I’m about to close another chapter in my life and open a new one.
I…am going back to work.
In another life, I was a nurse. I’ve said that for a long time whenever anyone asked me what I do for a living.
“I was a nurse in another life. Now I stay at home with my children.” I would reply with a great deal of sadness. A great deal of remorse and a certain feeling of loss. I always felt like I had lost part of my identity once I stopped going to work. Once I stopped putting on those scrubs and walking through that lobby of the hospital to take the elevator up to the 5th floor of the Pediatric ICU unit…I simply stopped being a nurse. Now I was just a mom.
I never wanted to be just a mom.
“What do you do?”
“I’m just a mom.”
Four and a half years later, I now realize what I was leaving out with that word “just”. How much I was devaluing myself by saying that. I have never been “just” anything, least of all just a mom.
That word leaves out alllllll of these other things that I have been for them.
I was a teacher and a referee. A cheerleader and a coach. A therapist, a doctor, a nurse, a counselor, a confidant, a friend, an enemy, a prosecutor, defender, judge, jury, warden, jailer, and probation officer..
I was all of those things in addition to being their mom.
Now I’m not going to be just a mom anymore.
As this part of my life is ending…I’m sad. I kind of grew to like just being a mom.
But I’m so incredibly happy.
I LOVED being a nurse. I miss it.
But I LOVE being a mom too.
I look back on these last 4 years with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Look at what I’ve been able to do and see in these years! Look at how much I’ve grown and changed as the direct result of the 3 little people under my direct supervision. Look at how much they’ve taught me.
I was extremely sad when I walked out of those hospital doors for the last time in August of 2009. I felt like part of me had died and I did not want to stay at home.
Now I can’t even begin to register how I ever felt that way.
I was there for all of the amazing things that happened.
And all of the devastating things too.
I was there when Oli took her first steps. I was there when she learned to stand by herself. I was there when she said “mom” for the first time. I was there for her when she went to school for the first time.
I was there when she stopped talking. I was there when she had her first seizure, and then her second and third and…. I was there for the ambulance rides and the hospital stays. The doctor appointments, the evaluations, the new therapy sessions.
I have been there for Ginger since the day she was born. I haven’t missed a moment, a milestone, a bedtime kiss…
I was there when Kekoa went to school for the first time, when he fell off of his bike and had to get stitches. I’ve been there when he came home crying because the kids at school just don’t understand what it’s like to have Oli at home.
I’ve been there for it all.
Going back to work may mean missing out on a few of those moments.
I know that with change comes growth. I know that I am in a spot in my life where it is time for me to change, but I’m scared. I’m scared of not being there anymore.
Even though I know that I will be and I know that my kids are going to be in good hands because their dad is going to be here.
Even though my brain knows all of these things….my heart isn’t quite there yet.
I never realized until this moment how much I had grown to love staying at home with my kids. I never knew how much I would treasure the car rider lane and waiting for the bus. Preparing after school snacks and breaking up fights.
Okay. I can live without that last one.
I guess I needed this opportunity to really appreciate the amazing gift that I was given when I walked out of the hospital on that hot August day in 2009.
Whenever I meet a woman and I ask her what she does, I can honestly say that I will NEVER hear the words “just a mom” again without looking into the woman’s eyes and seeing all of the things that she is leaving out.
NO ONE is just a mom.