The Big Picture

 Over the past few weeks, while working on and trying to make sure I keep up with our Fit Family Challenge, I have really taken pause and looked at things in a more “big picture” way.  It’s funny to me how little things, like making sure I get SOME movement in each day, can really change your perspective and how you look at things.

When my youngest was born, I hated the fact that we weren’t in a position where I could be a stay at home mom.  What if I missed something?  What if we weren’t as close as she grew up as I had been dreaming we would be?   Why did my BFF get to stay home and not me?  These were questions that ran through my mind all.the.time.  But there was no changing how our life was, so it was something I learned to deal cope with, and it was hard.

What it did give me though was the ability to appreciate every moment we did/do spend together and the hope that things would eventually change.  I got a better job, the hours were better….I thought this was my time.  Mini me started pre-school and things were good.  Once she was in kindergarten though, I was back to feeling upset and angry.  My job changed some, which meant my hours changed and no the ream of mini being a car rider every day was gone.  We had to enroll her in extended care, and I hated everyday of it.  The first few weeks she cried everyday when she got there.  Now, she was generally only there for 30 minutes, but the tears broke my heart.

I had to find the silver lining.  My job was better than before, a little more money coming in, the schedule change forced me to take time for me everyday…and I used that time to exercise.  I started walking everyday for an hour.  I would grab my phone, listen to a book on tape and could generally crank out 3-3.5 miles in that hour.  When I had blood work done after a while, my numbers were all better, and I was feeling less stressed, but still guilty.

This daily moving though spurred me to do more at home which got everyone moving more.  The hubs and I would take turns exercising while the other played with the kiddos.  It was a nice routine, but I still longed for those SAHM perks.  Enter the opportunity I had been waiting for.  I was unhappy with work and all the changes that continued to happen, especially the workload increase ion everyone and the expectation that we would just take it and deal.  It was bad for morale and EVERYONE was unhappy.  That’s a hard environment to work in, my outlet other than my daily walk was to scan employment postings.  And that where I found my cha-ching!

The job I am in now is, well a blessing.  I honestly don’t know how else to explain it.  For the first time in 15 years I am working with someone who appreciates having school aged children at home and who puts family first the same way I do.  For the first time in 15 years, I can call in and say…”Hey, we have a parent program at school today” without a knot in my stomach for fear of the repercussions.  For the first tie since mini was born, I feel like I have the perks of a SAHM…she is a car rider both ways to school, she can do activities after school at 4:30 because Mom can be there and get her there, I can make my older daughters 5:00 soccer games, I can go to room parties, book fairs, volunteer in the classroom…all because of this blessing that is my new job.

This also means that I have a LOT more time after school to be active with my family.  We can do more nature walks, bike rides, swimming…all because we aren’t getting home in time for dinner to get started.  We get home WAY before that!  It means being able to help teach mini how to ride without training wheels on a weeknight!  It means dropping her off at 4:30 dance class while Big Sis is at soccer, and mom getting in a much needed run.

Looking at how our life is, right now, in this moment, has allowed me to see the big picture…and I tell you what, I wouldn’t change it for anything!  I have the best of both worlds.  My own sense of worth in my job career, and my sense of feeling like a great mom and wife!

shannon the journey

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