Shared by Deimile Soares
This story is a very personal one, but it's imperative I share my story. Like many women, I felt conflicted about the idea of wanting more. I was trying to win this war that so many of us moms fight every day. What's more important? My career or my family? I know the answer, but honestly, I couldn't help but want BOTH.
By sharing a story about my wake up call, I want to ask all women, especially moms, to appreciate what they have. To be grateful for the little moments, yes, even those when your toddler is throwing a tantrum at Target.
My wakeup call took a toll on me and my family, but I had a way out. Not everyone gets a way out, sometimes it's too late.
After my daughter was born in 2012, I stayed home with her and we had so much fun! We'd wake up without any rush, eat together, play, go to playdates, get to know each other. We spent every single day together and looking back at it I feel I took so many of our moments for granted. I am not going to hide. Eventually, I was tired of staying at home with my child.
Back to Work
After she turned two, I decided I wanted to go back to work. Without starting a war on who has it harder, stay-at-home moms or working moms, let me tell you, staying at home with kids is a tough gig. I was torn about going back to the workforce, but felt like it was time for me to join the rest of the adults and start contributing financially. I also wanted to do more with my life (as if being a superstar mom wasn't enough!).
And so I found a job in the corporate world. I thought it was great, I thought I was going to love it. But was I ready to leave my crying baby at a daycare? Working full time presented a new set of problems, a different kind of stress.
It was my third day at the new job. As we were dropping off our daughter at the daycare, I felt a lump in my neck. I tried not to think much of it. While my heart was breaking into pieces, and the voice inside me knew this wasn't good, my brain tried to convince me it was nothing. That day I couldn't concentrate at work and excused myself, so I could go see a doctor. A few appointments later, I found out I had an aggressive tumor in my neck and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Doctors insisted we do a surgery right away.
From Bad to Worse
I also found out I no longer had a job. Apparently, my personal life was interfering with work too much...
Long story cut short, I had a thyroidectomy, followed by radiation. While my family was panicking, I was thanking God I was given a way out. I didn't need chemo, because my cancer hadn't spread to the lymph nodes. It could have been much worse, but I got away with just that! I felt like I got away with murder (kind of ironic, no?). Although I couldn't help but wonder and ask myself—why? Why did I get this? I was 24 years old when this happened. I lead a healthy lifestyle, I didn't have a very stressful life. Why? Not getting a straight-up answer made me realize there must be other reasons.
I figured this was my wake-up call. It's as if God himself told me, “Slow down, woman!”
It Happened for a Reason
I know, another tacky expression we've all heard before. Tacky or not, I believe in this with all my heart. There is so much about life we don't know or understand, and the reason for our existence is such a mystery.
This was my wake-up call and something had to change. My priorities had to change, the way I see life, and what I want out of it. I always say that my family is the most important thing to me, but do my actions always reflect that?
These days, when I say I want more out of life, I mean I want more quality, more time spent with my loved ones, more time to experience life. I want to travel and see the world. I still want to go to work, and I do, but I put my family and our health first.
I still have time, and it is time to enjoy life now, not tomorrow.