Encouragement sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. What seems to me as completely out of the blue, I received an email from my previous boss. (I would say old boss, but I don't want to imply that he's old!) I really enjoyed my job. I was partly in my comfort zone, partly challenged. I loved meeting with students to help them work through schedules, career choices and courses of study. I think maybe I really helped some of them use critical thinking to work through some things. I was, and still am, very fond of my boss who treated me with respect and kindness. I wouldn't have been "qualified" for the job in other colleges or schools within the university, but they weren't looking for typical qualifications.
When I got pregnant, I strode into my boss' office to let him know that I'd be leaving once the baby came. He said ok at first and then, as we talked more and more over the following weeks, he asked me to stay part time after the baby came and I agreed. I loved my work but couldn't do things both at home and work to the best of my abilities while juggling them both. I know some women can, but I couldn't give my all to both. So I stayed on and agreed to leave once someone was hired and trained. This was 9 years ago.
Anyway, back to the email. It was simple and sweet. He asked me to call "so that you can say no. But I'd like to make it very hard to say no." We spoke the next day and basically would like me to consider coming back. We talked through some options and he knew the whole while what my answer would be. He even said that it was okay to say no because I couldn't break his heart any more than I did nine years ago when I left. How sweet and flattering is that.
I think he knew my answer before I did. For a short time, I honestly was thinking it over and imagining myself back at work. I could almost feel the sense of accomplishment that I've missed for so long. And I'd love to do it, I really would. But I want to be available for my children all the time. I don't ever want to have to put their needs aside because of a job. And while I know this would be flexible and we'd make it work, I'd rather be as available as possible for field trips, meetings, substitute teaching, not to mention taking care of all of my responsibilities keeping our home and family running well. And then I realized how grateful I need to be in the fact that I don't have to take a job, even when it is presented to me when I am not pursuing it. How blessed am I to be able to stay home without it being a huge sacrifice. To be able to be really involved in my children's education, in their school and to be available for church, volunteering and to travel with my husband whenever possible. I am blessed beyond measure.