It's been one year since I stopped having a steady paycheck. I don't know that I've been that honest about that on this blog, although it's certainly not a secret.
As this anniversary has come up I've been feeling a little antsy. Or introspective or something. And reading articles like this put me into hyperdrive anxiety about my decisions.
I feel judged by some unknown, faceless "them" or "society" that I am making a detrimental decision -- for myself, for my family and for my daughter. And reading about "mommy wars" I know the feeling of being judged goes both ways.
But I honestly don't question anyone's decisions on child care and working. It's certainly a family-by-family decision (or mama-by-mama decision and possibly child-by-child decision). There can't be a right answer for everyone.
I don't even think there's a right answer for me. It's just what I'm doing now because I want to. And I know how unbelievably lucky I am to have the choice -- an honest-to-goodness choice because I don't have to factor in whether I could earn enough to cover child care (for example).
In a very real way I am living my dream. It's not a fairy tale by any stretch, but it's what I want to do. At least right now. And the panic comes in when I read things about the inability to work again after being out of the workforce for a time or how I'm putting my future at risk by depending on my husband's income (a husband who is likely leave me being the line of argument there).
I have no illusions that I'll ever be at the top of any field. If I had any they were dashed by my personality/work assessment just before I left my last job. (I thought I wrote about it then but I can't seem to find a post -- I know I fretted about it an inordinate amount of time. It basically came down to I'm a follower and good at taking direction.) But that's not a justification of my current life choice. Just an observation or factor I guess. I also know I'm a valuable employee and kick ass getting things done, at work or otherwise.
So I am certainly still freelancing, emphasis on the free, and pitching for another side job or two. I feel that I could step back into work without issue right now, but I just don't want to yet. I'm still enamored with being Jane's primary caregiver all the time, and although I don't have stars in my eyes about it like I did pre-birth I treasure it nonetheless. Also being unencumbered by a job makes travel with Shawn much more possible -- and boy are we planning some travel! In fact, I'll be on a plane today!
I'll continue to work through these feelings, possibly writing more but maybe not. I just want to hold onto the "right for me" groove that I can sometimes rest in without anxiety or doubt. Those moments of pure clarity and assurance of my decisions are rare though.