I have been a stay at home mom for 8 years now.
8 years, that’s a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have not taken it for granted, I love being able to be with my kids and my role as a mother has been one that I am very thankful to have. However, there’s always been a part of me that missed working. I missed having an identity that wasn’t attached to my little’s, I missed adult conversations, and I missed my career. I had a pretty sweet job before I had kids, and when I first got pregnant, I hadn’t even been planning on taking my full mat leave! I was going to go back to work ASAP. Clearly that didn’t happen, but there’s always been a small part of me that wanted to go back to flying.
I recently had a chance to do just that, and not just going back, but going back with the company that I had always dreamed of being a part of. I was ecstatic! So when the call came that I would be beginning training not in Toronto as I had originally hoped, but almost on the other side of the country, I hesitated. I mean, I wanted this job, but not at the expense of being with my family.
I didn’t only hesitate, i turned the offer down, but after some soul searching, a few good talks with my people, I decided to go for it.
Training to be a flight attendant is not easy. I know a lot of people see them serving coffee and drinks and think that’s the whole job, but the truth is, flight attendants are the only ones there for you if ANYTHING goes wrong, its not like you can just call 9-1-1, so its pretty rigorous training in first aid, evacuations, emergency procedures, and even self defense. For 5 weeks I attended class and studies 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, and every weekend I traveled almost 10 hours round trip to be with my family. It was hard, so hard, balancing it all, and missing them so much.
5 weeks in a hotel may sound like a vacation, but the novelty wore of very quickly. The quiet was deafening, the empty bed was SO empty, every moment I wasn’t studying I was thinking about my littles, my husband, what they were doing, what they were eating, what story they were reading that night. I’m used to being constantly surrounded by them, and loneliness was not something I handled well.
I don’t even know when I started thinking that I didn’t belong there, but y the end of the second week. when we were given our schedules for the next month, I was definitely wishing I was home, Seeing that schedule, seeing all those nights away from my family, I was ready to pack it all in. Before I had kids, I worked for an airline that gave me a lot of choice in my schedule, I could be gone for weeks on end, or I could sleep in my bed every night. I now realize just how lucky I was with that. I brought up my concerns and had hope that I could have more choice in my schedule going forward I just had to get through training and my first few weeks.
Somehow, I managed to make it through, and I did pretty damn well, I was so proud at my graduation.
But then I started working, and it wasn’t working, the balance didn’t come, and it seemed to be slipping further and further from my reach.
Without too many details, my dream company, which was SO amazing in so many ways, was not able to give me the balance that I needed, and so, with a lot of regret but with even more relief, I resigned early this week.
This is not the outcome i wanted, but maybe it was the outcome I needed. I never thought I would go into a training program this crazy intense, and end up staying at the job less than 2 months total, but I can honestly say that I tried, I went for it, gave it my 100%, and found out that the place I thought I wanted to be, was not the place for me.
Being back home with my kids now, the mundane no longer seems so mundane, I have a new appreciation for them, and for what we have, and for the place we call home.
Have you ever chased a dream only to find out that it wasn’t for you? I would love to hear from you,
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