I’ve dreamt about it, I’ve cried about it, I’ve prayed about it, I’ve fought for it, and now I’m doing it! As of February 1st, I will no longer wake up with anxiety in my heart and drag myself into a place I haven’t enjoyed for many years and send my babies off to be cared for by someone else for the sole fact that we need the income.
What I need right now is more time with my babies, more time to focus on my family’s needs, and more time to devote to enjoying what I do on a daily basis and more time to devote to school.
But it’s hard. Giving up a large chunk of your family’s (guaranteed) income sounds foolish when you have student loans that loom years after you thought they’d be paid off, a mortgage, insurance, other monthly bills and gymnastics and soccer that you thought you’d be able to put your kids in – no problem. This has been a nightly discussion between my husband and I, and we’ve come up with no real solution. Just hopes and prayers that whatever we decide is the best for our family. Thankfully he is the most supportive and encouraging husband in the world and only want for me to enjoy what I’m doing every day. He’s been nothing other than supportive through all of my melt downs. And, constantly tells me my/our family’s happiness is more important.
I’ve worked for a small company for the past 12 years that I started while I was finishing my first undergrad nearly 10 years ago with the plan of quitting once I received my degree and found a real job. According to Urban Dictionary (because who doesn’t get their definitions of life from an online source with no real governing), a real job is defined as steady employment with fixed salary and working hours, as well as potential for growth and advancement. So technically it was a real job, but really, I had plans.
My degree was in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in marketing, so pretty broad. I interned with 9NEWS as a news intern and freelanced with Associated Press to cover the 2008 DNC, so I had a solid foundation to get in somewhere, but for those of you not familiar with an entry-level journalist’s pay, it’s crap. Like minimum wage crap.
I also graduated in my mid-twenties while paying my way and working the entire time, so by the time I graduated, I had real bills, a car payment, health and car insurance, and rent. I couldn’t swing minimum wage, so I stuck with where I was. As a couple of years passed, the job search didn’t provide any higher-paying prospects. At this point my passion for photography was hitting hard, and after stealing my dad’s old (but nice) film camera, I started shooting everything in sight.
This obviously turned into more than just an obsessive hobby, as I am now a (part-time) wedding and portrait photographer – and I LOVE it. However, being a momma of two and working full-time I don’t exactly have the time I need to devote to expanding business and taking on more clients. I’ve managed to attend a workshop (Katelyn James) and complete several online courses, but I need more time to really push it to the next level.
Over the past 15 years I’ve also taken a huge interest in nutrition and its importance to our overall health; my health and my kids’ health in particular. Thankfully, I grew up with a mom who cooked us real meals, so it’s not as though it’s a foreign subject. We ate healthy for the most part, but the importance of each nutrient and how and why those impact our every-day thinking, energy, movement and health is what really gets me now. The quality of the foods we consume. What foods fight inflammation? What foods contain the most iron and the most absorbable iron at that? For years I’ve read and researched the connection between chronic disease and nutrition. Why something is so important to our survival and yet so many have so little concern for it. Ah, I could go on-and-on, but that’s is another post for another day.
With that said, I’m thrilled to mention that I’m about a year into a 2nd bachelor’s in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and I feel like this has been a huge piece of my life’s puzzle that has been missing. To finally be enrolled in a program and studying it officially with the thought of one day helping others with this crazy in-depth subject is the icing on the cake.
The plan was to start with baby step, so I did. Kind of. I started taking eight credits last summer and when fall hit I went part-time at work and took 15 credits in school. It was a step in the right direction – again pursuing a passion, but it was rough. Late nights studying, little sleep, still working three days a week and a six month old who wouldn’t sleep. Like EVER. But I made it. We as a family survived.
While I’ll still be a busy momma, I’ll be home with my babies during the day, and we won’t be rushed to wake up and go, go, go. We will enjoy breakfast together, we will have more park dates together, and we might even enjoy a nap or two together. (I’ve never been a napper, but I may just take that up as well while I’m on this change-trend.) And, I won’t feel like I’m missing out on the little things – at least for now. I’ll focus more on expanding the photography business, I’ll enjoy heading to class for a little break from mom life to further my education and future career in an area that I’m so incredibly passionate about, and I’ll enjoy down-time with my husband at night. But most of all, I’ll enjoy life.
So while I’m setting off on this crazy journey and dragging my husband and kids along, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers that mentally, physically, emotionally and financially we can handle it.
And for anyone out there doing something they don’t enjoy… STOP! Stop now. It’s never too late to change paths. It’s your life, you should enjoy it!
Stay tuned for more from my mommy adventures as a stay-at-home mom and lots of nutrition talk!!