Yes, I have been busy getting “unstuck.”
I think it was about a year ago now—when Ethan was 2 and Tessa barely 1 year old—that the reality of full-time working motherhood set in.
On a daily basis, I began to feel the proverbial walls closing in on me—the home mortgage that seemed like a healthy stretch when we were childless suddenly became barely manageable in the midst of double daycare; the fast-paced job at a prestigious institution morphed from a calculated career choice into some kind of work/life balance endurance test; the standard commute from suburbia into the city transformed into a torturous waste of time better spent eliciting belly laughs from my adorable kids.
In short, once Matt and I brought two lives into the world, we also ushered in a host of unexpected consequences. Duh. Having kids changes everything.
Trapped. It was the first time in my life that I felt that my options were truly limited. It just wasn’t about me anymore. I knew change would be painfully hard. And yet, as my dad said to me not so long ago, “Sometimes in life you just have to make a gutsy move.”
And that is what we did.
I worked hard by day, drove home and tucked the kids into bed, and then conducted a full-time job search by night. The goal: to advance my career while eliminating my commute and relocating to a place with a lower cost of living. A better quality of life. More time with the kids. Less time worrying about excessive early interventions and preschool lotteries.
Piece by piece, the puzzle has been falling into place—miraculously at points and yet not without sporadic tears of stress—but I can hardly wait to settle into our new life. This Christmas, we are right on the verge of our new beginning.
I know some day we will look back and marvel at how far away our current transition lives in our memories. And yet, ironically, our kids will probably have no recollection at all.
Our “gutsy” leap of faith will become their familiar. And they will never know—until one day when they are grown and faced with similar choices—how much courage it took to get unstuck.
Life is funny like that.