Now some of you are probably thinking, dude I thought you were crazy before, now I KNOW you are. And you might be right, but for about 17 years of my life (half of my life for those of you doing the math) I was one of those freaks of nature who loved retail, especially the holidays! Black Friday was always my favorite day to work, even though I knew someone would inevitably come in and try and ruin my day, I still loved every minute of it. I loved the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and of Black Friday itself. I loved getting up early and listening to Christmas music on a 4 hour loop for a 10-12 hour day. I loved putting up the sale signs and memorizing the deals of the day for whatever company I happened to be with that year. I loved upselling whoever shopped my store that day. It didn't matter if I was a manager or a sales associate, I loved working Black Friday.
Are you seeing a theme here? I LOVED WORKING BLACK FRIDAY. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else on that day. I was never disappointed that I wasn't one of the lucky ones getting the deals at Wally World, Best Buy, Target, or Toys R Us. I never wanted get in line after Thanksgiving dinner to be sure to grab the greatest gift ever. And I certainly never wanted to get into an altercation while grabbing the last Wii or Xbox or iPhone for $10. I also never thought I would not want to work Black Friday or holiday in retail. I considered myself lucky because I got to work it and be on the other side of the chaos. I loved hearing people's stories about the deals they were getting as well. And I enjoyed their tales of mayhem of course.
But this year was different...
I begged God to help me find another part time job that WAS NOT retail. I dreaded the idea of smiling at someone who's teeth I'd like to knock out because they are the rudest person on the face of the earth. I did not want to deal with a manager who demanded the world from a part time associate who is there just for the paycheck. I despised the idea of getting up earlier than the sun to be at the beck and call of shoppers. God answered my prayer, instead of getting up early on the day after Thanksgiving, I got to snuggle with my four year old a little later and watch some morning television.
I was praising God that I did not have to work one day of retail this holiday season, especially black Friday. I could only focus on the negative things associated with working retail that day: rude customers thinking you owe them the shirt off your back, associates not showing up, sales not ringing correctly, customers trying to use the next day's coupons, getting up before the sun, etc... You get the idea.
And that breaks my heart.
When I left retail, my closest friends could not believe it.
"You are retail" some said.
"But you love it" others would say.
"What else will you do?"...good question.
"I never thought you would leave retail"
The things I once loved, I now dread. The things I once looked forward to, now made me quiver with fear.
So where did that love go? Why was I praising God that I didn't have to work on a day that used to be my favorite day of the year to work?
I have no idea.
Do I have a new love? Yes. I've always had this love, but it is blossoming in a way I never expected.
God has really blessed me by allowing me to be a work at home mom since June. I am getting to know my child way more than when I was working. If he would go out of town with my grandfather on the weekend, it was no big deal. I didn't see him much during the week, so why should the weekend be any different. Now when he goes with my gramps, I'm counting the minutes til they get back.
I absolutely love being a work at home mom. Granted, one of my jobs is in another home, but my son is with me while I'm there. I know more about my four year old now than I did in the first 3 years of his life.
Now this is not saying I didn't know anything about him or I wasn't the one raising him during those years, but I just wasn't able to spend as much time with him as I do now. I would feel threatened if someone else seemed to know more about his likes or dislikes than I did. And it broke my heart that I didn't know those things.
I used to wonder if I was good enough to be his mom. Didn't he deserve better? Maybe, but that just wasn't to be. And who said staying at home was in his best interest at that time?
(Insert disclaimer here: I am not in any way shape or form bashing moms who work outside the home. I know that this blessing is not going to last forever, there will come a day when I will once again be working outside the home. I'm just enjoying the blessing while I can.)
I've always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I had no idea the hard work that entailed. Not just because I'm working 3 jobs, but because it really is hard to spend all day with your children, and I only have one! But I love it. I love lying down at the end of the day and thinking, "Sheesh...and I have to be up in 8 hours to do it again???" I absolutely love it.
I'm not dreading the day that I will once again work full time outside our home, but I am certainly making the most out of the time I have being able to work from home. I hope it lasts longer than I expect it to.
I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again...I had no idea that the love of my life would be short, selfish, and completely dependent on me.