I read another interesting article on the work-life balance conversation recently. I love this topic and know there's no one path that works for each family. But it helps to keep talking about the issues we all face!
When we decided to move to Macon over a year ago we made the decision to put my husband's job first. This was a hard decision (especially as I was on the cusp of making partner at my firm), but it was right for our family. He has his dream job as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. And in 8 weeks I will fully step back from my legal job. It might be until Bridget is 4-6 months old, or it might be indefinite. I'm not sure yet. But December 18th has been set as my last day.
I'm excited and petrified by the possibility. I'll get more time with my kids and won't have to hand Bridget over to someone else to return to a job I sometimes loathe. I won't be sitting at a desk 8 hours a day. But I will be stepping away from a career I've spent a lot of money on and for which I'll still be paying student loans for years to come. I don't know if I can get back in the game if I completely leave and that is where the massive fear comes from. Will that time, money and schooling have been for naught? Will I regret this choice?
But what about the other things out there? What if I devoted more hours a week to my Beautycounter business that I truly love? What if I actually wrote that book I've been wanting to write? What if I got yoga-teacher certified or became a lactation consultant like I've dreamed? What if I find that thing that I don't even know is my thing yet?
And how will my family life change? How much stress can I take away from my husband by taking over the morning drop off so he can always get to work on time? How much stress of my own will be relieved by being able to devote our mornings to the kids rather than rushing around trying to throw myself together too? And our evenings? What will happen when I can prep dinner while the boys are at school and then actually spend time WITH them when I pick them up? How will their behavior change when they are no longer stuck in aftercare until 5pm every day? I am so excited by these changes.
So why am I so afraid? Why can I not answer the question "What do you want to do once Bridget is here?" I was asked it this morning by my boss, but I couldn't respond. In truth we won't know the extent of Bridget's medical needs until she's here, but I used that as an excuse to not commit to anything right now. A convenient by-product of her diagnosis. Hey, I'm trying to find the silver linings where I can.
Yet in my heart I already know. I want to step away from the law. It's not my passion. It never was.
I know what I'm giving up. But I don't think I fully understand the potential of what I have to gain. The timing is never right to make big changes. I'll never feel we're financially settled to take this big pay cut. But sometimes you have to leap. Sometimes you have to trust that it will all work out.
I think it's finally time to run and do what I need to do. I'm ready to find out who I am when I finally lay aside my lawyer's hat. Maybe I'll put it on again one day. Maybe that day will be sooner than later. But maybe, just maybe, I'll never look back.