For the last few months, I have had frequent dreams about taking a job. An office job where I have to go to work every day. Where I get to go home at the end of the day. A job where I can use my skills and education. A job where I get a paycheck without having to worry about how good sales have been that week or whether I am better off buying more inventory or if I made enough to actually give myself a paycheck at all that week. Now, I have several successful small businesses, so it is not that I NEED a job.
I figure I am not alone in having these sort of dreams, and I think I know why I am having them. First, owning a small business is stressful. Owning more than one is controlled chaos some days. So, the idea of having a job where I am paid for only what I am best at is very appealing. A job where I don’t have to worry about all of the other stuff (bookkeeping, for instance) sounds like a great idea some days. In my heart, though, I know I am not ready to be an employee again any time soon. Heaven knows I could not hold a job with as sick as I have been the last 4 months. I also really don’t want to put Eva in day care, so a traditional job is not really what I want right now.
I think the second reason is really the main reason I keep having these dreams. I know I have missed my chance to run away and join the circus. Not that I want or need to join the circus, just that my choices are limited more by doing this one thing than anything I have ever done. No longer is my life solely mine to play with, now I am somebody’s mother. I have responsibilities now that are bigger than anything I have ever done.
The thing is, I am known for making bold decisions and taking some pretty big risks with my life. I change careers, move cross country, or even get married, in less time than it takes most people to buy a car. Even more so, I am known for dreaming about making huge life changes. Life is a buffet and I intend to make the most of it. I am always looking for the next experience.
Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled to finally be a mother. I have wanted this since I was 2 years old. It is an adventure and a dream come true. Nor am I saying that I must cease dreaming or taking risks now that I am a mom. However, I know that some dreams must be put aside. Some risks are too much for me now. I need to consider someone else’s well-being before I make decisions now. To be the mother I want to be, to give Eva the life I want for her, I need to make “grown-up” decisions. Time and money (and fear for my daughter’s safety)won’t allow me to bike across Europe or hike the Appalachian Trail any time soon. I can’t uproot my life and move in with friend’s in another state just to see whether I like it. I can’t just decide to sell all my businesses and start something new overnight (a temptation every time I get an email from a cranky customer or a supplier increases prices-again!). Going back to school, starting a different business, or taking an extended trip are all still possible as a mom, but they require more planning and thought when you are responsible for someone else.
What are the odds of my doing any of these things any time soon? I had no immediate plans to join the circus the week before I got pregnant. With or without a baby I am unlikely to join the circus in the next year. The key is that I have to be a “grown-up” now. Somebody I love with all my heart will be depending on me to make the best decisions possible and to put her needs above my own. Wonderful and awe-inspiring at the same time. Being a mom is better than any circus I could join.