I soon found out that while it is great to set goals and make plans for our life, it is also imperative that we remain flexible. Life has a way of showing us that we are not in control. I was home with baby for the first 3 months of her life, because I was healing from a cesarean and some complications. My husband was going to school and working part-time so we needed the supplemental income. I quit my job as a teacher and went to work for my family's business. This allowed me the privilege of earning a living, while spending my days with my child. I was able to have her with me each day at the office and I did not miss a single moment!
When I look back at those 5 years I spent with her before she started Kindergarten, I remember how busy, chaotic, and unpredictable my days were. I also remember how they were blessed. I could sneak hugs and kisses in between phone calls. I answered the door with a baby on my hip, and made phone calls and typed up documents with a baby on my lap. I was there for her first words, and her first steps. I got to rock her to sleep and I took breaks to sing her lullabies and read her stories.
As she grew, the swing, playpen and baby toys were eventually replaced by a desk, a Dora sofa and shelves that held books, toys and art supplies. I printed out worksheets to prepare her for Kindergarten. We had calendar time, we practiced the names and sounds of the alphabet and hung up miscellaneous art projects all around the room.
There were stressful moments. I breastfed until she was 11 months old, so there were many times that I would have to pull the car over on my way to work, while running errands or on my way home to feed a hungry, screaming baby. There were days when I was the only one in the office and I had to soothe a crying baby fast enough to answer the phone or help an applicant out with his new hire paperwork. I couldn't put her on a schedule, because our days were filled with last minute errands. There were times when she was sick, fussy or just wanted to be held, but I struggled to give her the attention she needed, because I was on a deadline at work.
I made dinner and packed diaper bags by night, earned a living and cared for my baby by day and washed clothes and cleaned house on the weekends. It was the not the June Cleaver life I had planned, but it was close! I knew that I was lucky.
I am amazed at how fast those 5 years that we spent together at the office went by. When I watch my little girl get dressed in the morning, help with chores around the house or hear the conversations she has with her step-sister and friends, I cannot help but to smile. That little curly headed office baby has grown into a beautiful, bright, independent girl who has her own ideas, dreams and plans.
If she is like her Mommy, as she grows she will look back at the last five, 10 or even 15 years and she will know how fortunate she was. Though the details of her life may not always work out exactly the way she planned, she will continue to dream and to set goals for her future. Because, while life may be full of challenges and uncertainty, it is also filled with blessings and possibility, and life always has a way of working out.