Welp guys, time to pack up and head back to work.
Is what I kinda thought I would be saying about now. My plan was to take a long maternity leave and then search around for a new job. What I didn’t foresee is that I would still feel deep in the throes of maternity leave even after an entire year. I’m so not ready to go back. In fact, “going back” doesn’t even mean anything to me anymore.
I feel it in my bones that these will be some of my most important memories. Holding Bobby in one arm and stirring whatever I’m cooking, wading through the messiest house on the planet (really study the first pic to see what I mean 🤦🏼♀️), trying to remember the advice in the millions of parenting podcasts I’ve listened to when I just want to scream, hearing myself literally shout "DADDY!" with relief when Austin gets home (super creepy).
It’s freaking tough but I have never loved something so completely. I’ve never had a job where I even felt close to being fulfilled until now. I suck at parenting half the time but that doesn’t change how much I love it. I get frustrated and annoyed that my one year old nurses and sleeps like a newborn and my 2 year old is always the shyest kid in the room but I really try to keep in perspective just how important and life changing this time has been for me and how unbelievably fortunate I am able to experience it. And even more fortunate to have sooo much great help from amazing grandparents who prevent me from occasionally (frequently?) losing my mind.
Lets talk about work for a second. I was listening to a podcast the other day about millenials and their attraction to a freelance lifestyle - basically investing in their own skills rather than relying on an employer to see their value. I 100% relate to this. The amount of flexibility I feel like I would need from an employer to be present enough at home may not even exist at this time, so Austin and I are working on figuring it out even if that means stressing about money. I have also completely forgotten how to wear slacks so I’m useless in any office setting.
I have found something that I love doing (this right here - talking to you). It takes about as much time and effort as that which I have put into the 40 hour workweek of yore, but it’s effort that I look forward to. I truly enjoy almost all aspects of what I’m doing right now (although getting paid for work is an idea that I miss).
My goal this year is to learn learn learn and grow this into a business, little by little. I know the smart thing to do is wait until it is a business before you quit your day job, but turns out always doing the smart thing may not be how I operate. Learning new language around coding and website design, navigating social media (gives me hives some days and I love it others), throwing f-bombs at our old desktop late at night while trying to follow tutorials on illustrator - these have been some of my favorite parts of the process so far. Everyday I think at least once “someone out there is doing/could do this so much better than me” and fighting that self doubt is becoming a skill in itself (hold on while I add that to my resume).
Striking out on my own as a dietitian seemed completely out of the question a few years ago. I actually remember hearing that a friend of mine was pursuing her own practice and I felt a weird mix of jealousy and "what makes her think she can do it?" (UGH don't hate me for thinking that). Doing it on my own didn't seem out of the question to me because I was a terrible dietitian or a big dummy, it felt out of the question because I was certain I would fail. I had some sort of weird, inborn self doubt that has evaporated gradually the more time I spend out of the traditional office setting. An alternate theory: I am just slowly going insane.
I've taken a major leap to get here in a year, and "here" isn't really anywhere yet. I haven't landed, but I have never felt less out of place.