Today I Quit My Job

Today might just be the biggest day of my life.

As far as big days go, I’ve had a few:

1. The day I was born.

2. The day I got my driver’s license.

3. The day I graduated college.

4. The day I got married

5. The days I gave birth.

6. The day I started my blog.

And then there’s today…

7. The day I quit my job. Like whoa.

So the whole experience has been totally surreal.

You know how you daydream about something for so long?  You hope and you pray and you cry and you whine? You decide, change your mind, decide again and then chicken out? Yeah, that’s how I’ve felt about becoming a stay-at-home mom since forever.

This is weird for me.

I’ve worked continuously since I was 16 years old.  I’ve never been unemployed. I’ve never taken a month to backpack through Europe. Damn.

I’ve written before about making the choice to become a working mother, the joys of preschool and how much my heart hurt sometimes for the choices I’ve made.

I’ve made huge sacrifices as a working mother for the sake of my family’s security.  Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not bitter about the sacrifices - if anything I’m thankful I made them.

But even after all that, there comes a time when the still, quiet voice inside your soul starts screaming. It screams so loud, you can’t hear anything else. It affects your relationships, the quality of your work and ultimately, your happiness.

I tried my best to ignore the voice.

After a few dozen or so breakdowns, roughly 15 panic attacks, multiple visits to my doctor for unexplainable medical mysteries and at least a thousand hours of conversation with my very supportive husband; I quit.

I’m scared shitless (OMG, never swore on le blog before).  I’m excited.  I’m relieved.  I’m lighter.

Lighter, what a strange and wonderful feeling.

The day I woke up in 2010 and started this blog was the day I decided to honor my calling.

The day I decided to quit my job was the day I decided to honor my family.

I am a mom who seems to have it together from the outside.  I may have even made it look easy at times but it’s not.  In fact, it’s the hardest thing in the world.

To all the work-outside-home-mamas: God bless you.  I know the stress that comes from your child waking up with a fever on a Tuesday.  How you can never get into see the dentist because he doesn’t work weekends.  How you spend all Sunday cooking meals so you have dinners for the week.  How awful your commute is.  How stressed you feel skipping out of a meeting early just to barely make it to daycare before they close.  How your boss is pissed that you don’t work late because you have children who never see you, all the while his wife is home with his kids.  I’ve been there so long I wish I could just wrap my arms around all y’all and hug you tight.  I understand just how big the sacrifice of working outside the home really is.

Today I begin my new life as a mom, a wife and a writer.

And guess what? The screaming in my head has gone silent.  Finally.

Comments

  1. This post, though over a year old, is right on time for me! I am about to do the very same thing, and I am scared as well. I have a “good gig” and am paid decently. My work is challenging, but like you, I have been a hamster on this wheel since before I became a mother and have worked non-stop, never taking a moment off while my babies were actually babies, and now they are in elementary school. The burdens and stresses are not subsiding or diminishing, and I am done! I tried to work with my employer to officially accomodate a more flexible arrangement, but they are still functioning like it’s 1965. So hello new life, very soon.

  2. Melissa Cinnamon says:

    I did just this today. I felt exactly the way you do, except you can add in a little office politics and drama, and an ungrateful lying boss to everything. I am so happy, I can’t even believe it.

  3. Congratulations on the monumental decision, Lori. I’m so proud of you for doing what you felt in your heart was best for YOU and your family. Every family has their own way of functioning and bravo for for you for being BRAVE to choose and embrace what is truly best and life giving for YOU. :)

    Love and a big cyber ((squeeze))!!
    ~H

  4. Lori,
    I’ve been trying to think of how to appropriately respond to this for a couple days and I don’t think the right words exist. So I will just share my pure joy for you and congratulations here again. I’m very happy for you! {hug}

    How has your last week been going? Is your work doing anything specific to honor you for your goodbye?

  5. Oh my God, I could have written this myself June 3, 2011. I quit my job after 24 years. It was the scariest, hardest thing I have ever done. After a couple years of dealing with unexplained migraines, anxiety, commutes, 3 kids and a husband, who works long hours. I had had enough. This summer was great, but once they went to school was a different story. The first day of school, I crawled into bed and cried, what in the world did I do? everyone has somewhere to be but me? I felt like I had lost my identity, now that I wasn’t being “productive”, challenged or financially contributing to our household. I had never known what this was like.
    The next day I became a member of a local gym and have reported to “work” as I call it at 8:00am every morning ! I swipe in my card in my running shorts, no makeup and take care of me. It is an amazing feeling to feel accomplished by 9:30am. I am lighter from no stress of managing kids, work, boss, husband, and best of all so far, no more migraines! I never knew that my life could be this great without work. I am so blessed that I have this opportunity and my husband was supportive. I miss work terribly somedays (mainly my girlfriends), but it is a huge burden lifted off me. Congratulations! So happy for you. Enjoy all the sweet moments with the kids and enjoy discovering you!

  6. I am so, so, SO happy for you!! I know it will be a tough job – what’s tougher than being a mom? – but I’m excited you are doing this. I have been struggling with having my hours at work cut in half, mostly because I’m secretly thrilled! I love being home with my girls two days a week. But it does put a strain on our finances which makes things difficult for my husband. Yay for you!

  7. First off – new reader. Found you from Stroller Derby. :-) Second, congratulations! Third. I am not in your position – my daughter is 7 and I went back to a formal schedule when she went to K. So I work while she is in school. Drop her off, work, pick her up. Home for everything, every activity and manage to volunteer at school before work. While nothing is perfect, this current setup is pretty sweet. Anyhoo, I have a friend who i know relates to this exactly. But I can’t send this to her because she cannot quit her job. She’s a single mom – her marriage ended when her daughter was a preemie in the NICU. She managed to be home with her for the first 6 months, most of those in the hospital, then a nanny, now daycare. Her little girl is 2 and I KNOW she wants to be with her – and she can’t be. She doesn’t get enough in support payments to come close to making it, and while she is great at and loves her job, it’s super demanding. I have never worked as hard as she works. It BREAKS my heart. She wants to be married, to have the family and work less and all of that…and I so wish I could say, here, this woman gets it, too. Kwim?

    It’s so freaking hard, all these choices. I read all the other comments – the mom who works like I do only when her kids are in school, the one who doesn’t get paid time off – me, too, on days off I park my daughter with grandparents – free and ideal but yet I feel guilty. I think I have an awesome set up but it’s still guilt inducing. When I was a SAHM, it was tough, too. Motherhood – why didn’t anyone tell us the point was empathy for each other?

    Congratulations again, and if you or any other moms out there have the words of wisdom on how to make it all work, or support each other, tell me! I wish there were answers for these hard questions, and maps for those of us who need them. We all have our struggles, and I am glad you have found your way through this one. :-)

  8. Bravo Lori! I am so happy for you – honestly! I left the working world 13 years ago when my youngest was born and never looked back. I was in an extremely stressful job, topped off with a daily three hour So Cal commute and it broke my heart to be away from my family. I applaud your decision and am so happy you have a supportive spouse. Focus on that as well as your precious kiddos instead of people who have to be negative. Best wishes to you! <3

  9. ” I know the stress that comes from your child waking up with a fever on a Tuesday. How you can never get into see the dentist because he doesn’t work weekends. How you spend all Sunday cooking meals so you have dinners for the week. How awful your commute is. How stressed you feel skipping out of a meeting early just to barely make it to daycare before they close. How your boss is pissed that you don’t work late because you have children who never see you, all the while his wife is home with his kids. ”

    Sorry, I work and these things don’t apply to me. I have sick time for when my kids are sick. If I were out of sick time I’d take an unpaid day off. They don’t get sick that much. Both DH and I work 4 day work weeks so the kids are in daycare 3 days a week. I don’t spend all day Sunday cooking. I have time after work to cook. My commute is less than 10 minutes and is not awful at all. I don’t feel guilty about skipping out on meetings – which barely ever happens – because I have a supportive employer who understands. My boss is never pissed I don’t work late, he knows my hours. And the worst assumption you made, “…because you have children who never see you.” I’m sorry, but the way you are speaking down to working mothers in this paragraph is incredibly offensive to me. Obviously your experience of being a working mom was one of stress and guilt. Mine is not. Please don’t assume everyone else is just like you.

    • Michelle, part of me really hates the fact that I’m taking the time to respond to the one negative comment on this post and here those offering support didn’t get the same courtesy…but here I go. I am damn glad your working experience is so different from my own. Perhaps you have a less stressful job, or maybe not – maybe you’re a rocket scientist for all I know but I do know this. I had a really stressful job. A job that had critical function. A job that didn’t know the limits of a 9-5. Maybe you don’t know what that feels like so let me enlighten you: It wears on your soul after a period of time. You sound very blessed to have the kind of working experience most working mothers dream of so for that, good on you. I obviously didn’t write this post with you in mind, how silly of you to even expect as much. I can only speak on behalf of my personal experience and as you can see by the comments, it’s an experience that far too many of us share. The fact that you are offended by my post is perhaps the best part. If you are offended, then please, by all means, click that little X in the corner of your screen. I’m here to speak MY truth, not yours.

      • Very well put! If only we could all have Michelle’s “dream” job.

      • Yes, well put. In no way was this offensive! Move on sister friend, this is not about YOU(I know may be hard to believe)!!

      • I read your post feeling very supportive of you and pleased that you were able to quit your job and follow your dream of staying home. It was the last paragraph that I was remarking about, the one in which you said YOU never see your children. I presume by “you” you meant your readers. Obviously many of your readers feel for you. I was commenting only to state MY truth. If it bothers you that much you can moderate it away. I too have a blog and I understand that people won’t always agree with me, that’s the way it is when you put your feelings and thoughts out there for the whole world to see. It’s especially hard when you post something deeply heartfelt and someone, like me, comes along to challenge some part of that.

        You commented about my job. It can be very stressful at times, but mostly in a good way. Of course I have those days when I want to pull my hair out, those days when I find myself daydreaming about picking my kids up from daycare and running off to the zoo, or cuddling on the couch. We all have crappy days. But we do not all feel like a voice inside our soul is screaming for us to quit. I went to 4 years of college and 2 years of graduate school toward this career. In addition, I invested 15 years of work to get a job like I have today. And most of the time I love it. I have my resentments, I had to fight like a dog to go down to four days a week. I passed up opportunities to advance because I want to be closer to my children. But I am not dying inside.

        I referenced that the offensive part (and I did say “to me”, by the way) was the last paragraph, not your entire post – the final paragraph in which you referred to “you” (presumably the reader). I can understand that you are speaking to your readers, who all agree with you. So can feel good about that. Feel free to moderate this post away too. It’s your blog, you should have the final word.

      • Michelle, I’m a nice girl – I can tell you are too. I checked out your blog and left feeling awe-inspired! I think you are truly amazing. Let’s be friends; this is lame. Perhaps I read too much into your words. :)

      • Amen! Congratulations on your decision! Being at home has its own set of issues but I think it is a worthwhile sacrifice. I had a wonderful job as a teacher until my son was born with Cystic Fibrosis. It was a no brainer for us that I should be with him even if it means struggling on one income.

    • Michelle, there is really nothing offensive about Mommyfriend’s last paragraph. She’s simply expressing her sympathy for moms who are still undergoing the types of stress she experienced when she had a demanding job. She’s not assuming that every last thing on her list would apply to every last working mom. Surely some people have found dentists who work weekend or evening hours (for example). It’s great that you’ve have a different experience, and your experience is encouraging to read about so I’m glad you posted it. But there’s no reason to take offense to the original post. I’m sure a LOT of moms out there can relate to each of the items on her list. It’s great that you don’t, but she’s still free to express her sympathy and commiseration, and her real reasons for leaving her job. In addition, for me personally it’s informative to read these things because I left the legal field to stay home precisely because Mommyfriend’s experience is exactly how I imagined my life would be if I stayed. Litigation is also a very demanding, high-stress, unpredictable job and I’m thankful every day that I’m not trying to balance it with my child’s needs and, frankly, my own needs.

  10. Congratulations! ! I work out of the home too. With my son starting preschool this year I want to be closer to home more than ever. I want to be the one picking him up and dropping him off. It is so hard. Good for you for taking the steps.

  11. Congratulations on what I’m sure will be great things for your family! I hope I can join you and other SAHMs someday soon as well!!

  12. Glad to have found your blog on such an exciting day! Congrats! I also made the decision to quit my job 7 months ago to stay at home with our 20 month old boy and it has been great. Of course there are challenges, but I am very happy. I teach fitness classes and do some work from home to help supplement our income (fitness is my PASSION!) and we have been blessed so much in the last few months. Enjoy!

  13. omg…what you said is so true!

    To all the work-outside-home-mamas: God bless you. I know the stress that comes from your child waking up with a fever on a Tuesday. How you can never get into see the dentist because he doesn’t work weekends. How you spend all Sunday cooking meals so you have dinners for the week. How awful your commute is. How stressed you feel skipping out of a meeting early just to barely make it to daycare before they close. How your boss is pissed that you don’t work late because you have children who never see you, all the while his wife is home with his kids. I’ve been there so long I wish I could just wrap my arms around all y’all and hug you tight. I understand just how big the sacrifice of working outside the home really is.

    owhs….all this while i thought no one understands me…
    congrats and enjoy your new life!

  14. Congrats,congrats, congrats!!!! I’m so happy for you and the family. I know all three boys (hubby included-hehe) will benefit greatly by having you home and happy. You have worked so hard to get to this point and I commend you on doing a great job. Well done my dear friend. Let’s celebrate!!!!! I guess you don’t need to go out only on the weekends now-heheeh. ~A Barry

  15. Oh how exciting!! I’m so very happy for you! Mostly because the screaming in your head has gone quiet. I know what that feels like and once it is silenced it is AMAZING! I have no doubt you are going to rock this.

  16. Congratulations on taking this step! They say that life begins at the end of our comfort zone. I applaud you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and reaching for your dreams. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Congrats!!! I think this is a perfect for you!!!

  18. I don’t even know what to say. If I ever have a doubt about the choice I made, I’ll read your supportive and amazing comments. I am so blessed to have you all.

  19. Congratulations! The first time I saw your blog and hubby’s drawings, I knew this will day will come. I thought you were just perfect for this calling. We are proud of you and please continue to entertain, support and educate the many moms out there.

  20. I so want to write this same post someday. Kudos to you!

  21. Scrolling down the gazillion comments says it all …
    You do good here Lori.
    And you are so lovely – on your blog and in real life … and you are relatable and real and did i mention lovely?
    Congrats – sure it will be all you have dreamed about and more!

  22. Congrats Lori! Love your blog and love everything you have to say! I’ve done both and what is important is maintaining a healthy YOU because if your mind and body are “sick” then life with you sucks..lol! (per my loving husband) Been there done that! I’ve had those panic attacks too….for me, going BACK to work is what I needed! Good Luck and enjoy your new adventure!

  23. Congrats Lori!!! Big Step but just the beginning of even more greatness I am sure!
    xo!!

    • Linda Barreto says:

      Me finding this blog seems like a god send. My husband and I were just talking about this last night. I have a 4 month old son and going to school and working just seems to be putting too much on my plate. I still haven’t found the courage to quit my job but this has just given me optimism that I will soon. Have bookmarked your page. Love your blog.

  24. So happy happy happy for you! :-)

  25. Oh my gosh I am so happy for you!! This is exactly how I’m feeling currently, and so desperately hoping I can do the same thing one day (sooner than later preferred, but I’ll do what I can). I can’t wait to follow along and see how everything goes!

  26. Congratulations, my friend! I promise you will NOT regret it in the long run!!!! Enjoy being able to concentrate on one thing at a time–your family! :-) XO

  27. Congratulations and the very best of luck to you. You will never regret time spent with your children, I promise. I sent my oldest off to his first college classes today and if there’s anything I’m grateful for is the time we’ve spent together. Every day of it.

  28. Lori! Wishing you nothing but the best! Hugs!

  29. Congratulations.

    I know what this feels like.

    I had been working since I was 16, and didn’t stop until I had my first baby…was happy, and felt weird at the same time.

    I did feel weird.

    Took two months to get used to my new life: but I felt weird, not working.

    Of course, that was waaaaaaaaaaaay before the saving collective of my internet lovelies.

    The internet makes being a SAHM so different from what is used to be pre internet days.

    No more loneliness or isolation.

    You are going to be SO very, very happy.

  30. Congratulations Lori! Good things come from following your heart (or the screaming in your head, it all comes from the same place I think) :)

  31. Congratulations my friend!! You did a brave, brave thing. Your life is going to change so much – for the better!

  32. Mommyfriend Lori's Mom says:

    Lori, this just might be one of the biggest days of “my” life also and I’m so excited for you! I’ve watched you plan, struggle, cry and pray about this decision. You’ve done your homework in figuring out a way to make this decision work and I’m so very proud of you. Love you!!

  33. So glad for you! I wanted to stay home to be with my daughter, but wasn’t able to do it. I made the best of the situation, but sometimes still feel guilty. My daughter is now 21, and doing great in college. Next year she will be a full-time elementary school teacher. Children flock to her, and when she has children, I hope she can at least stay home with them during the summer! God has truly blessed us through all this…

  34. OMG Lori! That’s wonderful. Congrats.

  35. That’s awesome. And thank you for the virtual hug to working moms.

    • hi, i just the same thing this year , i had enough the write ups the mistreatment the days my son got sick and i could not take day s off, the throwing up, the crying, i had it and i left it hurts after 15 years no room for advancement. my boss was a real nightmare .

  36. Congrats!! While I’m sure it’s scary too, I’m so happy for you! When I was pregnant with my daughter, who’s now 16 months old, and all through my 12-week leave I was sure that going back was the right choice — for me and, most importantly, for my family. I missed my job and coworkers and I valued the stability my job would give our family. But since the first day I went back to the office, I’ve wished I could figure out an alternative. Kudos to you — I think deciding to stay at home is a brave choice. I wish you all the best in this next phase!

  37. I’m very happy for you! It’s about finding your place. Your happy spot. I’m glad you figured out what will make you the best Lori, the best Mom, the best Wife…I’m also glad you have a great and supportive husband.

    Congrats! XOXO

  38. WAH HOOO !! I am so happy for you Bestie. I am so glad you listened to that voice inside you and are now ding what will make you feel happiest!

  39. Congrats to you! I was in those shoes once. I couldn’t picture myself not working, but then those voices started creeping in. Being a SAHM was scary at first, but feeling lighter is the best way to describe the feeling.

  40. Many congrats! I left the office to work from home and though it comes with its own set of stresses, watching my babies grow between the hours of 9 and 6 is pure joy. And leaves me plenty of time to catch up on blogs ;)
    Enjoy every moment!

  41. Congratulations! You’ll never regret it. Enjoy :)

  42. So happy for you! I wish you continued success with the blog and home life. I love reading your blog, you speak your mind, even when it’s not the popular opinion. You are brave and strong, don’t forget that!

  43. Lori I am so proud of you. I have been there and it’s not an easy decision but in the end you have to follow your heart. I know it’s scary but in a few months you will look back and be so thankful you have made that decision. Big things lay ahead for you, I just know it and this is the first step. You are a wonderful mom, your boys are very lucky!

  44. Congratulations! I know you will be working as hard as ever at blogging but now you can choose when!

  45. Wow my friend!!!!! I am glad the screaming is silent. Wanna come over and knit something?? That’s what SAHM’s do you know:) Love ya and excited to read about this next chapter in your life.

  46. Well done to you!!! I am very jealous as I wish I could do the same but at this point in our lives, it just isn’t an option. But I will make that happen and I can make that happen just like you have. I can empathize with the various doctor visits about the mystery illness and knowing deep down that its really stress … Not able to sleep at night.. and I have only just started a new job! I started myblog recently because it was the right thing to do… it was TRUE to me. I have a feeling that through such an inspiring community and reading posts such as this, that big things are going to happen and it will lead to doing something that I am passionate about. Good luck and bloody well done!

  47. Happy SAHM day! Its totally worth it. I really have no idea how other women work and get anything done. They amaze me. When do they even grocery shop?! It is hard gig staying at home but the rewards are plentiful for all. Kudos to you!

  48. Oh my goodness! I teared up reading this. I was let go a few weeks ago and still felt everything you said here. Relief. I have no idea how I’m going to make it but, the relief is inexplicable. I am still getting myself together. As a single mom, it won’t be easy but you know what? I feel that I was made for a different purpose.

    The dentist thing really struck me! I think they’ve cancelled all of my future appointments b/c I keep missing them due to meetings. I am so happy for you and know that you will find a way. I am trying to figure out what this journey looks like. Never been out of work and never have been home with my little one outside of holidays and maternity leave. I need a new routine and I’m looking forward to figuring it out! I hope to read more of your journey in the very near future!

  49. That is so exciting!! I am so happy for you. That is my goal one day. I never ever thought that it could happen for me but once I started the blog 2 years ago and started meeting women who have made it happen, I a thinking that it is in the foreseeable future for me! Congrats!

  50. That’s so awesome that you’re doing this! Most working moms dream of this day, and it’s so great that you’re getting the opportunity to make your dream come true. Congratulations!

  51. Brittany {mommy words} says:

    Wow! Congrats. It is a big step but has major pluses. I hope you feel the relief you need! I miss work a lot but I couldnt do the hours with the kids. Welcome home!

  52. BIG day! Very excited to see all the fantastic writing, stories and growth you will go through during this new phase of life!

  53. I was 13 when I started working (part-time) and never took a break until I gave birth to my first child. Since then, I’ve stayed home and found opportunities (with difficulty) to find work to do from home. That in itself has been a huge challenge but when I made that decision, that ‘screaming in my head’ was gone and I knew I made the right choice. Good luck to you!

  54. Are you serious????????? Welcome to SAHMdom!!!!!! I’m so happy for you!

  55. Congratulations! I hope that you have a great time at home with your kids! Wait… I know you will!

    You are one of the few lucky ones! Cherish it.

  56. Whoa, this is HUGE! Congrats, my friend! It was a major adjustment for me, but I have never regretted it. So happy for you!

  57. You will never regret this. I only work 20 hours a week and my kids are in school full time now and I feel like I am going NON STOP. I have no idea how women with full time careers do it. Congratulations on your decision!

  58. Welcome to the world of SAHMs and congratulations on being able to do it! I can’t wait to read all about your new adventures.

  59. Wow! Congratulations. I just started blogging and honestly would LOVE to make it work for me. I’d love some advise. Your pride in yourself is it’s own reward, but getting to put your children first?! That’s priceless. I can feel the stress relief through my computer. Way to go! Honestly It’s heart breaking working outside the home. My 11 year old has had to stay at home alone one too many times and just today I can’t go into work because he has a soar throat. With him is just where I want to be, but I don’t get paid time off, so I really can’t afford it. And that breaks my heart. The constant provide for him or nurture him battle. As if I should have to decide. But I do. All too often. And it’s making me hate my life. Which I don’t want to do. Because there are so many things about it to love. I want to take control of it and be able to do both, and do them well. Any way- back to you. Once again Way to Go! You are always such sunshine and motivation and you are proof that things can work out :))))

  60. Wow what a huge step. I was a working mom for years and that tug of home was so difficult to balance with the need to succeed. I look forward to following the many successes to come from you.

  61. So proud, happy and elated about what your new future holds– a courageous step- but also- in my humble opinion, one you needed to make to preserve the essence of who you are- I am so excited to join you on this journey!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I left my full-time corporate gig I also took BooBoo out of preschool with the hopes of homeschooling him. Good idea? Bad idea? I [...]

  2. [...] I quit my full-time corporate job about five weeks ago and things have been awesomely interesting ever since. [...]

  3. [...] I decided to quit my job because I missed my kids something awful. I’ve been dreaming and hoping and praying for this day since I first gave birth back in 2002. [...]

  4. [...] Last week I quit my job. It was a big old emotional decision; you can read all about it here. [...]

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