The Next Chapter

book

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over two months since I left my job. For those of you who missed the news, I decided to call it quits after 17 years with my agency. I wrote about the decision in my last post and was overwhelmed by the support I received. To be honest I had debated blogging about it because it was a tough personal decision. But I felt it was an important topic that many moms would relate to and one that had a huge impact on me professionally and personally. I’m glad I shared it because the post opened up a dialogue with other women who faced similar struggles. I also received many messages with words of encouragement, which meant a lot and made me feel better about my decision even though I knew it was best for my family.

The transition was rocky at first as I struggled to get into a new rhythm and mindset.

Having a career has always been a part of my identity, and suddenly that aspect of my life was missing.

I also worried about what would happen once I was ready to return to work. Will my skillset still be current? Will I be able to find something conducive with my husband’s travel schedule? Will I find something that I’ll enjoy and find rewarding? But these are questions I can’t answer now, so I’m trying not to fret about the future and instead focus on the present. While it’s been an adjustment, the benefits of being home far outweigh any reservations I have about what may be.

For example, I’m excited that I could sign my son up for camp instead of having him stay in day care over the summer, as he typically does. I was filling out the registration form and there was a section for work phone number. It was weird to leave that blank. My son is in school part-time and stays home with me two days a week, which I arranged to coincide with my work schedule. I didn’t want to disrupt things so close to the end of the year, so I opted to leave his days the same. Now I have three days a week where I’m home alone. I went from having no time to myself to having lots of it. I feel kind of guilty about it, which I know I shouldn’t. But I have issues with guilt. I felt guilty when I was at work for not being home with the kids, and guilty for not participating in meetings when I was at home. So I guess it’s progress to only feel guilty about one thing. Baby steps.

You may be wondering what I’m doing with all of my free time. The answer is “working.” My husband gave me an issue of Soap Opera Digest and bon bons the night of my retirement. As much as I’d love to indulge in those past-times it’s just not me. I’ve been working like a mad woman, trying to clean up the house. I’ve donated 20+ bags of clothes, toys, baby stuff, you name it. It’s amazing how much crap we’ve accumulated in the last 8 years. I’m also meeting up with friends, which is really nice. I felt so anti-social when I was working, only seeing people when there was an occasion, like a birthday. My evenings were usually spent doing work once the kids were bed and weekends were family time. Now I’m able to make time for the other important people in my life.

As for writing, I plan to pick things back up as I’ve been slacking. I’m the type of person who can’t focus unless everything is in order. So now that my house is in shape (ish) it’s on to the next project. I’ll have big news to share on that front soon. 🙂

I have to say now that I’m adjusted I love being a stay at home mom. It’s nice to have time with the kids before dinner, eat family meals together, and no longer carry the burden of work home with me. I’m happier so my family unit is stronger. My kids love that I can take them to school and pick them up, something my husband always did unless he was traveling. Being a mom has always been my number one priority, but I constantly had things competing for my attention. I love that I can focus on my kids and have more time for family—it’s why I made the decision. I do intend to rejoin the workforce next fall, but for now I’m enjoying this next chapter.

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