The Devil’s in the Decisions

November 3, 2009 at 12:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

You know those people who make tough decisions, stand behind them, and never look back? They know what they want, and they know exactly what they need to get it? Their resolve is steadfast, and they have no regrets? I am not those people. I hate those people. Those people can bite me.

You’ve read my recent whinings about losing my job, trying to start a freelance career, trying to learn web design. Sorry for all of that. Whining seems to be my MO as of late. So I’ve been agonizing over what to do with myself… what do I want? Freelancing seemed a good fit, until I realized that it’s actually more work than a regular full-time job, and until you get clients, there’s a lot of sitting around and stressing out involved. If I didn’t have to worry about childcare I’d probably muddle through, but with so much work going to the plethora of other out-of-work-turned-freelance designers and no money to fund my nanny after the end of this year, I’m realizing what a foolhardy endeavor I set for myself. Did I really think I’d start up a new business, learn web design fundementals and programs, attract clients, and stay afloat, all in the span of 13 weeks?

Well, ok, I didn’t. Not really. If I’m being honest here, I knew my choice from the get go. But, see, I’m not one of those people. The ones who can make the decisions without agonizing over every possibility. When I got the news of my impending layoff, before money and ambition started to cloud my judgement, I knew that I’d be more than content to stay at home and raise my son. But then, oh then, the wheels started turning…could we afford it? Would James go along with it? Would I miss working? Or worse yet, would my brain turn to Jello without meaningful adult interaction?! Do you see what I’m up against here? I somehow convinced myself that I had to at least try to get clients, or try to get a job, before I would consider staying home. I had to fail at everything else before I would resort to that. I wanted the choice to be out of my hands. Because otherwise I would second-guess this choice, I might start to regret it, or worse yet, resent my family for it.

Yes, I know, I’m a lunatic. Overthinking and indecisive…not such a good combination.

I entered a crossroads last week, and in a rare fit of decisiveness, I gave our notice with the nanny share. That was one decision that was absolutely killing me. We love our nanny, we really like the family we’re sharing with, it was so much work to set it all up, and now it was all coming to nothing. But they took it well, and I fully intend to keep in contact with them next year. We’ll be in the share until the end of year, or it might end sooner if they find a replacement before that.

In the meantime I’m a bit listless. I’m still plugging away at my web design studies, to what end I’m not sure. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to use all of these skills on an upcoming project, if it ever comes to fruition. I’m figuring I can hire a babysitter if any freelance projects land in my lap next year. (Ha, like that’s how it happens!) But I’m really hoping to focus on being a mom. I had a hard time identifying with stay-at-home moms when I was working, and I suspect I’ll have the same feeling with working moms next year. I don’t feel like I fit in either category anymore. One thing is for sure…we’re going to be a lot poorer than before. I know I’m very fortunate to even get to entertain the thought of staying home. So many moms I know would love to, but don’t have the financial means. We’re right on the border…unemployment benefits will help, and a big raise for James next year will offset the bulk of it. But we’re going to have to tighten our belts. A lot.

So, here goes. A new direction. A new life. I can’t guarantee the whining will stop. But I’m hopeful. Very hopeful.




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  1. You must be doing something right! Your brother-in-law, Michael, informed me before he left to go back to Afghanistan that you are his favorite sister-in-law!

  2. Mandy…. I love reading your blog. I am so glad Jill shared it with me. You have such wit and captivate me with your intriguing words! Things are bound to get better… they certainly have to. Hopefully I’ll see you next time you are in town.

    • thanks, sara, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. It’s quite cathartic for me to write all of this stuff and post it to the ether…makes up for not knowing many people out here I can talk to face-to-face.

  3. Just remember: You can always work when the kiddos (I’m sure the second one will hit when Liam is two. I’d be willing to bet on it.) are off to school. You can never get this time back. Although I’m more prone to think that kids need us when they’re older or just being there to keep them out of trouble, you know that this is what you want. And I know you can do it. You’ll be happier in the long run. I remember the when you came back to work after having Liam and you AIMed: “I miss my boy!” Be comfortable with the decision that you won’t have to say that, or at least for a while. Enjoy it. Bask it. You’re so so lucky. And such a great Mom. It’s a hard decision to make. I’m proud of ya!

    • Thanks, Jess. Those are very kind words, and I needed to hear them. Change is hard for a lot of people to face, including me. As sad as I am to be parting ways with my old life, I am truly looking forward to my next step.

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