Never

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When I was little, I was never going to wear a skirt. Or paint my nails. I was absolutely never going to have a boyfriend. Gross.

I was never going to swear.

I was never going to disobey my parents. What could I ever want to do that would upset them anyway? We were buddies.

I was never going to drink. I’d accidentally sipped a beer on New Year’s Eve once and gagged. Why would I ever do that again?

Later, after I’d done all these things, I was never going to settle down. There was absolutely no way I was moving out of the city — any city. I was never going to stay put or learn to cook or choose paint colors.

Until I did.

And then I was never going to be the mom that wore stretch pants or my hair up for days or sobbed uncontrollably because sleeeeeeep. I was never going to say, “Maybe we should think about an easier trip” or “I need help” or “I forgot to feed the dogs.”

I was never going to be that girl. That woman. Mom. Wife.

And the more pregnant I got, the more I thought, maybe I’ll never go “back to work.” My mom was a stay-at-home mom and it was the best. Maybe the job I’m meant to have is raising a baby into a child into a teenager into a faux-adult into a real adult — the hardest job in the world.

Then Forrest came and thanks to my husband, I got to spend 6 months at home with him. It’s been perfect. And awful. And joyful and miserable and incredible and boring and the most surreal 6 months of all time. And somewhere in there it occurred to me that I did want to get an additional job, but only if it would complement my full-time gig.

So I did. I got a job as a writer for a brand that’s doing important things, and one of those is to let me work from home. I’m so grateful, and hopeful that more companies realize how doable and effective this can be. Yes, Forrest goes to daycare and yes, someone else may see him crawl for the first time —someone who’s not me because I chose to work. But we’ll all survive that.

I’m not trying to do it all because I can’t. Since I started this other job, I’ve barely cooked. Clean laundry sits on the dining table for days. I have 23954396 phone calls to return. Last night, my husband had to take care of Forrest until bedtime because I had a deadline to meet. It’s not perfect.

But it feels like the right choice for us, and that’s enough.

And it means I can’t write here as much, but I hope to check in and record these fleeting feelings and trials and moments.

Because of all the nevers I’ve nevered, I never want to forget this part.

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