Yesterday, I got a call from Nathan's school telling me he was throwing up and could I please come get him right away.
My first thought was gratitude.
I'm no Pollyanna and cleaning up vomit is not a fun pastime, but I'm still grateful.
I'm grateful that I have a job where I can work from home without trouble. I'm grateful that my bosses and fellow employees are understanding and have no issue with me putting family first.
I'm grateful I didn't have to choose between a day's income and taking care of my son.
Not everyone gets that kind of flexibility in their occupation.
I used to work for the government and for the most part, I really enjoyed it. I liked the people I worked with and the job had its interesting points. I walked away from it a year ago (although I only recently gave in my official notice) because it didn't work with my family.
A lot of people thought I was foolish to do it. With the government, I had stable employment, benefits, a pension plan. I could vary my hours as I needed, meaning I could upscale to full-time work if something happened to Dave's job, giving us a very real safety net. The department I worked for was incredibly flexible, doing everything they could to adapt to what I needed. And I'm grateful for their efforts.
But I still had to be in their office for a set number of hours each work day. No fault to them. I don't even want to think about the security nightmare otherwise.
Today I was able to sit and rub my five year old's back while he threw up and cuddle him while he sipped water. Being sick is bad enough but I remember how terrifying the loss of control was with a stomach bug when I was a child. Today, I made his experience a little less frightening. I was able to make Jello while he slept, so he had something to eat which wouldn't irritate his stomach too much.
And I did it all while still getting my work-for-pay done. Slower than usual, to be sure. But still done. I'm proud of that. I didn't have to sacrifice either my pride in my work or my responsibility to my family. For a little while, I did get to have it all.
That's worth sticking in the Happy Jar.
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