As many groan worthy and frustrating times that there can be in my days lately, it occurred to me in a particular moment of misery...
(baby melting down in the middle of the commissary with only half of the grocery list checked off - the day after payday - and everyone staring kind of misery)
...that this whole mom thing is unequivocally the best job I have ever had.
Now, I know that I am young, and was just heading out on my "career" and all. And I haven't even held that many jobs. But still, this one is a calling. A game changer. A life changer.
I've had some challenging positions, some independent positions, some positions that I was passionate about and, let's face it, some downright pull-my-hair-out-going-crazy boring positions.
Once upon a time I was a sorority consultant (no, we didn't just 'plan parties'. Ha. If only...).
Then I went to grad school - where I was a student and professional, I worked the best internship job ever in existence for a summer and fell in love with my chosen career path all over again, went back to school and back to my job there until graduating.
I scrambled to find a job in our "new" town and finally found one. I got a "real job" that consisted of some of the most miserable professional and personally trying experiences I had ever had. Ever.
But, regardless of the experiences, I was happy.
A floaty kind of happy that comes to a person who likes, and sometimes even loves, the work that they are doing.
The kind of happy that comes to a person who is good at what they do, has really always been good at what they do (because I don't play games I'm not good at, or didn't), and revels in the occasional challenge that would come along.
The light natured happy that accepts the praise that inevitably came from meeting that challenge head on and more often than not, succeeding. Because what other choice do you have?
This job, though. This "job" is challenging in a way that I never knew existed.
At times it has made me question that I was ever, in fact, good at anything.
It is challenging almost every minute of every day.
It is all consuming, often without vocalized praise, and never with monetary gain.
It is different every day, and yet sometimes maddeningly repetitive.
And yet, I love it.
I love it, and I love my kid.
Can I separate the two? I don't think so.
I love being a mom in such a deep way, that I now know that I am truly happy in my chosen profession, occupation, career, "job"...whatever you want to call it.
I am just so intrinsically happy - in a crazy, "STFU Parents" kind of way - that fills me to my very core.
Even in the hard moments.
I have always been happy at home. My friends and family, and most importantly my husband, have always made me feel fulfilled there.
But now my profession and my home are one in the same.
On Mother's Day, while putting my baby to bed, I held her to me and nursed her.
As I rocked her and I and looked down to caress her light, crazy, fluffy hair and stare at those fluttering eyelids with those impossibly long eyelashes...tears began to roll down my face.
I know that this phase won't last forever, and there will come a day where I will crave heading back into a workplace.
But, for now, I finally know that what I am doing is truly worth all the work, and I find myself fulfilled and grateful and happy.
And I don't know that any other job will ever be able to measure up.
Evelyn Rae is ten months old
...and I also don't think I will ever have a coworker quite like this one.