I had no idea when I wrote that 2011 would be the year of the family that it would be like this at the half way point. I have been through my share of ups and downs this year and I'm still working on letting go and going with the flow.
First things first...in June 2010 - six weeks after Monkey was born, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I have been seeing a counselor and was on medication. Early this year, I decided to end the medication. I had been weaning on and off of it throughout the holiday season (probably not my wisest decision) and had focused on taking a step back and a deep breath before freaking out about things and about myself. I had struggled so much with how I was feeling. I hated that I felt differently than I did when Sweet Pea was born. I hated that I felt I couldn't control my feelings and emotions or reactions with people. I hated that I was so angry. But in working with the most wonderful counselor, I had started to forgive myself. I started to see that no one was doing things intentionally to hurt me. I started to see that I was okay and there was a light at the end of the tunnel. So in January I decided I was done with the medication completely. I didn't need it anymore. I just needed to remember what we had talked about. I needed to remember that it was okay that I felt a certain way. And I needed to remember that my family was not going to think less of me because of the struggles I went through. I still see my counselor every couple weeks and I'm open about it. I'm not hiding what I went through. And as my counselor says, "one day I will be a phenomenal resource for someone going through the same thing."
In the middle of February a friend mentioned an opening at her office that intrigued me. I had been bored at work for the past year and frustrated for at least two years with what I was doing. I never thought I would leave but the opportunity presented itself and I jumped. I got the job and put in my two weeks notice. It was a flood of emotions that I wasn't prepared for. After seven and a half years, I was really leaving. I walked out the door on my last day a little shell shocked. I started my new job the next day.
I was so excited. I did well to start then started to slow down. I wasn't worried. I just kept working and busting my butt. I moved from working a half desk to a full desk and again hit the ground running. Things were moving along then they faltered. And try as I may, I couldn't get one area to get back up. I talked to my supervisor, I expressed my concern and said I was trying. I was told that it would come around. Then Sweet Pea got sick and Monkey fell at daycare cutting his nose and he got sick too. So I was home with the kids. Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday with Sweet Pea. Monkey joined us Wednesday afternoon and both kids were home for the week.' Thursday June 9th was my fourth wedding anniversary. My anniversary present was going to work. Road Trip Daddy's present was staying home with the kiddos.
I was thrilled to go into work and be able to control my day. I hated that I couldn't make Sweet Pea or Monkey better and the little control I had at work was what I needed to recharge. I was already planning on staying home Friday with the kids, so the one day of work was welcome. I got to work and focused hard. I was determined to give it 110%. Just before 4pm, pay checks were handed out and my boss grabbed me for a quick minute. Less than 30 seconds into her office and I was told I was being let go. I couldn't believe my ears. I tried to think straight. She apologized, several times in our conversation. I didn't know what to say. She asked if there was anything she could do. The only thing I could say was "Yeah, can you call my husband and tell him I don't have a job?" I spent the next 10 minutes gathering my thoughts, updating my supervisor on any information she needed and then packed up the few belongings there and walked out the door. My boss walked me to the elevator and I tried to keep my composure until the elevator came. I gasped for air as the doors to the elevator opened. I wanted to be sick. I prayed for no one to be on the elevator so I could retreat to my car and breathe, scream, cry, whatever. The elevator went down one floor and stopped. Are you kidding me? A middle age man got on the elevator silently. One more floor and we stop again. This is just cruel. Another person joins us. I don't know if it's a man or woman because I'm staring at the floor trying to stay on my feet. We make it to the first floor and I step off the elevator.
I call Road Trip Daddy from the car. No answer. I leave a message - "We need to talk, call me back soon." He gets my message about 20 minutes later and at this point I'm 10 minutes from home. "I'll talk to you when I get home, I'm almost there" is all I say when I answer the phone. We hang up and I try to come up with what I'm going to say. I have taken a risk by leaving my job of over seven years for this. I had taken a significant pay cut with the potential for more money based on commissions. I feel like a fool. I feel like a failure. I worry that Road Trip Daddy will be disappointed in me. I wish more than anything at that moment at I hadn't left my job. It's not at all how I expected to be spending my anniversary.
When I walk in at home, I'm greeted by screams of delight at my arrival. Sweet Pea rounds the corner and greets me with a big hug and kiss. Monkey is trailing behind her and grabs my legs. I pick him up and meet Road Trip Daddy in the kitchen. We hug and I ask what the worst thing I could tell him right now. He shakes his head and I finally get the words out of my mouth. "I don't have a job anymore." I start crying. "I'm sorry," I say. He hugs me tighter. "It's okay. We are fine. We are going to be fine." With those three sentences, I feel slightly lighter. The stress of telling him are gone and I take a deep breath.
I told my parents later that night and since then we have only told a few close friends. I knew at some point I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I just wasn't planning on it for another 3 years or so. I have been settling into the SAHM role but I am still looking into going back to work...just not quite yet.
So here we are...halfway through the year of the family. We are planning getaways for the summer and I'm looking forward to all the time I get to spend with Sweet Pea and Monkey (even if they are driving me crazy for half of it!)