“Never say never.” ~ Charles Dickens
I love this line, because it is oh so true. Whenever I hear someone adamantly tell someone else how they would NEVER do something, I chuckle to myself. You really can’t ever say never, as you do not know what life has in store (unless you are psychic, in which case, please call me, I have some questions) and you don’t know what circumstances you will be in when that event may happen.
This concept has been very top of mind for me as of late, and it really hit home as I spoke to my sister the other day. As we were catching up, she dramatically informed me she was going to do something she said she would NEVER do (drum roll please….dun dun dah!!!!!) yes, you guessed it, get a fake Christmas Tree. Now my sister D, is very emphatic whenever she professes she will or will not do something, now, in the future or ever. In this case, she had said all of our lives, that she would NEVER get a fake tree. Now, living in PA, where the trees must travel across country and lose not only their smell, but also a great deal of moisture in their journey, she has determined, that it’s just no longer worth it. A fake tree it shall be.
This led me to think about a very hot topic of what many of us moms talk about pre-and-during-preganancy, which is, whether or not to work out of the home. I laugh now as people tell me before and during their pregnancy that they would NEVER want to work after they have a baby, while others say I would NEVER want to stay home and often it’s exactly these women who flip flop as soon as their precious mini arrives. Circumstances change, emotions change, you can never truly know something until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes or your own.
In my own experience this is currently weighing heavy on mind. I have always worked. I have had a successful career in Entertainment. By all accounts I am good at what I do, and I NEVER thought I would consider staying or working from home. Now, with twins who came into this world in circumstances I could not and would not have imagined, and with E being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, every fiber of my beings screams to do what’s best for her, for them, for me, but really for her. If I stayed home, would she do better? Improve faster? We would have to cut back on our nanny which would mean that I would then have them both all the time, but that also means less meaningful one on one time that I sometimes have now, where Nana H can take Q and I can work with E.
With each little victory, as we had today, when I was working from home and I took a time out to do some PT, I feel the tug. Today, in what by all accounts was an “ordinary moment,” not unlike one of my very first posts (When Ordinary Became Extraordinary), E did something extraordinary.
With some assistance from me, E transitioned herself into an all-fours position (hands and knees). When she got there, her instinct is to lurch for whatever she wants or to pick her hands up and put them to her mouth which then promptly sends her nose-diving onto the rug. Additionally, with her movement disorder issues she has a very challenging time with balance, so this position often ends with a collapse to one side or the other. This time however, while she wanted to lurch, I steadied her, opened both hands from their fists, and said “hands down.” And there she was on all-fours. I then said one our therapy terms, “rocking, rocking, rocking,” which is what many children do before they actually learn to crawl, and there she was rocking on all fours. I let go ever so gently and there she was on her own, rocking for about 4-5 seconds. Nana H looked on excitedly while my heart exploded with joy. These little victories chip away at my decisions that I have made. My circumstances are different now.
My current working role gives me flexibility for which I am so grateful. Before children, I NEVER said, I would NEVER not work or rather WORK as a Stay at home mom ( please know I have mad respect for all you lovelies who are with your minis all day, it’s so so so much work, a different kind of work, harder work in so many ways). I had the conversation with myself that I had worked so hard to get here, that I am good at what I do, that I enjoy what I do, but then there is the victory in seeing E rock on all 4s or having Q say a word he has never said before as I read him a story for the umpteenth time (that’s a lot of times:)) and the victory I feel when my babies look at me as if I am their greatest hero and their greatest love all rolled into one.
I do not know where this path leads. Circumstances always play a part and with all E’s therapies and medical appointments our lives are quite expensive and will only get more so as they get older. Pre-school, special therapy programs, potential equipment, all loom large over our heads. How to best handle Q’s need to for some social interaction and structure, while E’s needs are more that of a 9 month old baby. Not wanting to separate them, wanting the same opportunities for them both. Decisions I thought I would NEVER have to make, or rather NEVER knew I would have to make.
For now, I will just continue to follow my heart and my intuition. It has always led me in the right direction and so I follow. Not blindly, but with consideration. The anticipation of what might be either way, gives me hope and I also know that my faith will carry us through this just as it has the past 3 years.
Have any of you struggled with or are any of you struggling with decisions you care to share anonymously or by name? Again, this is not relegated to my experiences as the emotions that propel us and prevent us are all the same in many scenarios. By working through them with others, we can often find the spark of inspiration that can help us lean in the “right direction for us” and make today ‘anewfavoriteday.