Today as I left pulled out of the Post Office & faced Rebel’s school, it dawned on me that he has been attending First Baptist for three years now. (We’ve had a few small issues, but overall I am completely satisfied with the care he’s received as well as how much he has learned. I am glad we choose this school.)
I was reminded of where I was at just three years ago, when I was returning to the workforce 4 months after giving birth to my 3rd child.
For those of you who did not know me then:
I had worked for a man, who I looked up to as a “father”. We even got married on his property. I was completely loyal to him, worked hard, stayed late when needed, never took any sick time or time off without pay. When I got pregnant, I would come into work at 6-6:30 a.m. to make up for the lost time I had to be out to go to my OB appointments. He was a loose canon, kind of like the man who raised me, but we were close. I worked hard to find temporary replacement while I was to be out for 8 weeks on maternity leave. I worked up until the Friday before I was to be induced. (I was induced on a Monday) I checked in with him shortly after I had Rebel and discussed the date that I would return. I never checked back in with him because I was busy taking care of my children and enjoying the time I had at home with them and trying to adjust to having a newborn with ZERO help. About a week after I was to return back to work, I received a letter via certified mail from him. Mind you, I lived 4 miles from the office and he had my phone number. Apparently, he got concerned when he didn’t hear from me and instead of contacting me, he asked the girl who was filling in for me (who I was friends with on Facebook) if she’d heard from me. Somewhere in the conversation, it was mentioned that one of my posts was that I was “dreading going back to work”. (which ANY working mother can relate to). That said post was taken out of context and caused him to assume that I was not returning back to work, or I guess planned on leaving. He was smart enough to NOT terminate me, but offer me a position that was not at all profitable to me if I was faced to pay childcare for Rebel. I went to him, discussed other alternatives, but in the end he ended up terminating me. I filed for Unemployment and he disputed it. (I fought for it and 6 months later finally won my unemployment hearing because he lied and didn’t have enough proof as to why he allegedly fired me) I went into panic mode. How would I provide for my children, cover our bills, cover Ryan’s child support???? I frantically started looking for other employment. It was a challenge to say the least to go out looking for a job with an infant in tote. I tried applying for jobs via the internet, but in between taking care of a breastfed infant and operating on little sleep it was very rough. Looking back, it really saddens me because I should’ve been able to enjoy the time I had at home with my last baby, but instead I was fighting to find a way to bring in income to support my family and angry because people in the town I lived in wouldn’t give me a chance because of my last name or because I didn’t have a college degree. I was offered 2 jobs. One was for a job in the same industry I was looking, but the hours were from 8:30-5:30 which was impossible because Rebel’s school closedat 5:30 and we had NO help at all. The only other place that would consider hiring me was at the Brenham Clinic. The pay was ridiculously low and it was not in the field that I wanted to be in, but if I didn’t take a job in that month (October 2010), I would lose the spot for Rebel at First Baptist and the deposit I paid. I knew that I didn’t want to put him in any other school. So I was forced to take any job I could that at least paid his daycare spot until I found a better job. I remember the day I dropped him off, for the first time. I cried. I hated leaving him to be taken care of by strangers. I hated that he spent more time with strangers than his own family. I hated that the wages I was making after paying daycare, wasn’t even enough to justify leaving him, but knew I couldn’t NOT work for the next 5 years when he started school. I hated being backed into a corner.
In January I was offered a job in my chosen profession: the Insurance Industry. It paid more, but not by much. It sucked going from 2 kids and $45,000 annually to 3 kids, an extra bill (daycare) and under $30,000 annually. I decided to take the job, but the location was the opposite direction of where my children went to school, so that meant Ryan had to take the kids to school each morning, which was a major inconvenience at times for him and meant I got less time with my children. This job ended up being the worst job I’d ever had. Great boss (owner of agency). Horrible environment. Some situations changed in my life and it became apparent that I needed to find a job in town, in the town my children went to school. Luckily, a friend, overheard right around then that Van Dyke Rankin was hiring, so I applied and luckily I was offered the position and the hours worked well for me, as a mother of 3 .
It’s just so funny though to reflect back over the years. And to see how much your life has changed. Decisions that you made then, things that caused you great stress and pain, no longer matter. You made it past those hard parts. You will never forget, but you also know you are much stronger.
I like at my life now. In 4 weeks, I will be leaving my position here at Van Dyke Rankin and will be a FULL-TIME Beachbody Coach. This will be the first time since I was 14 tht I have NOT worked for someone else. I have to wonder, what would I have done if the coaching opportunity had have been presented to me during that awful time in mid-2010 that I was frantically trying to gain employment. I wonder what I would have done if someone told me that I could work from home and never HAVE to leave my baby or rely on someone else to take my kids to/from school. I do have faith that all of this came at the exact moment that I was ready, willing and able to make the changes.
The moral of the story is that: what you worry about today, chances are won’t be the same worry a few years down the line. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. And remember – An arrow can be shot only by pulling it backwards. So when you feel like life, people, things, circumstances are dragging you backwards with challenges and difficulties, it only means that you are going to launch into something great!