As published on Hybrid Mom.
I wrote this post on my One Stop Boy Shop Blog on July 4th, 2009. This could be considered my “Hybrid Mom” defining moment—it was the day that I made the decision to stay home with my boys but to also pursue other opportunities that fulfilled the nerd in me. I hope you enjoy my Hybrid Beginnings!
Two years ago today was one of the biggest decision days of my life. I had recently given birth to my beautiful, precious 3 month old baby boy (a child who hadn’t yet earned his apt nickname “Trouble”). I had named him Nathaniel given the name’s meaning: “gift from God”. I became pregnant with him within 20 days of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and at a time that it supposedly wasn’t possible for me to conceive.
I had a successful career in the I.T. industry and had been a Network Manager for 12 years. While pregnant with my sweet Nathan, I was given a promotion to project manage / lead a large I.T consolidation, while still maintaining my position as Network Manager. It was a lot of stress and a LOT of hours but I thrived in that kind of environment. I was up to challenges and I loved seeing the progress of the project.
I was strong, cranky (I was pregnant after all!), assertive and confident in my field. I was good at what I did and it all came very naturally to me. It was a perfect combination of job duties for me, one that allowed me to put out fires and rescue high dollar, critical networking servers and also manage a project of great importance. I was definitely seeing signs that even bigger things were on my horizon if I could pull this off.
This new position was all consuming and so important to me that I returned to work before my 4 months of maternity leave were over. I just HAD to get back to work, I thought I was irreplaceable, or maybe I feared that I would be replaced and would be less “important”. So I left Nathan at daycare at the tender age of 3 months and returned to work.
On the 4th of July weekend, just 4 days after Nathaniel (my gift) had been placed in the care of others, I noticed he felt warm and he wasn’t hungry. He was also lethargic and had a fever of 103. I called our Pediatrician and she told me to take him straight to Children’s Hospital.
I didn’t realize what a terrifying day he and I were in for. He’ll never remember it, but it’ll be imprinted in my mind forever. They did urine samples, which made us both sob. They took blood samples which made us both cry and then, the most terrifying moment of all…. they asked me to lean him forward in my arms and they performed a spinal tap on him. I broke down in tears as I held my screaming baby.
They admitted him into the hospital that night with multiple IVs and nurses constantly monitoring him. I sat beside his crib while he slept, just staring at his precious face and hearing the 4th of July fireworks outside the hospital. As I gazed at him with the love I felt for him bursting from my heart, I had an epiphany. I realized that if I worked REALLY hard, I could someday maybe have my beloved career back ….. but there was nothing I could EVER do to get this time back with my 3 little men. I could not risk him getting sick again or being unavailable to my other boys. I could not leave them in the care of others. They were mine, and this little baby boy was vulnerable and he was precious and worth any sacrifice that I had to make. I re-evaluated what was important to me and what was within my reach. Not everyone has the ability to stay home with their kids, but with some pinching, we could live off of my husband’s salary. Why was my career more important when I had a choice?
I didn’t sleep at all that first night in the hospital. The next day was much the same—he slept and was nourished and hydrated through his I.V. That day from his hospital room, I called my boss. I told her, “I can’t do this anymore. I quit”. Later that evening, Nathan awoke, crying and HUNGRY! I was SO, SO happy. The next day we were discharged with a once again healthy baby boy with a diagnosis of “fever of unknown origin”.
I hired a nanny and finished out my 2 week notice by working part time from home and part time in the office. I haven’t looked back since. There have been instances when a “perfect” job opening has crossed my path and I’ll admit to considering them but when it comes time to fax that resume in…… I just can’t do it.
Two years ago today, I made what I felt was a sacrifice. I know now that it was what I was meant to do. I’m thankful that I have this opportunity to be home with my boys. Sure, I still work. I started my website business a couple of months later and then a year later I launched my One Stop Boy Shop, but I do it from home, in my own time, with my boys here with me. I’m the luckiest mom on earth. I have 3 wonderful, HEALTHY, happy boys… and I’m one happy Mommy (most of the time LOL, they do tend to drive me a little wacky).
Maybe someday, I’ll go back to the high tech industry but for now, I’ll take hugs and kisses for my salary. THIS job is much more important to me and has much greater benefits.