Growing up I had heard this phrase a few times. So when my husband and I became one and found out we were going to be parents naturally I adopted it into my life style. I told myself I wouldn’t let my faith slip like it had in the past, I was going to focus on my family 100% and yes I’d have a career but I wouldn’t put it before them. Little did I know that 4 years from that point that phrase would be totally backwards.
(picture credits: pixabay.com)
When I graduated from Tech school I was so excited to get out in to the vet field and show the world what I was capable of and how awesome of a vet tech I could be. I didn’t get a job right away it was almost 9 months later when I finally did land a tech job, but it wasn’t full time. I worked one day a week at the satellite clinic that the main clinic had to help their clients with traveling. I loved it. I was helping bring some money in but I was still home and able to raise our son. I was given the chance to use my skills, work on improving my skills and I had one of the best vets to work with coming out of school. She had great patience with me, she was always teaching me something new and she helped me gain the confidence I needed. Then for about a month in October of that year I became full time to cover one of the other vet techs who had taken vacation for a month. I was out working cattle every day and despite the fact that I froze my butt off almost everyday we were out, I still had a blast. When the other technician came back I was down to once a week and when they needed me to fill in out at the main clinic. Around December I felt like I was ready to be full time. So I talked to the owner and my boss, but it was looking pretty grim and like it wasn’t going to happen. So I began looking elsewhere….that’s when we landed in my home town and I started working at the vet clinic my family had taken our dog to for years. But during all of this my faith was very strong, it had to be especially with what was going on in our lives at that time with my husbands health…..but that story is for another day
When I started at the clinic I was very excited and intimidated all at the same time. There were 11 doctors, around 17 technicians and assistants all of whom had been doing this either a lot longer than me or at least a few more years then me. I was so scared that I couldn’t do it, that I didn’t have enough experience, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the fast pace setting that this place had. Would I be able to learn all the different techniques that each doctor had for different situations. How each doctor liked to have each animal held? Coming from a clinic with 3 doctors and 3 other technicians I felt SO out of place. Just when I thought I wasn’t a good tech and my confidence was hanging on by a thread I had one of the head techs say “Jen, your a pretty good tech.” WOW, talk about amazing timing there buddy. That moment the confidence in me started to build again and I started to, I thought anyway, kick butt. I started learning how to not depend on another tech for help with everything I did, I started learning new tricks and was more comfortable answering “technician calls” and giving advice over the phone, all because one person, who has developed into family, told me I was a good tech. She helped me in so many ways……but again that is a story for another day. So I felt like I was at the top of my game and decided one night to tell one of my doctors that if she needed a tech for emergencies that night “don’t hesitate to call.” Boy if I would’ve known what I just got myself into I might have waited and told a different doctor =P, it wasn’t that bad just wasn’t sure it was ever going to end, but once again that night is a story for another day. But, after that night I started offering to be the technician on call a lot more often, and that whole Faith First, Family Second, Career third thing started turning into Career first, family second and honestly my faith was not really even a thought sadly enough. I was so focused on excelling at my career and being a kick ass tech that things were put on the back burner, and it took until I had our daughter to see that.
When it was time for me to come back from maternity leave I really struggled with it. I had been there for our son for the first three months of his life, I only had 8 weeks with her and I really struggled with that. Granted yes daddy was home to take care of her, but she was my girl and we almost lost her so I was a little more over protective with her and I felt like she should’ve had her momma there like her big brother had. But my practice manager and one of the owners were pretty awesome in giving me two weeks of easing back into things with half days. My first day back I bawled when I left the house. I remember walking into the clinic and one of the Associate Veterinarians was at her desk and saw that I was wearing my sunglasses, which I would often do to try and hide the red puffy eyes from crying, and she walked up to me gave me the biggest hug and whispered “Jen, she’ll be ok she’s in great hands and you know that.” She’s another friend turned family. I knew she was in good hands, that wasn’t the problem I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be at home with my new baby. So naturally and sadly when I came back I had a really bad attitude and probably wasn’t the most pleasant person to work with like I was before I left. Then a couple months after I came back we had a tech meeting and they changed the on-call schedule for the technicians from 3-4 of us constantly being on call to every tech was on call once every 3 weeks. It was a lot better this way, because while I was pregnant and gone I had heard that there were about 3 out of 15 technicians that would actually come in when they were called. But when they started this I wasn’t ready to start being on call yet, and honestly if I would’ve had the choice I don’t know if I would’ve picked it up again. I don’t remember when it happened but I remember what it felt like when the realization that my family was being put on the back burner hit me, and I didn’t like it….at all. It left this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and I felt like I was going to throw up. That feeling was followed by a feeling of darkness, I’d been living in the dark without God for so many months that I was becoming a bitter and nasty person. That wasn’t me. I didn’t like any of that. So my husband and I decided that Easter to try a different church because the one we were attending just wasn’t doing it.
Trying a new church on Easter was a risky jump I felt, but something had to be done. It was one of the best decisions we’d made as far as my faith was concerned. In worship that morning they were singing a song that I’d heard many times on Christian radio and they had a prayer up. I read the prayer and it basically asked Jesus to come back into my life. That prayer mixed with the song……I was a total puddle. my husband asked if I was ok, I shook my head yes and he looked at me and goes “you needed that didn’t you? You’ve felt the spirit again.” And it was true I had. It’d been so long since I’d felt his presence that when I finally felt him there again it was overwhelming. I started listening to Christian radio again, I developed an extremely strong religious bond with that same head tech that I mentioned earlier and I was starting to feel ok again. But I still wasn’t 100% there was still something missing. This time last year my husband and I made a big decision to move back to our house. There were a few reason as to why but one big one was the house was paid off, we couldn’t sell it and we found it very silly to go into further debt to find a house where we were. So we came home and I found a tech job an hour from where we lived…..I hated it. I wasn’t used as a tech, I was a glorified kennel assistant basically. Coming from a clinic where we did just about everything as technicians, to a clinic where I wasn’t allowed to even draw up surgery drugs wasn’t working for me. So I prayed on it, prayed for them to start trusting me to do my job, prayed for a raise in the money, for a light because it was starting to look a little dark again. Not only did I not like the way they were using me at the clinic I didn’t like the amount of time I was away from home. I was seeing my family even less now that I had an hour drive after an 8 hour day at work. Then one day I checked our mail and there was a flier in my box saying our post office needed someone to take the postal employee position. I looked at my husband and said should I do it? He gave me that look of if that isn’t any more obvious then I don’t know what is. So I applied and here I am.
(picture credit: diamondazzling.com)
It’s been a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I am home in the afternoon to get our son off the bus and spend time with my daughter and husband. We are finally back were we are supposed to be. I’m back to the mom I was for our son when he was my daughters age. I can help provide for my family. And my faith is growing daily. We’ve found a church out here that we enjoy, granted we don’t go every Sunday but I’m also a firm believer in you don’t have to be in church every Sunday to believe in God and worship him. It has been a little difficult being away from family, but we do take more time now to see them when the opportunity presents itself. My vet family at the clinic I worked at for two years is still there and I do keep in contact with some of them. I feel like I’m in such a better place then I was a year ago, I feel like I’m a better mother and wife. I have better patience with the kids, I don’t yell nearly as much as I used to. My faith and my family are my most important aspects of my life. Jobs come and go, yes I miss the vet field more then anyone will ever understand but the vet field will always be there and the skills that I have acquired in the last 6 years will always be there, they may be a little rusty but when the opportunity is right they will be busted back out. My kids won’t always be little, I can’t redo our daughters first steps, I can’t redo our sons first T-ball game or school program. Kids grow up too fast the way it is and not being there for most of it in my life isn’t an option. I want to be the mom that’s there when they need me and cherish every first that I can. I want to be the mom that when my kids grow up can say both their parents were there when they needed them and was their biggest cheerleaders.
Have a blessed day my friends and always remember follow your heart, no matter what your head is saying. 9 times out of 10 your heart is the one that is right.