I haven’t written in awhile. Of course, I have been averaging a post a month, and like most months, I’ve actually had quite a few things to write about. Somehow though, it has been different over the past few weeks. I’ve had time to sit down and write, but just haven’t felt like it. Or perhaps it is that by writing about it, it becomes more real.
By “it”, I mean finally resigning from my job at the Yahweh Center. For those that know me well, you are likely to understand what a big deal this is for me. Will and I have been praying since Eila was born about me quitting my job and staying at home with Eila (and any other ones to come along) for the first few years. In May 2008, we were already pretty sure that that was what I should do, but we also felt that the time wasn’t right yet and I really wanted to finish up with the children on my therapy caseload naturally rather than having to switch them to a new therapist (by naturally, I mean serving as their therapist until they left the Yahweh Center). Despite our feeling that we should plan to live on one income at some point in the near future, we continued to pray about that decision over the next year and a half. I did, however, return on a part-time basis rather than a full-time one after Eila was born, so that has allowed for a gradual transition as well.
I let my therapy caseload dwindle slowly and did not take on any more cases, which allowed me to focus more on being the admissions coordinator as well. Working as a therapist is a very emotionally involved job, but surprisingly, working as an admissions coordinator was too (although not nearly as much!). The benefit of doing admissions is that it was easier to do parts of it from home, which allowed Will and I to avoid putting Eila in daycare. My last child that I saw for therapy discharged over the summer, leaving me with a few months to just focus on admissions.
It has really bothered me though, that my attentions were split between work and home– I can easily state after this expeirence of working primarily from home that it is extremely difficult to do with a toddler. Eila certainly needed my attention and I could tell she began to resent when I was on the computer or on the phone– it didn’t take a genius (or even a therapist) to figure this out, as she was always trying to close the laptop and would scream or cry when I was on the phone taking down intake info (I quickly learned to do the majority of my phone calls during her nap time). On the other hand, I felt I wasn’t doing all I needed to do for my job- I couldn’t always fax documents when I needed to, I wasn’t there for some meetings that I would have liked to take part in, and considering that pre-Eila I had worked 60 hour weeks, I felt like I was not working as I should be. It was hard.
It’s not just that I have some great work ethic or am a perfectionist– rather, the Yahweh Center has played a big part in shaping me into who I am today. Being the daughter of the founder and Executive Director allowed me to grow up alongside of it- when I was younger, I would go with my mom to her office after school (when we were back on Wrightsville Ave) and would play with some of the kids (looking back now, that seems crazy, but it was definitely a different system of care then in relation to many things, although the issues the kids were facing were ultimately the same; our agency was different though overall). As I grew and decided I wanted to work with children, I served first as a residential counselor to the kids, then as a case manager and therapist, and then as a therapist and admissions coordinator. I saw the Yahweh Center go through and survive many system changes and struggles, and I saw that it was God who brought us through. I admire my mother for the strength He has given her to carry on through extremely difficult circumstances, I have watched staff members treat her terribly, never knowing how hard she has worked to make things good for them or her personal sacrifices so that they could be paid on time. I have become angry at comments that co-workers have made and have kept silent. I have struggled with feeling isolated or left out because I was the “boss’ daughter” and could be a “mole” or a “spy”. Or I have kept myself separate because sometimes, it was just too hard to form relationships with coworkers because of who my mother is. I admire that my mother never treated me better because I am her daughter; rather, I oftentimes got treated worse than others in some ways as my mother worked hard not to show any favoritism and often kept silent when she would have spoken up for someone else. I am thankful for this though, because it helped me grow.
All that to say…I still can’t quite fathom not working there. I know I will have connection still through my mom of course, and through Will since he is the IT director. But I know it won’t be the same. Staying at home is going to be a HUGE challenge, and while I won’t miss certain aspects of my job, I will miss many of my co-workers, the fellowship, and the opportunity to serve in a ministry. Now my ministry will be more focused at home. I know God will equip me, but I sure don’t feel ready for this challenge. I will have to find ways to develop myself outside of wife and mother, to find fellowship with others, and to serve others in different ways. I will miss those long meetings, the children, and the families. And I am trying SO HARD not to be worried about finances… we are not called to worry and I know it is insulting to my Lord that I don’t trust in His provision. I know He will provide. But it is still very new territory to live on one income. We have always been careful with our money, but this will be an entirely new level of caution.
However, how blessed am I that I have this opportunity? I know that it is a wonderful thing to get to stay home with my children when they are young and I am thankful. And I will continue with my continuing ed credits, so that after a few years, if I am called to do so, I can return to work with my LCSW intact. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future. That will have to be enough for now.