When Veterans leave the military, some have jobs, some don't. As a mom and a wife, do I need a job?
I already have a full-time one raising our 12-year-old daughter, who I am ashamed to admit was practically ignored for the first 10 years of her life while both her parents were on active duty. Since transitioning to the Reserve, I have had the most glorious affirmation of parenting. She needs her parents and I need her. Now I refuse to let anyone else raise her. Not school teachers. Not after-school care providers. Not family.
With that revelation, I also realize that there are lots of hours in the day when she doesn't need me. For instance, I like watching her play sports but I don't necessarily need to be shouting encouragement over the coach during basketball practice.
So that again begs the question. Do I need a job? And the answer is a resounding yes. What I have found is that no person can handle extremes for very long. Extreme work will leave your family lonely. Extreme parenting, and now they are smothered.
As a previous dual-income contributor, I also harbor guilt for not contributing to the income (although, during every freak-out moment I have about that, my husband assures me my contributions are just as valuable as his monetary ones). But working provides additional purpose to my day and interaction that an extrovert such as myself craves like oxygen.
So, I've decided that yes I need to work but I do not need the ten-hour-a-day with everything walking through the door labeled a crisis. Public Relations is a blast and I love it. It's what I know how to do and if I do say so, I do it pretty well.
The key now is to do PR and be a mom without falling right back over that slippery cliff of extremes. Decision made. Now how to go about it?
Well, that's for another day.