Every moment of every day is the result of, and the precursor to, choices. We make seemingly unimportant decisions all day long, do I want coffee or tea, should I check Facebook now or later, should I have the salad or the chicken? Mundane. Monotonous. Moth-Eaten.
Yet they are decisions all the same, and a sure sign of the power and control we have over our own lives whether we are willing to accept that truth or not. Then occasionally amidst the coffee-facebook-salads we are faced with a decision that shifts our world.
I started working for Subaru in January 2008. From the very beginning I loved everyone, made some amazing friends, and even met my husband there. The years passed and I switched positions and even dealerships a few times. Twice I left without any hard decision making, especially since I was very pregnant with Damien the last time. I had told my bosses that I would be back again, in less than a year, and we would continue our cycle of me being the Great Roving Employee.
The months came and went in the typical blur of sleep deprivation until July when our world stopped turning. Our middle son who was then 2.5 had a severe regression seemingly overnight and it started a chain of events that changed our lives forever.
I pressed through the endless referrals and appointments that followed, and I made the decision to keep my promise to start working again in September. Patrick had told me that I didn’t need to go back to work, that I could stay home with our sons, but something inside me told me I needed to go. Aside from the healthcare plan that I would receive I felt that I needed to have a life outside of home. At home I was drowning. I was overwhelmed and mourning a child who was stolen from me. His body remained here, but I didn’t know the stranger inside of it.
Working was normal. And I needed that.
September came and so did my first day of work. We were lucky with our caregiver situation but that didn’t make it any easier on Xander. Every day was a two hour struggle to get him ready and into the van, as any transition at all was terrifying for him. Pat and I pushed through it and prayed through the exhaustion every single day that it would get better.
Patrick and I had conversations daily that always ended the same way. I would cry endlessly and he would tell me to stay home. I would remind him that while he makes great money we need my job for the health plan. He would sigh and tell me that we were going to be okay. I always believed him.
Between Xander’s therapies and appointments my time was being spread very thin. I was teetering on the edge of depression and after a particularly bad week with Xander’s health I decided that I couldn’t do it any more. 5 days a week was just too much.
With the support of my bosses they found another position for me in the company. I would only work Monday and Friday and had my own office which helped me to stay focused on my job and not have to listen to people saying inappropriate things. The major bonus was that I could still meet the minimum amount of hours needed to get the health plan.
Only I didn’t.
It was too easy to finish my paperwork fast and get home to my kids. Every day I made that choice, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to hear that I didn’t qualify after my 3 month probationary period.
Pat and I talked again, only it ended differently this time. We agreed that it would be best for me to stay home, but he made me promise that I would find at least one outside interest to keep me healthy and happy and not so stabby. I agreed with him and I put my notice in at work.
Friday was my last day. It was a lot less emotional than my last parting where we had a beautiful edible arrangements delivery. There was no card this time. No well wishes and no hugs or tears, and as I left the dealership unnoticed Friday afternoon I reminded myself that it’s okay.
Honestly I think it was a relief for them to see me go. Nobody knew what to do with the sad withdrawn woman I had become and I can’t say that I blame them.
Today is Monday, the 4th of February. It is my first official day as a stay at home mom. It’s been an alright day. I have scooped both kids up in my arms a few times today just to squeeze them and breathe them in. Things are better now. Not easy by any stretch, but the months of interventions are helping Pat and I to become better parents to Xander and that is making our present bearable and our future brighter.
Forget the healthcare. Forget what people think of my children. Forget about fancy vacations and big spending.
From now on I am making the decision to put my family first, and I haven’t felt this free in a long time.
I am linking up with Yeah Write this week. You should come by and read the goods! You won’t be sorry.
Oh, and I also feel like I should say that there are still many people from the dealership I will be in touch with, and many who did spend a lot of time with me on my last day. You know who you are!