Leaning In

I just spent a couple of days being wined and dined. It’s nice to be recruited. It’s absurdly flattering. It’s also confidence building to know that my work speaks for me. It was a great trip.

I can honestly say that I could see myself living in that area and doing the work.

I can also say that I immensely enjoy what I’m doing in my current job.

I learned a lot about other people’s vision for me, what I would be doing, and how I would be doing it. I found myself thinking, ”Well, some of these are interesting challenges; I could do some cool things here with this team.”

Someone talked to me about an ultimate career goals, and I realized that although I previously thought the trajectory she described was where I wanted to end up, maybe I really didn’t want to do that after all.

That realization, alone, made the trip worth it.

During the last few months of this professional flirtation, I never once doubted my ability to do the work or to be successful in the role being offered to me. My biggest professional questions were always did I want to do it, and would it position me to do things I wanted to do later in my career.

Some months ago, Mimi and I mentioned the book, Lean In, on Add Water and Stir. I grimaced when she mentioned it, and I recall Mimi asking why. We didn’t really go into it on the show, but I remember thinking that I have always felt like I was leaning in. I pushed boundaries; I created stuff; I might lack confidence, but you’d never know it (#neverletthemseeyousweat); I had goals and I would meet them if it killed me. I didn’t think that book was written for me.  #nope #notforme

Personally, adopting Hope was the epic lean in for me. It’s totally changed my life, of course. It has made me behave differently professionally, recognizing my need and desire to slow down a bit as a mom and especially as a single mom. My priorities shifted. And while I’ve still been really productive and taken on new challenges, I simply haven’t revolved my life around my job like I used to. And I’m good with that. I’ve taken some time to lean in on parenting Hope and shepherding her into adulthood.

So, now, here is an opportunity to take on a new challenge: uprooting my kiddo and moving her…again.

The challenge isn’t the job, I can do that job in my sleep. The challenge is the life logistics of what’s best for Hope.

To my professional flirt’s credit, they appreciate my concerns, but they also don’t truly get it. I got school tours, meetings with the principal of the “preferred” school in the district (I could and should write a whole blog about that “preferred school” thing). We talked about how fabulous the music programs were at the school and throughout the state, and how Hope might musically thrive in that environment. Folks had been briefed about our situation and genuinely offered suggestions on how to make it work.

In all though, only one person really appreciated the fact that I would need a ton of referrals to create a new medical support network for my daughter and, the referral of the great team notwithstanding; I wouldn’t have any additional support in the area. Even this one person simply said, “Oh Hope will adapt, the start of high school is a great time to pick up and move.”

Sure I think she would adapt, but Hope’s had to do so much adapting because of the adults in her life during her 14 years. Maybe for once, someone should make a decision that doesn’t involve her having to be the one to adapt.

That seems reasonable right?

In the end, I don’t see this opportunity as attractive enough to put my career above leaning in on Hope’s needs. I mean, I guess for a crazy amount of money perhaps, but crazy money isn’t in play here (though the offer is generous). Hope needs me; she needs stability, she needs the opportunity to fulfill some goals she has at her new school here. Hope has hope, right now, that we are home, that she can count on our routine, that she can continue to work on the social relationships she has here, that she can have access to her entire family—adoptive and birth—within a few hours drive. She needs roots. And we’re growing them.

And while I know that there have been a lot of people who’ve cared for her along the way, my sweet girl has been shuttled about nearly all of her life. For once can she just breathe easy that she doesn’t have to go anywhere for a while longer. #canHopelive?

My career is going fine. It’s nice to know I’m a prize. I am so very fortunate to be so happy doing what I’m doing, where I’m doing it. But I am making a choice to continue leaning in on mommyhood for a while longer. Hope needs to be able to lean on me.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at adoptiveblackmom@gmail.com, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©www.AdoptiveBlackMom.com, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

4 responses to “Leaning In

  • Belladonna Took

    See – this is why you’re an excellent mom. You think with your head and you listen to your heart and the end result is the very best you can do. Sure you’ll screw up sometimes. You may one day even think back to this decision and wish you’d chosen differently – because none of us knows what’s waiting around the corner. But none of that matters, because you’re the kind of parent who prioritizes being a parent – and does so in a way that isn’t all warm fuzzies. Good for you!

  • Mel

    Sure I think she would adapt, but Hope’s had to do so much adapting because of the adults in her life during her 14 years. Maybe for once, someone should make a decision that doesn’t involve her having to be the one to adapt.
    And this is what makes you the best mom ever.

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