to throw a massive, long and drawn out hissy fit complete with fists flying and hair being pulled.
It scares the hell out of me to do something for myself when the kids still need me. What if one of them gets sick? What if they forget their sneakers? What if they want a friend over for lunch? What if they lose their key? What if my youngest has a field trip? What if my son gets a migraine? What if it rains and they need a ride home? What if I get a call from my eldest asking me to jump in the car, bring the dog and take her out to lunch? What if what if what if what if what if? What if I’m not there when something major is happening with them…like a fight with a friend or a broken heart?
I’m well aware parents do this every single day and that for many there isn’t a choice…and now, sadly, the choice has been taken from me as well. I’m also aware that I’ve a ton of support behind me and any number of friends and family will jump in at a moments notice and lend a hand…not everyone is as blessed as I am and I should be extremely grateful for what I have…rather than resentful. But the thing is…I don’t want people to help me…I want to do it myself!
I need to look at this as a new and wonderful opportunity…an adventure. There’s a whole new world opening up for me where I’ll be proving to my children that I can do anything! I’m a mom first and foremost and will make every effort to be there for them…still putting them first. It just might take a bit more organizing…but I can do it. I’ve worn the “Super Mom” cape before…I can do it again.
I have dog shit on my shoe. I’m hosing it off and cleaning up the mess as they’re the shoes I’m walking in at the moment. They feel a little tight and rather uncomfortable but in time…they’ll be the perfect fit.
Just as soon as I take off my slippers and housecoat, put away the bon bons and stop feeling sorry for myself