Posted by Duff

Call me crazy, because while I fear the unknown, I really appreciate gathering life experience. For instance, I was induced to birth The Dervish, and hoped Atticus’ birth would  be a unique tale to usher in a different personality. I wanted my water to break, I wanted to feel spontaneous, non-medicated contractions. And I got my wish. Plus a surprise c-section. Which gives me another story to recant and a way to relate to more people. I wouldn’t take it back.

So, when I wished I could have more time with my kids, that rushed weekday mornings wouldn’t give me abdominal cramps, that my husband and I could have more of the same days off together, I wasn’t too surprised when life came knocking. Given that pesky fear of what’s behind Door #2, I couldn’t make the necessary life changes to bring it upon myself.

Poof. Wish granted. Because today is my last day at my job of  8+ years. Thank you, economy. I am honorably discharged.

Eight years is longer than I’ve done much of anything consistently except be my parents’ child with the same social security number.

Eight years during which my job was a constant while I lost and grieved my father, met and married my husband, flipped 2 houses and bought the supposed ‘forever’, carried and birthed 2 children. I had 4 different bosses, 3 different desks, and survived countless mergers (and their subsequent layoffs). Until today.

So, Monday, I sign on for a new, unplanned job: Stay at Home Mom.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated. I know plenty of moms do this every day, for years. I’m sure they’re great at it. But having had a sneak peak at this solo-ness of this gig on weekends, I daresay my 9-5 was easier. It was certainly quieter. More sure to provide breaks. No rear ends to wipe. The stakes of doing a good job weren’t nearly as high emotionally or connected to my measure of success as they will be starting March 1.

After years of planning projects, I’ve got vast plans of providing The Dervish with my own version of circle time on her two non-preschool mornings. Play dates and YMCA classes for the afternoons she would have been playing at daycare with 8-1o other kids her age. Preschool mornings spent with Atticus, sharing the same one-on-one play time The Dervish got for 2 1/2 years before his arrival.

Visits to the library. A real commitment to regular reading time. Craft ideas that tie into book themes. Parental participation in preschool activities when I’m invited. Now I have no excuse for forgetting to bring in xyz to help build a solar powered windmill or to sponsor the letter G.

I’m also planning a revised laundry schedule (no more of this 6 loads in 2 days crap), less convenience food and more home-cooked meals, stricter price-comparison shopping, and excercise – wait for it – several times per week. (Does chasing a crawler or a misbehaving Dervish count?)

Oh yeah. I haven’t even started yet and am totally setting myself up for overachieving failure.

I could also enjoy this time I hoped for, rather than scheduling the joy right out of it. It could be over in a month.

Stay tuned. This could get ugly.