Thursday, February 01, 2007

Staying home for now....

The signs are all around the house, I'm certain. Interview notes in folders now closed, day care cost sheets slipped into files or recycle bins, and a palpable feeling of relief. The sign that most leaped out at me, though, were the socks--a neatly rolled pile of dress socks now stored on a high shelf in the closet. No longer in the drawers, but not out the door, either. A sign that the questions are answered, the arrangements are settled....for now.

Without sharing extensive details (something I obviously have not made time for in quite awhile!), I'll simply share that Matt will be home with the kids into at least the summer. There were plenty of dramatic moments--job and interview offers, negotiations, worry about bills and money, renegotiations. And now, a bit of peace....Matt will be home. His professional skills are a natural fit for consulting, allowing him to earn the money we need with minimal time on-site or actually "on the job." With roughly one day a month, he can bridge the gap between what we have and what we truly need to pay the bills. We've decided that earning what we need, rather than what we want, feels good and right for the moment. For three months we've learned to live on less. Eating out is a want. Movies can be watched at home, and there are years ahead for expensive babysitters, concerts, the theatre. Do we miss it? Of course, a teeny-tiny bit. But most importantly, we have a child who suffered from chronic illnesses who is suddenly well without day care exposure. And that seems worth more consideration than season tickets to the symphony or a summer vacation away from home.

Now we settle in, and we witness to the feelings that arise from the situation of this moment. Relief? Of course....Matt's commitment to home gives me the space to be committed to a job that really requires my attention and time. Envy? A little....Believing that we could never have afforded my being home, I never seriously pursued the opportunity. I limped along in a part-time plus job, earning less than my value, and feeling always somehow inadequate at work or at home. Pride? Absolutely....I honor those parts of me that both earn my family's care and keep, and that placed Matt's next few months in the space of possibility and trust rather than worry and control. And I must mention my pride in Matt--in the courage it takes to step out of the world of work and truly invest himself in the life of a home. Where it will lead? Who of us ever knows....

For now, the socks remain in the closet, the suits on their hangers, and my kids delight in reading Jesse Bear books, reminding us when Jesse's father appears at the end of the day that it is their mom, not their dad, who comes home at dinnertime. For now, it is good....

7 comments:

GRAMPA PETER said...

BRAVO. No one is more important in our lives than our spouses and our children. You are, in essence, sharing a 'gift' not only with Lucas, but with and for one another that ou will never regret. love to you all.

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Carmen San Diego said...

You only live once and the kids are only young once so enjoy it. You are right. You are right, simplifing your life is the best thing for all of us. When we bought our condo in San Diego, we had to learn to not spend so much money on pleasures and have found plenty of things to fill our time with. Like enjoying family time.