My youngest child started school a few weeks ago. He’s been in preschool for years but this time it’s the real deal and I am alone for eight hours a day. I wrote about how it felt like a job loss and how much I wasn’t ready for it to feel like that.
The thing is, I have been preparing for this day for years. I even went back to school to make sure I had a life lined up when my primary job as mom shifted. I didn’t want to be one of those women who took years away from their career to care for kids and then was left lost when the kids didn’t need caring for anymore.
Before summer started I laid out the plan to ramp up my business in the fall when everyone was back in their place. I had a plan to be “full-time” by January that would start in September, so that I could enjoy the summer with my kids – our last one before they all took off.
I had a plan, dammit.
Then life stepped in.
The transition to school hasn’t been easy for my youngest. I spend a bit more time worrying about him when he’s gone than I expected and, some days, my day’s cut short so I can pick him up early. His transition will come. It’s just taking more time than we thought.
I can’t blame him for my hazy days though. Quite frankly, this new life hasn’t been easy for me either. It seems, no matter how much I prepared my brain, my heart is still wandering around wondering what it’s meant to do. Some days, I feel an overwhelming desire to just be still and enjoy the quiet that has been absent for ten years. Then, in almost the very next moment, I am overcome by this burning sense of guilt that I NEED to be DOING something. How dare I rest? How dare I breathe? How dare I go for a walk with a friend or even clean the kitchen or do a load of laundry? There is business to be done. I’ve been waiting to work. I should work. But some days the work doesn’t feel right and then I spiral into questioning every single decision I’ve ever made. Such a mom thing to do, isn’t it? We let one little thing cause us to question everything.
What kind of life is that? One of guilt and shame? I’ve been working with clients to overcome that very life for the last six months. Funny how the teacher never quite catches the lessons she’s taught. I am thankful for my clients every day because it’s when I’m with them, or working on things directly related to them, that I am certain I’m following the right path. They remind me, even if I have the business end of this job, that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
I’ve decided that that has to become my mantra. I will wake and remind myself that whatever I do that day, be it housekeeping or office work or being still, it is exactly what I’m meant to do and even if it’s not entirely comfortable, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
No amount of planning allows me to see the future and if I’ve learned anything it’s the truth in the theory that life happens while you’re busy making other plans. So, I have to trust the process. I have to be present in my life instead of worrying about what’s next. Most importantly, I have to be patient and love my now, which of course means I have to remember that I am enough. I am enough as an entrepreneur and a mom.
I have to trust, no matter how difficult it may be, that I am enough and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.