When I look in the mirror, I see a lot of people looking back at me. I look at the working woman who has the respect of her colleagues. I see the PTO president at the wee ones’ preschool who takes on all the roles no one else can or will. I see the mom of two small children who does everything she can to make the best lives possible for them. I see a wife who helps her husband out wherever she can. I see someone involved in a babysitting co-op, a friend, a daughter, a cook, a cleaner, an organizer, a reader, and more.
I see it all in one face. I see it all happen, even when some aspects are more prevalent than others.
I’ve known for awhile that the working woman has been getting bigger. My hours have been increasing, and I’ve been spending more time and effort on my job than I’d like. There are many reasons for it, and I’ve come close to quitting a few times in an effort to better balance my life, but I keep telling myself, not now.
Not in this economy when so many others have no job.
Not when I work part-time and mostly from home.
Not when I have a job that challenges my brain and is well respected.
Not when I receive a paycheck that keeps me from hyperventilating when I open the bills.
Today, Little Miss came home with an art project from school.
My four year old daughter drew her family, and her teacher labeled the pictures for her. Little Miss is there, as is Mister Man. She drew daddy, and she included our two cats (although the teacher obviously misunderstood “Roar” as “Roy”). And she included “my grandma who likes to shop a lot.”
But there’s no mommy.
I didn’t make it into my daughter’s view of her family.
When I saw the picture, I asked her where Mommy was. She looked at the picture and was confused. She tried to say that Roar was me. And Meow. And my husband. And Mister Man. Even herself and grandma.
But I’m not there.
When Mister Man was two and a half, I quit my job because he cried and screamed “no” when he saw me on the weekends. It was obvious that my full-time account management role that kept me on the road or in the office throughout the week didn’t work for my family.
And I think it’s time that I faced up to the fact that maybe my job isn’t working for my family now. And that? That is more important than keeping my brain challenged, the bank account full, and myself marketable.
I just need to screw up my courage and talk to my company. And maybe show them the picture Little Miss drew. As unskilled as it is, it’s one of the clearest pictures I’ve seen in a long time.