I’ve always been a working mom. When Gabriel was born there was no doubt in my mind that I’d go to work. 3 days a week, but still working. After all, I had a brand new doctoral degree that I wanted to practice with!
Fast forward 22 months later and Lucy entered the picture. 2 under 2 for a new mom was a challenge. At 10 weeks I was back to work, 3 days a week, and I can say that I was ready. Jeremiah wanted to go back to school and get his teaching degree when Lucy was 6 mo old, so I went to work full time until Amelia was born to take up the slack.
Amelia entered the world and honestly I was READY to go back to work at 10 weeks. 3 under 5 was A LOT. Amelia was NOT an easy baby (although she is quite the delight now!!!) and we bought a house that needed the first floor 100% gutted and remodeled. I needed a mental break, again, 3 days/week.
Ruth. She was an enjoyable baby. My maternity leave was quickly coming to a close and I found myself researching what else I could do with my degree. I loved what I did, I just wanted to be home more and we considered me staying home during the week. Financially we couldn’t quite make it work. I went back to work 28 hrs/week when she was 10 weeks old. We made that work.
I heard a little voice. You could make it work. Give it time. I put that in the back of my head, and kept doing life in the meantime.
Kateri comes along. 5 kids! During my maternity leave I was sure that I could transition at that time into a different role. I wanted to be home more during the week. 5 kids is a full time job in itself. I was busy enough without a ‘job’. Food. Dishes. Housekeeping. Laundry. Food. Kid’s emotional/spiritual needs. Errands. Kid’s activities. Appointments. All the other things. Did I mention food!? The list goes on….. I talked with my boss and we had a lot of conversations at home. Jeremiah and I had some major financial goals that we were working towards by the end of the year and beyond. My income was part of that plan. I went back to work 18 hours/week when she was 12 weeks old. It was a nice balance.
The nudges kept coming. Be open. I have a plan. Be patient.
Fast forward 1 year. We now have kid’s ages 10, 8, 5, 2, 1. Jeremiah got a new job, and he will be leaving early and not able to do mornings anymore, but will only be 3 blocks away! He will work during the summer now, except for the month of July. We still have 2 kids not yet in school. Kids are getting more active and we all have more on our plate. My work is definitely getting put on the back burner. I found myself going into work at 6am to get caught up before my 7am patient, then flying out the door at 1pm to get home and get a bite to eat before the after school routine. I would work at night sometimes and then fall into bed exhausted and with a million things left that I didn’t get done, and with guilt for so many things and reasons. I was doing the ultra heavy juggle and often dropping a lot of the balls (usually on the work end of things).
Then came that still, small voice, nudging louder this time.
Sarah, it’s time.
I second guessed our decision more than once. Am I really supposed to give up all that I’ve work SO HARD to achieve? I’ve been with the same company for 10 years and have earned senior-level therapist status and am a Clinic Manager. I truly enjoy my job. But I love my kids. They deserve my best and are my primary focus in life. God has entrusted us with 5 precious souls so far, and we don’t want to mess that up! I can always work more later on.
The nudge grew heavier, and louder. Follow my path for you. You are so blessed. Trust.
Jeremiah said one night when I was on the verge of breaking, “Sarah, have you prayed about this?” DUH. So I started that. It helped. And I snuck into the Adoration Chapel a few times. And the nudge was ever-there. Everything I read, saw, watched, and people I met…..it was all pointing in an obvious direction. One night I was finishing a book about the Visitation of Mary (I had started it months ago!) and this passage hit me like a 2×4.
“It is time to embrace whatever comes next – even if it is not what you had imagined for yourself, even if other things must wait while you give God your yes to what he has placed before you today. It is time to learn from Mary how to embrace next things with a spirit of readiness.” -Gifts of the Visitation
All of a sudden things started falling into place. I spoke with my boss, and he was SO understanding. I’m still doing some evening home visits and covering some evening sporting events. I put my resume out for some PRN (as needed) positions and got 4 responses in 24 hours. I landed a weekend PRN position at a wonderful Catholic-run facility that is new and beautiful and filled with the Holy Spirit (you can just feel it!). We met one of our major financial goals 4 months early, which was the same week as my last day at my current position. Incredible timing.
I feel very at peace. Don’t get me wrong. There will be days that are rough. But there will always be days that are rough, no matter what you are doing! I still get to practice physical therapy, but just in a different capacity than I was doing. I am so excited to see how all of this plays out for our family! Yet another time in my life when I needed to be reminded that God is in control, he will provide, and if you are open to HIS plan (and not always focused on my own plan of how my life should go), then you will be blessed beyond measure. I sure do have a lot to learn. But in the future, I’m going to try to be open to those nudges, even when I’m not expecting them!