Recently I read an article explaining that my former employer will be laying off 25% of their employees, most of them coming from sales (which is where I was).
One nasty evening last February when I was whining about my ongoing woes of being a working mother, Adam told me he thought I should quit my job. At first I was flabbergasted at the shear mention. First of all, MONEY! Even though we had been paying a pretty (and I really mean obnoxious) penny for daycare, I was still coming out ahead. And with all the benefits – company car, cell phone, internet, etc, it seemed financially impossible to quit.
Between Gabby’s ongoing health concerns (at the time undiagnosed but fortunately only allergies) and our traumatic incident at the first daycare I took Gabby took to (read here), I was really struggling with leaving her each and every day. I missed Drew terribly too, but he had the benefit of daycare being school for him. He was in such dire need for the socialization and structure, yet he was having behavioral problems that I thought parental involvement could help (I may have underestimated that).
Then there was the writing that was so blatantly on the wall. I had survived a couple of layoffs at my company but more downsizing was almost imminent. I had experienced a lot of success – respect from my peers, promotions from my bosses, and growing market share that led to some nice bonuses. But as much as I tried to focus on growing my career there, I had so many doubts to the future of my position. The thought that I would have stayed committed to my career during my children’s younger years and then lose my job in time for my kids to be school age, angered me tremendously.
So I did it. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. The pain of breaking up with my boss, my partner, my team members was immeasurable. The sadness I felt from walking away from my individuality, the self esteem I had gained from my career, the motivation I had to grow my career, made me sick. I will always think of those months before I quit as some of the hardest ones of my life.
As of July 1, 2011 I became a full time stay at home mom and I have not for one second, one nanosecond, one microsecond looked back. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision. Today I sat at the kitchen table feeding Gabby doing some little sing song dancy thing where we kept moving our heads back and forth. I gave up a job that may have given me up a few months later for the opportunity to be silly with my kids. How can anything else in the world possibly be more important than me doing just that?
I’m really sorry for my colleagues who may lose their jobs. I’m really sorry for the decision makers who have to find some measurable way to take roll call of all these people and decide where the line needs to be drawn. But I am absolutely without any doubt in my mind not sorry for myself. I may not be a career person but I am a mom and that’s more than enough for me.