First off I'm going to say that the term "stay at home mom" really makes me laugh, because whether they are working or non-working, moms are often so busy that the last thing they do is stay home! A mother is never still and always on the run.. so it's really never dull! Having kids is the most rewarding experience in the world, but also the hardest job ever!
I have been a working mom for the past 6 years; my job was stressful and busy and with the passing of each day, it got harder and harder (I've had the same job for 8+years). A few months ago, the challenges of my job started to seem unbearable to me and I felt like I was being somewhat "neglectful" towards my children; I was often tired, cranky and even anxious...my job didn't allow me to be the best mother and wife I could be and that made me really sad.
One day, not too long ago, I happened to come across a little diary that Olivia has been keeping (this isn't private so don't think I was "violating" her privacy). She usually writes things within categories that she makes up and one of the categories was titled "My dreams". Under that category she wrote: "I dream of the day my mommy doesn't have to work, so she will have time to play with me".. on a separate page she wrote something like "my mommy never has time for me!" While I know she doesn't mean it literally (because I do spend a lot of time with her and she acknowledges it), that little phrase made me realize that maybe I wasn't giving her all the time she needed, that maybe that little person was craving more attention, maybe she just needed to feel like nothing else is more important than she is...and I felt....guilty!
That's when I started to really think about quitting my job and investing all my time on my children and my marriage. It suddenly hit me that in less than 10 years, my kids will no longer "need" me because they only stay little for so long and that I have probably been missing so many things because of my job. I realized that every extra minute that I put into my work, was time that I was taking away from my family..and I felt... guilty again!
So, after much praying, thinking and consideration, I decided to take the leap and quit my job! While I know many people don't understand why, I will say that this has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I completely LOVE the idea of being available for my kids 24/7, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy having a career and bringing home an income. Additionally, I know staying home is hard, and exhausting, and very challenging!
I also realize that I am so blessed to be able to quit my job without fears, confident that my husband's income will suffice, however, this isn't about our financial capacity or whatever limitation we may have, this is about leaving behind the life I have known for the past 8+ years, the "family" I made at work, the professional accomplishments that I achieved, and so on...needless to say, today was a bittersweet day!
I will be honest and say that I never pictured the day I would quit my job and officially become a "stay at home mom"... I always said that "wasn't for me" and feared that I would never find joy in making such decision.. (boy was I wrong!)...
It has been amusing to hear people say "oh, you're gonna be a full time mom?", does that mean I wasn't a "full time mom" before? Come on, people... whether somebody works or not, you're always a "full time mom" when you have children! Ha!
As I close this chapter and embark on my new journey, I want to reassure every mommy I know that they are doing an awesome job! Whether you're staying home with your kids or juggling the responsibilities of work and parenting, I have the utmost respect for every woman who dedicates her life to the benefits of her children and strives every day to be a better mother.
On my last day, some of my wonderful co-workers (who happen to be amazing mothers too) took me out to lunch. We spent a few hours telling stories, giving each other advise and yes, crying a little bit. I will always remember my years with the company; it was a wonderful run!
I thank God every day for putting this exemplary people in my path, and for allowing me to spend so many years close to such compassionate humans and delightful friends!