outside the home
August 16, 2013
a few weeks ago, i was alone in the car with my beloved grandmother. the subject of me working outside the home came up and she said that she imagines that at some point, i will return to work. her comment? “they need you.”
it struck an interesting nerve in me and prompted some further thought and musing.
may i be candid here? the work that i did outside of the home … the intense, home-based counseling and advocacy with teens and their families … spanning over a decade … that fueled me. i was *made* for that kind of work, i knew it in my gut during my time working at juvenile hall in san diego, working in gang-infested areas, working with primarily minority families and kids that were hurting and lost and desperate.
when i moved to oregon and was hired by the local mental health agency to bring an innovative model of care to their children’s mental health division, once again i felt *right* where i belonged, doing work that i loved and was good at. i spent a few years there, creating and facilitating wraparound home-based care for children & families … and then took a job that was honestly “gravy” as a supervisor for those working with kids. the work flowed and came easy for me.
and then there was this part: i got a lot of strokes, a lot of positive feedback and reviews and commendations over the years.
i share that to say that life is very different right now. the work that i am doing – being home fulltime with my growing family – i don’t feel so “good” at it most days. it doesn’t always flow.
mostly, i see my areas of lack and of insufficiency increase and get highlighted. they are on my mind so much, the ways that i wish i was better, stronger, more capable.
and there are few if any “positive job reviews” coming my way these days. i don’t regularly hear words of encouragement or praise for good work. i feel alone a lot, grappling with the many ‘shoulds’ that burden my heart, and feeling unable to tackle and handle all that needs doing.
just being honest.
and so yes, i *absolutely* get the appeal of working outside the home. it is not for me in this season, and perhaps not for a long time … because i know for sure i am right where i need to be.
but i sure get it.