Yes, the call I made yesterday was real.
As was the call that my 15-month old son made, moments later to my boss. I was so engrossed babbling on to an air pocket that I wouldn't have even realized he had made a call, if not for Henry's fit of laughter that caught my attention, when he heard my boss talking on the other end of the line. And then I heard a familiar voice. Who I can only assume, heard me - babbling on to an air pocket.
I don't foresee anything happening immediately, but once I called Charlie at work, and he stopped saying, "Oh no you didn't. OH! NO! YOU! DIDN'T!!" he calmly observed, "Well. I suppose that might be considered pulling the trigger, huh?"
It feels really good that the "truth" is out.
I certainly don't want to be a full-time career woman and I don't want anyone to think that I ever will be a full-time career woman, while I have children at home. Not just small children mind you, but children. So long as I have children at home, my schedule must retain enough flexibility so that I can attend to them first and foremost.
Currently, Part-time is fine!
Part-time is fun!
Part-time allows for supplemental income that helps to offset the cost of living. Part-time is necessary for me to have a break. Especially since none of the children in this house like to sleep very much anymore and although I am their mother and I love them, I'm not insane and I know that staying with them every minute of every day will drive me insane. Rapidly.
But. If we are to move back to the east coast, the expectation is for me to work full-time. And since I'm not willing to do that - perhaps Charlie would be in a better position to accept the opportunity that might be offered to me. And by that point, the children will be a little older and the call of full-time school will be on the radar. So that's when I'll stay home and teach them and sell handmade goods and my blog will be wallpapered in ads.
Although Charlie enjoys being home with the children, he has it in his blood to be a professional. And for the past few years, his career has been on a yo-yo track. He works full-time, he's out to help me recover from birthing triplets. He works full-time while I'm on maternity leave, he returns to part-time so I can work, he's out almost full-time to assist with the triplets while I work full-time and gestate baby four. He's out to help me recover from birthing a singleton, he's full-time while I'm on maternity leave. He's part-time when I return to work.
I think what makes all of this so difficult for me is that I spent so many years working hard to obtain my academic degrees, professional registrations and earn a reputable position with the largest petroleum company in the world. To walk away from it all seems scary and slightly irresponsible. In this day and age, women are accomplishing (almost) everything that men accomplish in the work force. But unlike men, it is in a woman's DNA (and conscience) to raise her children and that is why making the choice of what to do once baby arrives can be absolutely grueling.
People have been asking me, why would we change anything?
Life is great!
But the fact is, every so often, it's important to pick your head up and look around. You must take an inventory of where you are in life. Is it necessary to slightly adjust your compass heading? Or, perhaps throw the compass on the floor smashing the glass and breaking the dial?
For the past several months, I've oscillated between pure contentment and pure panic. There has been a gnawing at my heart that sometime soon, we'll need to make a change. We'll need a larger house and more elbow room. We'll need to be closer to family. We'll need to make the decision to either send our children to school full time, or home school them ourselves.
Regardless of how great life is, I think it's good to shake things up every so often. Even if after you shake things up you feel the need to sit down and stick your head between your knees because suddenly all the blood in your body has drained to your feet.
My mother called me this morning to say that she was up all night last night thinking about our situation and she has determined that I am manic and need to be medicated.
That came as a real surprise because I was up all night thinking that this is the most clear thinking I've had in a long time. Especially now that I've shaved everyone's heads and we chant Hare Hare Krishna.