Before my son joined our family, my husband and I talked at length about how we wanted to raise Future Child. It was easy to discuss parenting Future Child since we didn’t know his or her personality, wants, or needs. Now, as actual parents, my husband and I laugh about these conversations we used to have — they were well intentioned, but incredibly naive.
One of the decisions we made before becoming parents was to both have jobs that allow us to work from home. We wanted — and still want — to be the full-time care providers for our child. In theory, having full-time jobs and being full-time care providers was easy. In actuality, it’s wonderful, but it’s an incredibly complex juggling act.
My husband and I love working from home and being here with our 17 month old son, but we’ve had to completely rearrange our lives to make it happen. My husband’s job demands that he be available during normal working hours, and, even though my writing schedule is more flexible, I still have administrative and consulting obligations that overlap with his, and writing by moonlight is a big adjustment for me. We’ve had to call in a babysitter a few times, and we’ve both found ourselves wishing the grandparents weren’t a thousand miles away, but most days it works out and we know we made the right decision for our family. We also know that this complex juggling act is a temporary situation — our son will be heading off to pre-school in a year and then to elementary school shortly after that. Normal work schedules will return to us in a blink of an eye, and we’ll be nostalgic for these elaborately scheduled days when they do.
When my husband and I talked about raising our Future Child, we imagined it to be different than the reality we experience. That being said, the reality is so much better than we imagined. We wouldn’t trade this time with our son for anything in the world. We’ve had to rearrange most every aspect of our lives, but we don’t regret these adjustments because we are focused on what matters most to us. We’ve cleared the clutter in our schedules to make way for the life we desire.
Only you know what matters most to you and your family. And, only you know what clutter needs to be cleared to prioritize these desires. You might need to adopt a complex schedule or make some major changes to the way you live your life, but when you’re focused on what really matters to you, you don’t regret a single minute of living. You know you’re living the best life for you.
Are you pursing the life you desire? Are you clearing the clutter that is distracting you from a life focused on what matters most to you? Are you finding a way — simple or complex — to make it happen?