Decision 2012

When I was in the eighth grade, my civics teacher did a terribly misguided exercise in which he asked the class to self-identify and divide ourselves into two groups: conservatives and liberals.

As an eighth-grader, I had no idea what either term meant. I asked him where I should go, and he said, “You are undoubtedly liberal” and ushered me over to where only a handful other students stood (I went to a Catholic gradeschool – nearly everyone identified as conservative).

I asked my teacher why he pegged me as a liberal. He replied, “Because you told me the first day of school that you wanted to be the first female president.”

Now, there’s no time to debate his clearly terrible perception of what defines a liberal woman. But he did make a good point: I have always felt that I am destined for an amazing career, and that I will turn heads doing it.

I thought I was going to “make it” one day. Marriage and kids never filtered into my vision of my future – even in the years following my college graduation.

Then I did what so many of us do: I was a fool in love and got married. Then I did what so many of us married people do: I was a fool in love and had a baby.

Even after my maternity leave, I still had big ideas for being a career mother, truly “having it all” by being extremely successful during the week and being a rockstar momma after-hours.

Somehow, as the months passed and my Monster grew and grew, that dream I had of storming Washington started to give way to the pain I felt as I missed so many of the milestones my son was hitting.

For the last year, I have been in a constant battle between clinging to my childhood dreams and wanting to be there to watch my child build his dreams. As I had minor successes at work, I was having major meltdowns at home, especially on Monday mornings when I would take Monster to daycare and he would cling to me and say, “No, Mommy!”

I finally came to the conclusion that work will always be there if I want it. You know what won’t always be there? A toddler eager to hug and kiss his Mommy. A little boy who thinks I am the coolest, funniest person in the whole world. His chubby little cheeks will thin out and his teeny Monster paws will grow, and he won’t need me then the way he needs me now.

And so, last week, I did something I can honestly say my 18-year-old self would have scoffed at: I gave my two weeks’ notice at work, with the reason being that I wanted to be a full-time mother.

Part of me feels like I’m giving up; I had always thought I was Super Woman and could handle working full-time and being the best Mommy in the world.

Part of me is relieved that I’ll get to be the one to raise my child instead of the ever rotating slew of daycare teachers.

And part of me knows that no matter which decision I would have made, it wouldn’t have been easy. That’s just what it means to be a mother; it is one hard decision after another and a lot of laughter and tears in between.

In the days following my resignation, I have often thought of my eighth-grade self, standing on the left side of that classroom, uncertain of how I got there but reminding myself that one day, I WAS going to do something incredible with my life.

To all the mommas out there – working outside the home or not – I do think we’re all doing something incredible. We’re mommies. It’s not an issue of being destined for greatness – we are living it.

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8 Comments on Decision 2012

  1. Kristiana Almeida
    October 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm (5 years ago)

    Kate – you’re one badass momma. I know that this must have been a hard decision for you, but you’re not giving anything up – you’re making sure you do something ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. We set INSANELY high expectations for ourselves as women, and while we can be a “Jill of all trades” we can never truly be a master of one.

    I think it’s awesome that you figured this out before Monster got too big and you “missed” too many milestones in his life.

    Monster is lucky to have superwoman as his momma. You’ll be sorely missed (because I respect the hell out of you), but you know we’ll be here if you ever want to be a digital volunteer.

    Lots of love an best wishes to you!

    Reply
  2. Rebekah
    October 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm (5 years ago)

    You’re awesome. :)

    Reply
  3. Amy Hutchison
    October 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm (5 years ago)

    Kate, I still remember before you got married saying that the first thing you wanted to do was make babies. Sometimes our plans in life change. It angers me so much when my colleagues down here look at women who take “stereotypical” women jobs (in my world, children’s ministers or associate ministers) as weak or “giving up.” Sometimes it’s just a plan. I am incredibly jealous of you. I would much rather be able to stay at home with my child and watch them grow and change.

    You were a tremendous marketer, and we all know that. But it is so obviously shining in your life that you are going to be so much happier with your little booger at home. :-)

    Reply
  4. ChristieB
    October 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm (5 years ago)

    but your still working for me!!!:) From home and all that but you will love love it here!

    Reply
  5. Anonymous
    October 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm (5 years ago)

    I think you have probably just made one of the wisest (and hardest) decisions of your life. What a very blessed little boy to have you as his mom. You rock.
    T.Tate

    Reply
  6. Anonymous
    October 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm (5 years ago)

    You’re still a hard nosed liberal though :), but being a good mom is more important than any politics. Politics will ALWAYS be red or blue, but raising a kid is one shot.

    Reply

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