keeping the rules within.

I posted last week (here) about feeling overwhelmed and bogged down by decisions I had to make. We had a 3-day weekend with no significant plans, and I was able to do a lot of thinking and reflecting. Mr. P & I went out on a date, gobbled Chai & paninis, took a long walk & shared our hearts.

One of our decisions was concerning Solo and his struggle in pre-school. (12 hours/week) There have been a few incidents that have left him with lots of anxiety about going to school. The details aren't really necessary, but there is really no denying how much it has affected him.

"Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you" -Martha Beck

The "rules" of the world say: Don't be over-protective. Don't smother your children. Don't shelter your children. Make sure you socialize your children. Don't spoil your children. If your child struggles, don't "rescue" them. And on. and on. and on.

As I wrestled with what to do and weighed the pros & cons of keeping Solo in school or taking him out, these voices in my head began to gnaw at me.

If I take him out of school, it's like allowing him to give up.

What will people think?

Should I make him push through so that he gets tougher?

The "rules" of the world say what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger. Push through. Toughen up.

But the "rules" within me, as Solo's mother, say to protect him no matter what the cost. To comfort him. To be his safety net, regardless of what people may think.

I don't know exactly how it's going to look, or what my new schedule will be, but it's decided. No more school for Solo. (We'll try again in August.)

Another decision that was weighing on me, even more than the prior one, was what to do next year. There was a potential full-time job I was asked to pursue, and it was a great match for me. The location, the salary, the hours, the duties.... almost perfect.

Except not.

"Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you" -Martha Beck

The "rules" of the world say to take the job for the money. To build my resume. To enjoy adult interaction and intellectual stimulation. To have the freedom to hang out with co-workers on breaks and spend parts of my paycheck guilt-lessly.

But the "rules" within say money isn't everything. The resume can wait. Freedom is relative and very fleeting.

Time with Solo is priceless.

I sent the e-mail that said I would not be applying after all. As I hit send, I felt a wave of both relief and sadness. Relief because I know it's the right thing. Sadness because every hard decision requires sacrifice.


This post is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.