My two occupations

I love being a writer.  I’ve wanted to be a writer almost as long as I can remember.  I wrote my first story in third grade about a cow who got loose in my suburban neighborhood.  I haven’t stopped ever since.  In fact, by fourth grade if you asked me what I wanted to do, I’d have told you that I wanted to be a teacher and write on the side.  Yeah, I was a cool kid like that.  By high school, that dream evolved into journalism.  I realized I wanted to write more than anything.  Two journalism degrees, hundreds of professionally published articles and my own writing business later, I still love what I do.

My two little ones. I was a mom to the furry one first. I've loved that, but he's much easier to care for these days in comparison. The second one stole my heart when she was born in October 2009. My occupation as her mom has become my favorite one of all.

But, for the first time in my life, being a journalist is no longer my favorite occupation.  It’s in second place.  I think I probably knew that before this week, but I realized it tenfold this week.  Right now I’m juggling multiple articles and deadlines.  I’ve got 19 articles due within the next two weeks.  A good portion of those articles are for the local newspaper and require in-person interviews and photo shoots.  And that means I can’t do them from home while my kiddo is asleep.

I’m super blessed in that both my parents and my in-laws live in town, are retired and love nothing more than hanging out with my kiddo.  She’s spent her fare share of time this past week with all of them.  They’ve loved it and she’s loved it.  I loved it, but I’ve also missed her like the dickens.  I’m in an odd world in between being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom.  Usually I enjoy the balance of being able to spend time with my kiddo but still do my work that I so enjoy.  When that gets out of balance, I sometimes get antsy.  I’ve had times where work was slow and I realized a new assignment was just the pick-me-up I needed.  And I’ve had many times where I’m working and missing my baby girl at the same time.

On Tuesday afternoon as I was driving home from one interview to make it in time for a phone interview, thinking about putting towels in the washing machine and reflecting on the morning I’d spent out of town, I realized that all I really wanted to do was go pick up my child from my parents’ house, hug her and play with her.  I used to crave writing that way.  And I still do, but I’d pick Lexiana over writing.  That sort of stunned me.  I know that is a horrible mother admission, but I had thought I might rather prefer to write than to take care of my kiddo.  (Please don’t think I’ve ever picked my work over her well being.)  I know I love her more than my work.  That’s a given, but I wasn’t sure that I enjoyed motherhood more than I enjoyed my writing.  My writing is my release, even when it’s straight news articles.  My writing is the thing that makes me who I am.  Well, it makes me who I was.

Now, I am a mother first.  I just am.  I don’t love every single second of motherhood, but I also don’t love every single second of my work.  I’ve written articles that I was so glad to submit and be finished with.  I’ve interviewed people who made my job incredibly difficult.  And I also can’t say that I find great joy in cleaning spilled yogurt out of my dining room carpet (who the heck puts carpet in a dining room, anyway?!).  I don’t really find great joy in wiping someone else’s nose.  But, I do it.  And I would do it over my writing.  The payoff is much greater.  It’s not monetary.  Any parent will tell you that a kid costs a whole lot more money than they bring in.  But, it’s rewarding. There are so many good times.  I laugh more now than I have during any other time in my life.  That’s what a kiddo does for you.  My heart melts more times in one week than I can even count when I watch said kiddo with my husband, with our dog, with our parents, with her toys, with her food…  The list could go on and on and on.

Does this mean I’m going to stop writing?  No.  It’s still a part of me.  I imagine it always will be.  And I still love it.  I still crave that time of clicking away on the keyboard making words appear.  I love researching new topics and explaining them through writing.  I love editing.  I love finding grammar mistakes.  I love giggling at typos.  I love interviewing people.  I love it all, but I love being a mother even more than that.

And this, my dear friends, is how I know I’m blessed.  People work their whole lives to find occupations they enjoy.  And I have two.  I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I thank God that He’s blessed me.

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