When I began this blog, it was going to be proof to my children, when they’re old enough to understand and argue, that I loved them half time but twice as much as they’ll ever believe.
For one year, from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013, I participated in a job share, as a PR person for a Fortune 50 company. That meant I got to spend half the week in yoga pants with my angelic children and half the week bragging about them and in heels, amid adults.
What did I hope to accomplish? I really wanted to get a handle on my son’s development. Charlie has Down syndrome, which means we have regular sessions with a physical therapist, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and a play therapist. He’s remarkable and doing so well, but during the first year of his life, I was a train wreck. I was trying to pretend nothing had changed in my life, constantly racing from home, where most sessions take place, to the office, then out again so I could make it home in time for our babysitters to have lives of their own and dinners with their families. It was constant chaos.
But I’m 3+ years’ worth of parenting skills smarter (or so I tell myself), and now our daughter, Mary Emma, has joined our circus and we’re expecting no. 3. I have three times the reason to focus on family.
Six months into the job share:
I’ve learned so very much. For one thing, blogging is hard. It’s time consuming and it starts to feel self-agrandizing. But sometimes, the right person will notice you’re trying really hard to do something well, and something good will come of it.
That “something good,” for me, has been a weekly column on allParenting.com called, “Chasing Charlie.” It’s a glimpse into parenting a child with special needs. It’s a glimpse into our life.
I am by no means pretending to be an expert. Oh, heck no. I can say with all confidence that I have no idea what I’m doing, but I have more passion to do it than anyone on the planet. Charlie is my son, and I want to do anything I can to provide the best opportunities and the best possible life for him.
So, it turns out this job-share-blog thingie has produced something good. I’ll take it.
One year later:
I quit my job. When people ask me what I do now, I hem and haw and mention “writing.” For some reason I can’t quite bring myself to say, plainly and confidently: I am a writer. But I am. And that’s easier to type. I write parenting articles for allParenting.com, as well as the Chasing Charlie column that started it all, and I write parenting articles related to special needs topics for SheKnows.com.
Charlie is doing so well and will be in preschool while my daughter has some one-on-one mommy time before her second brother arrives. Life is good. It’s not affordable, but it’s good. We are all right where we are supposed to be.