the nest

the nest

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tomorrow I jump.

I've started this post multiple times over the past month - in my head of course - but haven't just sat down to write. When my oldest was getting ready to graduate, I had to write. I had to process. I cried all year long. When my second was getting ready to graduate, I needed to write too, but I was less teary. I'd been through it once before and had realized that while graduating was big, it was more of a starting point than an end point. My first had left, but stayed in contact. With the second I was as excited about the adventures to come as I was about the "end" HS graduation represented.

Now, after 10 years in High School, the youngest is getting ready to fly. She is finding her way and while there have been plenty of struggles, the path is pretty clear and as she heads into the last few months her excitement about the life to come is beginning to outweigh the "senioritis" that marked the first half of the year. As a family, we are ready to "graduate" from HS for the last time!

This time around my attention has not so much been on launching child 3 out of the nest, but launching myself. Life has been pretty great up to this point and I've been able to do work I love while being the available parent at home. That changes next year. The time spent driving kids, running errands for kids, cleaning up after kids, feeding kids, nagging kids and on and on, will be over.

So much of what I love about parenting will continue ~ loving, listening, laughing, advising. The time intensive part is wrapping up. We have made the choice over the years to work with a smaller family budget in order to make it possible for me to be available as our children were growing. While I wouldn't change that decision for a minute, I would be lying if I said it wasn't a struggle. We have more debt than we would like and the stress we have experienced around money has taken too much time and energy.

I started looking at the years ahead. So much time to dig deeper into my business! It's time for me to increase my income so we can eliminate the debt we've taken on and build on our future plans to travel and someday retire. Let's be honest. No one goes into Early Childhood ANYTHING to make money. Why not take this time to dive into a whole new career? Not so easy. First, I LOVE WHAT I DO. Loving what I do makes me a happier person and when I'm happier, my family is happier. Second, like so many women who have stayed home to raise families, I've been out of the work force long enough that I'm both over-qualified and under-experienced for the few jobs that have any appeal to me at this point in life.

How do we move into these next years???? For so long, I've had my sweet little business, but have primarily been Andi, Katy and Helen's Mom. For many women it's even more dramatic. So many spend the years of childrearing completely focused on raising their families, volunteering in their communities and taking care of everyone but themselves. Years of education get dusty on a shelf and dreams of careers fade away.  Music Together has given me a professional community to connect with and opportunities to grow and I'm certain that having this work has made me a better Mom. I have opportunities to move forward within this community as I train to be a Teacher Trainer and find ways to nurture and grow my business. So much to look forward to!!

So what's with the complete lack of focus and motivation lately to do anything other than stay home with the dogs and the last of my chicks, binge watching shows on Netflix and ignoring the list on my phone of things that need to be attended to?

I'm not afraid of sending my children out into the world. They are more than ready and I'm excited to see where life takes them. I'm afraid of heading out into the world myself. For 24 years I've had an excuse to "back out" whenever life felt overwhelming. "My family needs me." "I need to be available to my kids." Excuses that have sheltered me from both the risk of failure, but also the risk of success.

For years I've said to myself, "You have so much to offer, but if you really dove in, the kids and family would suffer." What a load of CRAP. Let's be honest. I'm a lousy cook - I don't keep a particularly clean house. It's fine, but I certainly don't spend a whole lot of time on it. I am really good at laundry. That's my claim to fame at home. I'm a pretty good chauffeur too, but I've been hiding behind my children for years and now they are on their way. Jeff more than carries his load at home and has always been 100% behind whatever makes me happy. The only thing that has held me back is that FEAR.

FEAR that I'll fail. FEAR that I'll succeed. FEAR that people will figure out I have no idea what I'm talking about. FEAR that I'll disappoint.

This is the year that it changes. I'm jumping out of the nest with Helen and am moving forward with my life and career. Tomorrow I start a year of working with a Coach ~ building my business and creating additional ways to use the skills and knowledge and passion I already have to expand what I can offer to the world and increase what I contribute to my family.  For years I've made excuses. I've had a difficult time claiming the title of "small business owner." I haven't taken myself seriously or in anyway "owned" who I am and what I am capable of. I've found my voice, but now all that talk needs to be turned into action.

Tomorrow is the day.


  1. Think back to your graduation from Luther and your goals and expectations at that time. Now you are graduating from a different school, the University of Life and Experience. While not granting a diploma, you are qualified in many areas: business management, conflict resolution, music education,, theory and performance, transportation managements, personnel management and more. Craft a resume highlighting these strengths and march forward with vigor. Employers are looking for workers with a solid work ethic they know will show up and give no excuses.

  2. Your family is behind you, matter what you decide to do in future. We love you and will help any way we to us. Sending love & hope... Mom C.