Growth Spurts: Doing What We Need to Do Isn’t Always Easy
I started writing for Parents & Kids Magazine in 2008, and I joined the office staff in 2011. I had been a stay-at-home mom for ten years before taking this part-time job. Since my youngest child was starting kindergarten at that time, I felt like I could take on some work hours while she and her siblings were at school. After being out of the workforce for so long, it felt nice to use some of my skill sets that hadn’t exactly been required for raising my babies. It was nice to have an office outside of my home to go to and interact with other staff members. It was nice to feel like I was contributing to something good in our community. And it was nice that I could do most of it while my kids were at school. I have been part of many aspects of Parents & Kids: social media, e-newsletter, website, calendar, editorial, events, and even some accounting. I have found enjoyment and fulfillment in being part of it all
A little over two years ago, we adopted two of our sons, which meant that life got a whole lot busier. Then, a year and a half ago, we decided that it might be best if I homeschooled those sons to help them catch up academically, which meant that life got even busier. And I no longer had school days “free.” (I use the quotation marks because we all know that there is always much to be done even while the kids are away at school.)
Gradually over the last year, I have had to give up certain aspects of my job at Parents & Kids, and it has been hard for me. Although I am thankful for the flexibility of working from home, I really miss going to the office and interacting with the staff. And I miss putting together the weekly e-newsletter and running social media.
Why am I telling you this? 1) I am thankful for Parents & Kids. 2) I am thankful for employers who are supportive of my desires to give my best to my family first. 3) I want to join all of you in acknowledging that being a parent will always require some sort of sacrifice, and it is not easy. In my case, my husband and I felt that it was best for our family for me to stay home full-time with our first three kids until they started school and now to be back at home full-time with our sons, which has meant giving up a job that I love. Of course, I love my sons more than I love my job, and I know that this season of life with them is temporary. So I know that it is invaluable, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I realize that many of you reading this have had to make much, much bigger sacrifices as parents and that many of you have had to choose more time at work and less time at home. And maybe “sacrifice” is too strong a word for my case. I’m not trying to compare my story to yours. But I think we can all agree that doing the right things for our families sometimes requires more of us than we’d like to give, if we are being honest. But I’ll bet we can also agree that, in the long run, it will have very much been worth it.
On the days when we are particularly struggling with the sacrifices, let’s take the time to stop and look deeply into our children’s eyes to remind ourselves that this – this – Is why we do what we do.