A New Calling

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After we had EJ, it was relatively simple for me to go back to work. I had a flexible job. I could go nurse her at school any time I wanted. Mary and I worked 4 days a week each so she only had to go to school 3 days a week.

I assumed that after B got here I’d feel the same. Ready to go back to work. I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with. It was meaningful. I felt like I could help the people in the community who needed healthcare.

5 days after we had B a colleague of Mary’s was diagnosed with cancer. Her funeral was 2 weeks ago. A mom that I went to peer counseling training with lost her daughter who was the same age as EJ. Most of my friends know that I lost my sister suddenly 9 years ago.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed. And so- Mary and I decided that right now, the best decision is for me to stay home with our kids. It’s something I feel called to do. So about 3 weeks ago EJ started going to school only 2 days a week. I told my employer. And our income has decreased but our happiness has increased. We will be down to one income- but it’s amazing what you can go without in exchange for more time with your kids. Me staying home is allowing me to take care of household things while Mary is at work so when she is home- she can focus more time with the kids. We aren’t feeling like we need to squeeze parenting into 2 hours in the evening and weekends. This is especially important while Mary finishes grad school.

So. We are taking it day by day. I’m still making this all up as we go along. I’m still learning what this is like. There are no report deadlines. But there are cloth diapers that need to be washed. There are no staff meetings. But there are toddler meltdowns in public places- that I have to handle while holding a newborn. There are no patients in crisis- but parenting a toddler is tough when you have a newborn who nurses every 1-2 hours. I’m learning how to go shopping with 2 tiny and unpredictable people. No more editing spreadsheets- but nap time is non-negotiable! I traded in blouses and slacks for mom shorts and flip flops.

No more Panera whenever I want it. But the look on my daughters face when I tell her we are going to the park. Or to pick berries. Or to the aquarium. Or story time. Or really whatever- is priceless.

Also I think my wife is getting used to dinner ready when she gets home

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