Bittersweet


Many people have asked about how things are going and how it was leaving my job.  I wrote about my thoughts and feelings after my last day of work and debated on whether or not to share but since it’s one of the first things women have brought up when talking about the transition from working to stay at home motherhood I thought I’d share.

As I read through what I wrote I couldn’t help but notice the plastered grin on my face as I reflected back.  I have such excitement for myself as I look back only a few short months ago and think about where I’ve come and how things have gone.  At that point I had no idea what was to come and I would’ve LOVED to be able to tell myself about my feelings and thoughts and experiences over the past few months.

No, I don’t have any regrets with my choice.  Yes, there is definitely a lot to get used to, and of course, I’ve had to adjust my thinking as well as work daily to overcome my own self-inflicted pressure of how things should be.  All in all I feel gratitude for the lessons I learn throughout each day and can’t imagine having made any other choice for our family!

Please don’t see these statements as “blog perfect” statements.  My whole goal for sharing my feelings, thoughts, and experiences here is to keep it real and to be honest.  Not everything is perfect in my world but I’ve definitely been able to see the perfection in our imperfections and wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m so humbled as I stumble through parenthood and see the ever evolving changes in our daily lives; I never would’ve guessed things would be so interesting!

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June 1, 2011… The last day

It’s funny how much can change in such a short amount of time.  I handed my badge to my boss and that was it.  I was done.  Done with a job I worked so hard to get; done with the job that I set as a goal to achieve; done with a job I said I would consider staying at for possibly my entire career; after all, it was a good one.

As women it feels like we work so hard to find our place in the world.  To find the niche in our career path that makes sense for who we are as an individual; and to find that, on top of a decent salary with good benefits…well…it’s a keeper!  Until of course, you have a baby and your world is turned upside down and inside out in the most incredible way possible.  In such a way that one might think you were crazy because describing it is pointless; there are absolutely NO WORDS to describe love for a human being such as the love you have for your child.

So, as I turned in my badge and said my final goodbyes and walked down the hallway to leave the building I left with pride and confusion.  Pride for the way I was leaving; a job well done, no bridges burned, and feelings of the possibility to return; I wasn’t closing the door entirely on this career I’ve built.  Confusion for the way I was leaving; a job well done, no bridges burned, and feelings of wonder and question…could I keep doing this? Do I really need to leave? Is this the right choice? Is it my time to go?

My heart swelled as I got in the car to go pick up my dear sweet baby boy.  No longer do I have to pick him up and hear what kind of a day he had (this was the hardest thing for me…I know many women find the hardest part being the drop off for the day but it hurt to know I was being told about his day by someone else); I have confidence in knowing that I’ll be there during his day to witness what goes on and how it goes.

I noticed myself taking deep cleansing breaths…relieveing breaths…I felt peace…then question…then peace…I have no idea what the future holds and no idea how things in my life will play out.  But what I know to be true, is that a job is a job…being a mother is constant and forever.

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About The Momflict

I am a new mom adjusting to life with my first born...trying to find my place in the world and wrestling with the changes of life in staying home or going back to work...thus, the momflict.
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4 Responses to Bittersweet

  1. Ryan Sevens says:

    Erin,

    Great blog. I thought I’d offer a dudes perspective since I am married to a very capable professional women who chose to stay at home.

    Many people, both men an women, put their self worth in their accomplishments and how well they achieve their goals. At least for me, that is especially true. All my life I have worked hard to achieve my goals and build a successful career- which as you pointed out is an aspect of life which is no different for women. I am not going to pretend though to ever understand and know how it feels to suddenly have that “identity” as a working professional be taken away. Not to sound harsh, but this is something women have to reconcile on more their own because this is not an aspect males will ever have the perspective to offer advise (once again, I’m not trying to be mean or sound calloused- just trying distinguish two completely different points of view).

    What I can comment on though is how blessed I have felt because of my wife’s decision to raise our baby. Before I move on- I would also like to say I truly believe God blesses families who have two working parent equally, but in different ways. From an family oriented standpoint, I love knowing my baby is being taken care of and raised by the most capable person I have ever meet. That is not to say other people wouldn’t be able to raise and develop my baby, but then again that is not something I have to ever worry about as a father.

    This leads me to my next point, by having my wife stay home has allowed me to focus on my job in a much more intent driven way. For me, knowing my entire family relies upon my income for support has upped the ante and many would feel the extra pressure to deliver. Having an amazing wife who is supportive ultimately reduces stress and outside pressure because I don’t have to worry about what is happening at home- I only have to really concentrate on managing my job. Furthermore, It is easy to leave the stresses of life at the job and not taken them home with you when you know a wonderful home is waiting and family for you. This line of thinking often can be described as divide and conquer. As a family we divide and my wife conquers the home and family, and I conquer the job.

    I would also argue this model can lead to a higher success for the working parent over time. And in the end, a families accomplishments in career advancement is a direct result of both parents, regardless if only one is working. I am not trying to argue stay a home mom should transfer their self worth and identity into their husbands life…. I’m more trying to point out a great stay at home mom and wife enables and inspires their spouse to be the best they can possible be. Speaking from personal experiences I have definitely felt that 10 fold since my wife decided to stay at home.

    So bottom line, from a males perspective the single largest blessing in my life is knowing my wife is at home with my child.

    • Beautifully stated. My husband felt the same way. When he left for work he’d have a smile on his face that said 1). “I’m so glad I get to go to work,” and 2.) “I’m so glad my children are being raised by their mother.”
      About identity; as a Christian, I am learning that my identity lies in Jesus Christ, not my “job,” or the way I look, (good thing, because that’s changing for the worse), or any accomplishment. My youngest will be moving on in a year. My oldest is already out of the house. What am I now? Who am I? God whispers to me, “You are mine. I’m not done with you yet!” I feel like God is reinventing me. A woman doesn’t lose her identity when her job description changes, like when the kids grow up, At 50 yrs old I still claim the verse in Jeremiah 29 that says “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,…”
      This life is an adventure! Like surfing, it is hard work getting to the big wave, a short thrill, and then you work hard for the next wave. A lot of work, some excitement, you gain some experience, figure a few things out, get stronger, enjoy some wows, there you have it!
      Tina

  2. Tapia says:

    Erin,
    Thanks for sharing this! Right now I’m working SO hard to start a new career at 31 and, frankly, that’s scary enough. Throw on top of that that we want to have kiddos in a couple years and I plan to stay home for the first year with each and I’m left wondering how this is all going to work and what the heck I’m doing. It’s nice to hear people open up about this. I’m terrified that right as my career hits its stride I’ll be bailing…for a great reason…but bailing. What a struggle for mamas and papas to deal with! Best wishes as you transition!

    • The Momflict says:

      I could go on and on about the feeling of BUT I JUST GOT HERE in regards to the career move….but honestly once you have that sweet little munchkin….all that goes out the window!

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