Saturday, May 5, 2012

Failure Breeds Change

So when my perfect job-share arrangement came to a crossroads because of a merger I decided to venture into the unknown and start a daycare with a good friend of mine.  To say it's been a challenge would be an understatement.  I, along with my partner, have spent thousands of dollars and over a year of our lives preparing to open our daycare and the last five months trying desperately to keep it. 

Being a former Marketing professional it's hard not to feel the sting of each failed advertising attempt.  The radio ads, newspaper ads, fliers, social media have barely yielded a few kids.  I have spent a lot of my personal money trying desperately to make a new career for myself and here I am two steps back.  I have taken a leave of absence from the daycare in order to give my partner an opportunity to pay her mortgage for awhile longer and buy us the time to try and make this all work out.  But the truth is that neither of us knows will happen.

Again I find myself standing on the precipice of change.  It's scary because it's unknown.  But I've already decided (with my husband of course) that should things with the daycare not pick up, I'm not going back to work.  The daycare expenses and the cost of gas would likely devour any income I'm likely to make.  But beyond the practicalities of life, I hear my grandmother's voice echoing across the expanse of my heart, "But why are you going back to work, you wanted that baby so much."  I would give anything to hear my grandmother's voice for real, to tell her what's going on and ask for her advice.  She taught me that choices are a luxury, and she taught me that I had more choices than I realized.

So I've been home for a week now and it's not what I thought it would be.  It's not boring at all.  I find that I don't actually hate cooking and cleaning.   I hated having to cram everything into the scraps of time I'm given during the course of a work week.  Rushing to cook the second I got home from work, filling an entire Saturday doing laundry.  These things made me resent what for all working moms is commonly known as the second shift.  We work all day, get home and work all night.   Moms literally work all the time and so often I just felt rung out like a dish rag.  I felt overworked, stressed out, unappreciated, and resentful of my husband for whom the second shift did not apply. That's not to say he doesn't do things around the house (good God I can hear him recanting every time he's taken out the garbage or unloaded the dishwasher).  The realm of family and household responsibility has always overwhelmingly been mine.  You can understand this when what tasks are done by your husband are often presented with this lovely protest, "But I help you."  Yes help implies that it is extra, not necessary, and yes belongs to me.  But now the second shift has become a long shift with more fluidity and flexibility.

I absolutely hate cleaning bathrooms, but I cleaned all three of mine from top to bottom this week and it wasn't so bad.  I did all the toilets one day, the tub one day, the counters and floors another and it seemed much easier.  I've taken my kids to park, the library and have just spent time being with them.  I've created our first ever family budget, oh yes I can hear the groans.  It should have been done years ago, but it's really opened up my eyes as to what we spend money on.  Make no mistake, work has a lot of expenses of its own.  Now I'm committed to saving money wherever I can.  So as of this moment I don't know if I'm a stay at home mom for now or for the long haul.  I'm just trying to enjoy and be open to change, whatever it brings me.

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