From yesterday's mini photo-walk at the park: one branch of green leaves!
It's been obvious to me for awhile that I'm in the midst of growing.
Growth spurts are painful. I remember this from being a preteen and I know this from watching my own child grow. Growing can be very physically and emotionally painful. The longer growth spurts, in particular, can wear a person out.
And this transitioning-from-being-a-full-time-mama growth has been one very long growth spurt (that I know I am still at the tail end of, so I'm still having growing pains, as it were).
I've watched other women make this transition, but not ever in quite the same way (no one ever does anything in quite the same way). I don't really have any real life mentors in this process, but I have a bunch of virtual ones (and virtual friends who feel like real life friends are my best friends).
Being able to see what this process is and how this pain, this transitioning, isn't just me is really valuable. I am so grateful to the women (and men) who have gone before me.
What helps is to remind myself that those years I spent one-on-one with Remy were difficult (so very difficult) and worthwhile*.
What helps is to acknowledge that he is now in a place where he is poised to thrive and is thriving!
(And to remember that I am still, primarily, his mom. When he's sick, I am here. When he has a week off, I am here. That's why the plan isn't to go off and get a job out in the world or go back to grad school yet. I still need to be here when he needs me. And I need to fill my own cup enough that I can fill his cup because that is still my job as a special needs mom.)
What helps is to remember that I am new here, to this making-money-again game.
What helps is to remember to be gentle with myself. And to keep learning. And to keep growing.
And to take care of myself, even on the bad days.
* I've never understood the so called mommy wars (working mothers against staying home mothers). We each make our own choices, with love and acknowledgement of our own needs, and the realities of our families. This is life, not a theoretical training exercise. Real people are hurt when we indulge in picking sides.
I would not presume to choose for another woman or man -- actually, my one regret in all this is that I couldn't step up and give my husband a year as a stay at home dad, he would have loved that so very much. But I didn't have the resources to make up for his income. I forgave myself for that many years ago.