That’s right. Last week, I put in my two weeks’ at a job I’ve held for 4.5 years. Gulp. Johnny and I did not come to this decision lightly. We’ve been weighing the pros and cons for months, and the pros finally won out. Working from home full time has been the perfect job for me over the last few years. It’s allowed Johnny and me to live like nomads (filed taxes in 4 different states in the past 4 years) while keeping my job and benefits everywhere we went.
While my job didn’t pay a lot, it was full time, so our monthly income will take a significant hit. However, over the past several months, my job has become increasingly more demanding, and Sally’s been shuffled this way and that in the process… from relative’s homes to that one babysitter called TV (major mom guilt). We finally realized that we’d need to hire full-time help with Sally if I were to keep working, but full-time help would eat up most of my income. So basically I’d pay someone almost all of my hard-earned money and not see Sal all day.
Now, back to those pros and cons. Like I mentioned earlier, my quitting was a really tough decision, so we talked through these over and over and over again.
- Saving significantly less each month
- Having less financial stability (two streams of household revenue = more stable than one)
- Giving up my better-than-Johnny’s health insurance
- No longer getting free money from my employer’s 403b plan
- Not meeting our financial goals for the year
- Spending more quality time with Sally (!!)
- Juggling parenting, housework, and meal planning better (or at all — truth)
- Having more time for other writing projects
- No longer being stressed out all the time (the tip of the pros iceberg)
- Having more time for Our Freaking Budget
Initially, I was really excited about quitting. Like doing handstands and cartwheels and generally unacceptable things for an extremely mature adult like myself. But then I got super stressed about losing my steady income, and a bit panicky, too. But now I’m excited again. I think I’m most excited about not being tethered to a laptop all day, not having multiple conference calls to jump onto throughout the day, and not having to respond to urgent emails while trying to juggle Sal — and then editing, editing, and more editing once she’s in bed. I’m most excited about any one of those things, really :).
I do still plan to pick up freelance work and continue writing for other sites. But I can do that on my own time, not when a certain toddler is tantrum-ing for my attention. While I do hope to keep the door to full-time work slightly ajar for some future date, I don’t think I’ll be returning to the workforce for a while. And if for no other reason than to sympathize and be in total awe of women who juggle both mothering and working outside the home, I’m grateful for the time I’ve had being a mom while being employed. I’m putting the weight of our financial well-being mostly on Johnny for the time being, but I hope to still be able to help out where I can. And fix something other than scrambled eggs or frozen chimichangas for dinner.
So that’s our big news! I guess I was always technically a stay-at-home mom. But now I’m gonna be a legit stay-at-home mom. Any thoughts, similar experiences, or high fives? Please, I need high fives.