Time to say goodbye

I’ve been at my current company for almost 8 years. It was my first non-restaurant  “grown up” job. This has been my home for so long. I’ve grown up here. I’ve made new friends who are so dear to me. If it wasn’t for this job I would never have met the man who gave me my beautiful and amazing daughter. Though the last 8 years have been full of incredible high’s and rock bottom lows, this has been my safe place and the place that has turned me into who I am. It hasn’t always been great-its been highly stressful, and I’ve even hated it some days. But the fun and memories that this place has given me will never be replaced. I know that leaving here will be one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I’m really not looking forward to my last day on Friday because I know I will be a blubbering crying mess. Cause I’m girly like that. My boss made the announcement last Friday that I was leaving and I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have emailed me, text me, or stopped by to wish me luck and tell me they will miss me. And I have to say, I kind of wish everyone hated me because it would probably be SO much easier. But each person has touched my heart in some way and for that I will always be grateful. I’ve been told by the president of the division that I will always have a home here and for that I am grateful. I met the people who matter the most in my life thanks to this place-the people who are now like my family and who have given me my place in their world in my not-so-new-anymore town I call home. My daughter and I have been so lucky to have one place give us so much. A home. A future. A life I had never imagined for myself. Never. I pictured my life at this age so differently. Married, a dedicated mommy to 3 kids who are busy with activities, teaching school and owning a dance studio. That’s how I always pictured this stage of my life. And its nothing like that picture. Instead, I am a dedicated mommy. But alone. Which is hard. So damn hard. Having to be both mom and dad is so overwhelming and just hard. There’s no other way to describe it, just hard. It takes its toll on you emotionally. Not having someone to fall back on if you are running late, or sick, or just don’t want to drive to dance/cheer/soccer/parent night etc. But its not her fault (or mine either really) that she only has one parent, so I have to suck it up and do what I can to be a better mommy to her because its what she deserves. And its because I want to be a better mommy that I’ve decided to end this chapter of my story and start a new one. The chapter of parenthood. Of being there as much as I can for my daughter. Maybe its the mommy guilt I feel of her only having one involved parent. Maybe its the exhaustion from the stress of my current job (yes, there is a ton of stress there even if it seems like an easy job). Maybe its the exhaustion from the hour drive home every day that means by the time we get home and I’m too tired and irritable to want to play or even have the energy to go to my workouts anymore.  I don’t know. I do know its the guilt I feel that she has dinner with her sitter several nights a week because she is the last one picked up. And that she cries over being the last one picked. And her questions of why the other mommies go up to her school and I don’t, or why she can’t go to N’s dance class  (cause it starts before I get home to get her to it.) Its a combination of it all I guess. And finally after over 5 years of being a mom, I’m able and ready to put being a mom ahead of everything else. To be able to be present for my child. Present at her school. Present at home. It means a lot of changes for us. Redoing the way we live our life. But its ultimately going to be worth it.

My dream job was to be a dance teacher. To work in a school and teach dance (drill team director actually) and to have a dance studio. I love working with kids. Always have. When I was in elementary school I was always the one helping the younger grades in PE or at lunch. In junior high I worked in the counselors office. When I got to high school I was in a class that allowed me to work at an elementary school with various grades as a teachers assistant. At my dance studio and with drill team I taught during classes and clinics with the younger kids. I worked in child care for several years. I love working with kids, and that’s what made me want to be a teacher. Right now my dream of teaching is far off-I have a lot of obstacles to keep me from attaining that teaching degree I so want to have. But now I get the opportunity to do more of what I want. I will be going to work in HR for a school district very close to home. I will be 15 minutes away from home. I will have all school holidays off and more time off in the summer. I will have more time and energy to be a MOM. Making this decision was the hardest I’ve ever had to make-I thought my choice to move to my current town was tough but this was by far harder. Making a choice to leave something that I’m comfortable with, that I know the ins and outs of. Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a HUGE risk starting over in a new field and a new type of job. That’s terrifying. I’m scared. But I’m also excited, very very excited. I’ll be working in the environment I always wanted to be in, mostly. I’m not working at a school but I’ll be at the district office. Knowing that I’m going to eventually help make a difference in a school is a powerful and exciting thought. It may take a bit, but I’m looking forward to the opportunities I will have there.  The amount of growing I’ll be able to do, the new people I will get to know, and most of all-knowing that I will be able to be there more for Pooh. To be able to give her my time and my energy instead of a crabby tired mom who doesn’t feel like doing anything. But the past week of co-workers telling me how sorry they are to see me go, yet validating my choice to be make my “mom” life better has been so bittersweet. Everyone has understood and supported my decision to be there for my child. The comments have been overwhelming and heartwarming and I know I’m making the right choice. But it doesn’t change the sadness I feel leaving all the people I’ve known for so long. To exchange the perks of free beer and concert tickets for 2 weeks off at Christmas. Exchanging that “June Bonus” with 3 day weekends the whole summer. I’m exchanging money for time. And that’s what matters the most right? Its not the material things that I could give Pooh that she will think back on, but the time we spent at the park, or playing games at home, or sleeping in and being lazy all day. Exchanging money for that precious time because she’s already grown up so quickly and I feel I missed so much of her baby time, that I don’t want to miss anymore. Its going to be hard to adjust to a different life, and maybe even a little stressful at first learning how to re-prioritize our needs but in the end I know the promise of advancement, the quality of life and our overall happiness will improve and for that I am excited and happy about.

 

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Having more free time means I can do more things I’d enjoy-perhaps FINALLY teaching Zumba with Pooh,  volunteering to assist at her cheer gym or maybe even her dance studio if she starts going. I’m also excited about the new opportunity I took on to sell Scentsy and to realize I now have started my OWN business. Something I never thought I would do, not being much of a ‘sales person’ but I’m so excited to have a creative and fun opportunity that I can share with Pooh and teach her responsibility as a business owner. www.maryewalters.scentsy.us  I’m a small business! Wow! Its just another new chapter that I get to explore and hopefully will add to my life as a mom and a person. It will give me an opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. And I never would of had the time or energy with my current job to devote to building a business, especially one that I can share with Pooh. I’m really happy about the way my life is taking shape, and that while getting out of my comfort zone is terrifying, its also exhilarating and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings us.

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Ah the State Fair…

There is really just nothing like it. Starting with a gorgeous sunny warm day. The delicious smell of corn dogs and fried foods tempting you from every side, the loud bells and whistles of the rides, the people watching and did I mention the food and how yummy it all is? The only thing to make it better is who you spend the day with and I got lucky enough to spend it with my best friend of 20-something years and our sweet kids.  I have 2 gorgeous nieces and an awesome nephew who I just love to death. They are my babies and are the best kids you could hope for. They love Pooh so much and took such good care of her at the fair, playing, eating and of course taking tons of selfies. My older niece graduated this past May and has headed off to college, so we miss her like crazy. She was home for the weekend and was able to spend some time with us at the fair before heading back off to school. And I have a phone full of photos of all 4 crazy kids (except the nephew-he tried to stay OUT of the craziness). We walked around and mostly looked for the food. Mmmm fried food.  Corn dogs and funnel cakes were the hit of the day, and nothing really tops off your day like a powdered sugar fight with your niece!

 

We had an amazing day, and I’m so glad I can share it with them. Those are the kinds of memories I want Pooh to have-being surrounded by people who love her and I love that I have the pictures to remind us of it.

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Our beautiful girls!

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Sweet babies

 

Happy Fall!

So my favorite season is FINALLY here, and we’ve already participated in several quintessential fall activities-homecoming, music fests and decorating. Its been an amazing few weeks and I’ve had the best “birthday month” so far. Oh yes, today happens to be my birthday! Its even been perfect weather the past couple of days-sunny and just warm enough. Last weekend was spent outside at a big music festival, Index, enjoying that great weather, good drinks in VIP and some live music with 4 of the most amazing people I could ask for. Nothing puts you in a better mood than a long late night of laughter and craziness-no telling what happens when with that particular crew, especially when you decide to wander around the club district and stumble into a random club or 2.

This past Saturday was the picture perfect family day. We took some of the littles out to a pumpkin patch in a little town just outside of our own little town. There is truly nothing better than warm fall weather, bright sunshine, the squeal of happy little kids and walking around a pumpkin patch searching for that perfect pumpkin-or 2! Each kid got to pick a small pumpkin to decorate there and each family got a large pumpkin to take home.

Picked out a pumpkin to decorate!

Picked out a pumpkin to decorate!

We went to the patch with one of Pooh’s best friends and her mom, as well as my ex and his family. We had a wonderful time watching the kids bounce in the bounce houses, pet the goats (one thought it was a cat rubbing against my leg to be pet!) and the bunny, riding ponies and walking through the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect pumpkins for decorating! We all went through a maze, rode a hayride and some of us even made it into the bounce house to play….although L and I are a little disappointed we didn’t get a selfie with the llama who gives kisses.  The kids even got to listen to a Halloween story while enjoying cookies & juice! It was one of those so simple but oh so perfect fall days. We took our pumpkins home and spent Sunday decorating our big one. I think our spooky kitty cat turned out pretty great-Pooh did it all herself! We also did some yard decorating for Halloween. Its not much, but its cute! We will go more all out for Christmas. Pooh has already asked for a reindeer.

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All our fall fun decorations!

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Decorating our pumpkin patch pumpkin!

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Spooky kitty!

 

The last couple of weeks have been amazing. I’m really looking forward to this weekend though-we are heading out to an awesome haunted house to celebrate my birthday! It will be the first time since my 30th birthday to celebrate with adults only, and we will be doing something I haven’t done in about 7 years-going to a haunted house! Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love dressing up, scary movies, haunted houses and ghost stories. I’ve always been a fan of being scared! I haven’t been to a haunted house in forever (8 years maybe?) and the one we are going to has several different scary attractions, including a Carn-Evil clown maze (that I’m still not sure I’m going to go in!). We’ve got a pretty good size group of us are going-both friends and possibly some cousins I haven’t seen in way too long, so I’m very excited to celebrate my birthday surrounded by so many of my favorite people. And October has just started and is still full of fun things-Pooh will be doing something VERY exciting and will be dancing with the high school drill team at a football game along side one of her best friends. We also have fall fest coming up, the State Fair, and will be celebrating a couple of Pooh’s friends birthdays this month! October may very well be the BEST month of 2014, and I’m so excited to see what else will be happening. My October calendar is FULL of things for both of us to do, full of friends and family, and full of excitement. I can’t wait to enjoy every moment!

Happy girls on mommys birthday!

Happy girls on mommys birthday!