Over the last few months, I’ve mentioned that we have big changes coming up, besides adding new life to our world.
Luke and I made the decision a while ago that after baby #4 was born, I was going to stay home. With the cost of childcare and the cost to our family (emotional, stress, etc), one of us staying home makes the most sense. We’ve been working hard to get our finances and our minds ready for this transition.
As many of you know, I have been working for my family’s business, The Backpacker, for about 10 years. I began working full-time for the store with the idea that I would buy it when my dad and uncle were ready to retire. But ya’ll, this lady is busy. I have LOVED my time at the store but trying to juggle my family and work life has become an insurmountable task. Even though it will be hard to leave, I know that this is the right decision.
In about one week, I will officially be a stay at home mom. I’ve had a hard time adjusting to this new reality. In some ways, I am looking forward to having a more singular focus. For the last 10 years, I haven’t just had a job outside the home, I’ve managed a small staff and had almost sole responsibility for the store. I’ve done this while trying to be the best mom possible and make sure that my children knew that they always came first. Throw in my husband, my house and myself outside of these roles and it’s become a balancing act that I can no longer be successful at. Maybe now I won’t always have 15 loads of laundry that need to be done. Maybe I can make my bed more than once per week. Maybe my kitchen won’t be in a constant state of chaos. Maybe we won’t always be out of bread/milk/cereal/insert any food. Or maybe not, but I’m hopeful.
I’ve had many highs and lows over the last six months. I’m excited and terrified about staying at home, about our finances, about my next career move, about what all of this means for my family. Add in a healthy does of pregnancy hormones and its been quite the roller coaster ride.
I know that love and determination will make this work and Luke and I have plenty of these things.
The hardest part for me has been giving up my work. Even though my days at The Backpacker are almost over, I am already thinking about what comes next. I will not be looking for a traditional work situation but I am hoping to find ways to make a little money and pursue other passions while raising my family. It’s been hard for me to accept the fact that even the pursuit of what’s next needs to be put on the back burner for now. I’ve considered applying for editorial positions, going back to school or even going bigger with my blog but the timing is not good for any of these things. At the moment, I’m seven months pregnant and the next 9 weeks will be very tiring. For about 5 of those weeks, I will be at home with three kids (hello summer!) and then I will have a newborn for the next six weeks. Then school starts back and I will be home with two littles while working out the balancing act of our new routine. Now is not the time to pursue other career options. I know this is a season of motherhood but I have so much passion for life outside of my main job of “mom.” It’s been a struggle to push that desire down a little bit, even though I know it’s necessary.
I truly want to enjoy this time . . .
I want to see this as an opportunity. I want to soak up every minute of this last baby and my other kids without having to worrying about my next move and our finances (haha, this never goes away, does it?!). I want to enjoy the fact that I don’t have to rush back to work after a too short maternity leave. I want to take my time exploring what it really is that I want to do next.
Stay tuned as we figure out this new adventure! Look for a post next week about “inactively” exploring my next career move. If you are a mama who can relate, I’d love to hear from you. Plus I’d love tips on maintaining sanity!
“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.”
― Bill Watterson