But this wasn't another one of those contract/temp jobs that would only be a paycheck, a lot of anxiety and hours commuting/cursing/guzzling my breakfast from an insulated cup. This job is close to my home, on a base (love my base), pays commission, is with the MWR (that's Morale Welfare and Recreation for all you civilians. They're the people who make sure soldiers and families have a little fun once in a while) - in other words, something that would actually get me out of bed in the morning, something I would probably volunteer for to be honest.
I loved working with the military and civilians as an FRG leader while Terry was deployed. I knew I was making a difference and people actually appreciated me. I would think, "Gee I wish I could get paid for this." And poof! Here is something very close to that wish coming true (and ironically I would have to give up my FRG position to take this job).
So what's my problem? This:
Taking a full time job means no more lazy days putting lipstick on Asher to freak his father out, no more trips to Seattle any day of the week, no more summer days waking up and saying, should we go out today or stay in and read, watch movies and eat pizza? Who will greet Gabe at the bus stop or take Asher to that filthy play thing at the mall? Who will plan meals and go grocery shopping and volunteer at the school so that in the evenings and weekends we can have real family time?
I know I didn't invent motherhood, but sometimes I feel like the first person to ever have to send my babies away for 45 hours a week. And before any bitches leave snotty anonymous comments on my blog, let me just say that I have made that choice before and I realize that I am privileged to even have a choice, ok? I grew up with a mom who lived on welfare, had to quit college to raise me and was forced into stripping to pay the bills.
I'm kidding. She had too much pride for welfare.
When Gabe was just about Asher's age we had to put him in full time daycare because I was in my last year of undergrad and Terry was in his first year of law school. Our schedules overlapped too much to do the "baby swap" we had managed by alternating our classes before. Plus we had moved to the other side of the state and we couldn't bum any more free daycare off our families.
It wasn't so bad with Gabe because there were too many compelling reasons for him to go. Actually just one - a full scholarship. I wasn't about to give up a free education just so I wouldn't have to kiss his curly golden head goodbye everyday. Der. I'm not an idiot. Not that I wasn't angst ridden about it. But I knew it was worth it. It was an exchange. Here he is now, a well adjusted child, taking G&T classes and an aspiring engineer (he doesn't know this yet).
Today there isn't anything tipping the scales to help me make my decision other than my self esteem and more money. It would be nice to get a bigger house, 'cause this two bedroom living is really cramping us all, but THAT was an exchange we were willing to make to have one of us home with the boys. We rent this small place because the only way we could afford to buy in this ridiculous (and mercifully declining) real estate market is IF I worked full time.
I thought I was ready to work outside the home. I feel the need to be contributing to the world in a different way, particularly the world my life revolved around for the past year. But am I just mistaking all this pent up energy from the deployment for actual ambition?
Then I was reminded of an obituary I recently read.
Kathryn Frost was the highest ranking female in the active Army at the time of her retirement. She died last Friday of breast cancer. In her obit she is quoted as saying,
"Most people wanted equal rights, but no one was asking for equal
responsibility. Commitment requires sacrifice. Somewhere along the line, to be
successful, one has to establish priorities and make choices."
Commitment. Sacrifice. Priorities. Hmm. What a concept. That's the part I always forget when I think I can "have it all." My children are my priority, but obviously there has to be some balance with them and the rest of my life, otherwise they would always get the last bite of my donut after scarfing down their own in two seconds flat...greedy little bastards...
After swallowing this insightful but bitter pill, I felt like I could at least make this decision with my eyes wide open.
And then it hits me. Frost didn't have children.