I wonder sometimes if I’m supposed to feel guilty for quitting my job.
I was looking at pictures of myself that were taken just 3 months ago.
So many smiles, so many inspirational quotes. So much sadness only I could see.
It’s like when you start working out again for the first time in months, years, whatever. After a week, you SWEAR you can see a change. It might be one dimple that has shifted, no one in the world but you would notice. But you do.
Well, it’s like that. I look at those pictures and I see a sadness in my eyes that no one else really did. But I did.
I was so unhappy. I was so exhausted, mentally and physically.
We live in this world where we are constantly trying to please others.
Or maybe that was just my world… So many times in my life I have done things just to appease and satisfy others. To have this IMAGE that I’m perfect, by their qualifications.
I wanted to please my boss by helping her out, I wanted to show my dad that I was the only daughter with a child who also worked, I wanted to please my in-laws by not looking like a free-loader. To show my husband that I was still the tough and independent woman he fell in love with.
Why do we do this? I’m reminded of the quote by one of my favorites, Bob Marley,
I’m the one who has to die when it’s my time to die so let me live the way I want to live.”
I think that’s how it goes, anyway. Seriously though.
We are given ONE life to live. We are actually allowed to enjoy it.
I am incredibly blessed that I have a husband who is truly the one to bring this to my attention.
The plan the entire time was to go back to work after our sweet bundle was born. As it got closer to the time, my husband kept saying, “You know, we’ll be okay if you just want to do this with the baby at home.” I never admitted this outwardly, but I did want to do that. But guilt set in.
Guilt that my husband would have to take care of me financially and I wouldn’t be contributing at all.
Guilt that I had told my boss that I was going to return to work and couldn’t fathom going back on my word.
Guilt that I didn’t think I was as strong as I once thought, and then determined to prove that I am actually that strong.
The thing is, I am strong.
I am a strong woman.
I am strong because I realized that spreading myself thin at work and at home and for my son and my husband and myself isn’t for me.
Some women thrive while juggling a million plates and I think that’s amazing. I used to be good at that.
But being good at something doesn’t mean it brings you peace.
I am strong for facing that truth. I am strong for admitting to my husband, even through tears, that I didn’t want to live that way.
I realized that even though I was working, I was contributing even less than I had when I did stay at home with our son. I would be so exhausted and stressed out at the end of the day that the laundry piled to the ceiling, the bed was never made, I was very rarely ever showered (truly, I had a shower once or twice a week,) my husband and I rarely made love, and we ate take out way more than I’d like to admit—which by the way, is expensive as all heck.
Staying home meant my husband would have a wife to enjoy.
A wife who enjoys taking care of all of those things aforementioned with enthusiasm. I WANT to have a clean home for my husband to come home to and fresh meals to eat. He deserves that. He works so hard for us and as the “breadwinner,” I don’t think he should have to do it ALL.
He was. He was doing it all. He was doing the laundry and buying the takeout, and getting the diaper bag ready daily, and cooking ME breakfast, and making my coffee, all at 5am before he left in the morning for work, before I even woke up to go to my job. My job that paid $350 a week.
$350 a week. I want to cry when I think about that. I’m not ungrateful, I know in my heart that the opportunity was truly God-sent. But $350 a week felt smaller and smaller in comparison to so much that I was giving up, so little that I was saving and actually providing for my family.
Leaving that would mean that my son would have a mother who had energy and imagination left at the end of the day for him. And my undivided attention throughout the day.
True laughter. Genuine smiles. He and I had both started to lose our luster. My husband and I both saw the change in him. I hated myself thinking we wouldn’t get it back.
It’s been 2 months since I left my job. My son and I got it back. We genuinely laugh and play and chase. We clean the house and shower and go on adventures. We go on long walks and have amazing talks together. I enjoy him on a whole other level now. And when I reflect and truly think about it. I don’t feel guilty.
I am not “Just a mom.”
This is my job. God called me to be a mother in this chapter in my life and is also providing for us so that I can be present and actually enjoy every moment. It might not always be this way. I have no idea which direction my life is going to go, and for the first time in my life, that doesn’t scare me. People always ask me,
What is your plan? What’s next?”
And you know? I don’t have one.
I want to be present, and raise my son with my whole heart and I want to be there for my husband in every way he wants and needs me.
I want to continue to have time to write, and to paint, and to read my Bible, and to take long lavender Epsom salt baths until my fingers prune. To make love to my husband on a random Tuesday morning. This is living. My entire life I did what society told me was right. I was good at it and I was successful. But I was spinning my wheels and stressed out to the max and incredibly unhappy. Childhood and adolescence was no walk in the park either, quite the opposites, in fact…so when was I ever going to breathe to smell the roses?
This is the first time EVER in my life I can just be. Just live and enjoy…and be.. And I couldn’t be happier.