My baby turned six yesterday. And though it was a day like any other, this particular birthday felt significant. When my daughter was born six years ago, I stopped working. I had always felt that the first five years in a child’s life are significant and wanted to be around for them, though it felt like such a luxury for us to try to live on one income alone.
And though I admitted it to no one, it was good timing in other ways. I had been working in a career I disliked for so long without really knowing how to shift direction into another industry I longed to be a part of. The baby provided a perfect excuse for me to step off that first roller coaster and reassess, though I assured myself and my husband that I would stay home for only one year only before I would start looking for another job.
A year and half later, my second baby was born and that stretched out my hiatus for another year and a half. And then we moved and then life happened in all its messy, dramatic glory. Six years later and my baby girl is preparing to enter first grade in a few months and my boy will turn five several months later. And I’m back at that same place I was six years ago, albeit with a few more gray hairs, and three or four more suitcases’ worth of life baggage.
I’m getting ready to step back into the race, though this time I have more clarity about what I want and maybe even more audacity. I’m intent on trying to connect to my purpose, to be of some sort of service to humanity, and to do what makes me happy. And though I’m doing it all for myself, a part of me knows how important it is for my children to have a mother who is fulfilled, productive and happy.
And if I fail … well, maybe it is equally important for my kids to see how important it is to reach for the stars, even if you can’t always touch them.