Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I realized today that as much as I want to go back to work, I am not ready to not be home for my son. I realize this is a huge luxury, me being able to make that decision. A huge luxury. I also realize it is a a big sacrifice as well.

I had the chance to go on a job interview for a great job. It was not a permanent position, just a leave replacement but it was a great opportunity. The only time they had open for the interview was at 1:40. Which would not allow me to be home for my son's bus, returning home from his very first day at Middle School. Never mind the fact that I had no idea what I would do with him if I actually got the job as I would have had to leave my house at 6:20 in the morning to make it there on time. Or what I would do with him when he got off the bus and I was not home for another hour.

I know people do it, and I know that if for some reason I absolutely had to do it, I would. I also know that at the moment I had to tell them , no, I am sorry, I can't make that, was both a very difficult thing and a very easy thing to say. I realized today, that I just can't do it yet.

Before I had my son, I had a great job. I was a tenured teacher, with ten years in. I had a year maternity leave. I was able to get another year of maternity leave as well. By this time however, it was apparent that my son needed a lot of help and that my work was going to be taking place in my own home. I had to resign. I was OK with it at the time. I figured I would just go get another job when he was older. Who knew how the future would unfold. Who knew?

It was not even a decision I made, it was just that I knew I needed to stay home. 20 hours of in home therapy each week, along with various physical therapy and occupational therapy appointments pretty much became a full time career. Getting my son to talk became my life's all consuming passion.

I guess I thought things would simmer down and I could make some space in my life for a career. While my son started talking and doing all the stuff I was terrified he never would do, the work is not finished. I know plenty of parents of children with disabilities manage to do so, somehow I feel like less of a person for admitting that I can't. Childcare is a whole different ball of wax when you have a kid on the spectrum. We don't really have that village that it takes. Today, as I listened to this school secretary describe the job I knew I was going to turn down, I felt a sense of panic. I could not leave, just yet.

I'd like to think that when I am really ready, the universe will smile down on me and gift me with the perfect job of my dreams. My son is my everything, but there are financial matters that must also be attended to. We are not what I would call 'financially sound' and at almost 50 years of age, my husband and I still struggle. We live in a less than perfect fixer upper tiny house that is bursting at the seams with just the three of us. We have very little saved up for retirement. We need a new car. The list goes on.

But today, I realized none of that mattered right now.

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