Our writer this week has chosen to remain anonymous. We asked her to write about her transition from full time career woman to full time stay at home mom.
Tell us about your pre-mom career: education, jobs, and schedule/tasks at work.
As a TV/Film and Broadcast Journalism Double Major, Cum Laude Graduate working at NBC in Los Angeles; I felt I had endless opportunity for the career path of my dreams. What I found was endless hours of work, empty people and many sleepless nights of wonder. Was this truly God’s #1 plan for my life? Would I eventually marry and raise a family in this culture? I missed family, friends and trees. I missed home. Back to Nor Cal I went without the security of a job, but with the peace that God was in control; he had plans for me. After resorting to waitressing part-time for a couple months, I finally found a position as an Assistant Media Buyer at a National Television Advertising Agency. I found more long hours, but loved my work, coworkers and contacts throughout the country. My husband also worked long hours, often gone for months at a time. We were DINKS! (Dual Income No Kids). Over 7 long years I advanced to a Sr. Media Buyer/Manager with discussions of becoming the next VP. I was also able to fuel my creative side while working with our production department both in front and behind the camera.
What led to being a SAHM? Was it a decision you and your husband made? Did you attempt a part time position?
What led to being a SAHM? I could share the birds and the bees with you…but I don’t think that’s what this question is referring to. I actually didn’t make the decision completely until God pretty much stepped in and gave me no other option. Let me explain. I was determined to go back to work. I had an entire freezer full of pumped milk months in advance of the end of my maternity leave. My husband works 2 days on and 4 days off so I was sure I’d be able to make our schedule work with very limited day care for my daughter. With my return date fast approaching I spent hours creating a work proposal/ flexible schedule plan to present to my employers. I wasn’t willing to go back full-time. At least not yet. My daughter was so tiny at just 12 weeks and I knew I would miss so much of her little life if I was only there to wake her up and put her to sleep. I took a gamble that they would work with me, but they played hardball. After years of 9-10 hour days with additional telecommuting and as the company’s top media buyer I was shocked. They were accustomed to me acquiescing to their needs and I assume believed that I wouldn’t be able to walk away from my salary.
They were wrong. I gave them my notice. They then came back with an option where I could start a completely new department and have a flexible schedule, but it would be a commission only position and as a contract employee. I was seriously considering the idea. I had started multiple work avenues from scratch for this company before. I tried to justify in my mind the hours of work this new avenue would require with the possibility of not receiving adequate pay for my time, or even worse have it all taken away from me if they decide to cancel my contract once I’d finished all the groundwork. “I’d still be in the work force!?” “This could really be something in a couple year’s time!?”
That’s when it hit me. Pain like I had never felt in my entire life. Something worse than childbirth, and it was happening to me every single day. (It was related to post-partum healing). I was basically unable to work and had to let my former employers know. The decision was made. I had to get better and I was going to be at home with my beautiful baby full time. I was healed shortly after the decision was made and now thank God for that pain in my life. It forced me to make a decision that I was too scared to make on my own. I had to let go. By letting go I have had the most beautiful three years of my entire life. I thank God for every day that I have shared with both my daughters; it is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Do you feel in balance with working overtime at home? What do you miss about your job? What would you miss about your kids if you were in the work force?
Everyone always talks about “balance” in life. I’ve noticed they try and “do it all”, all the time. I myself have struggled with this. After changing to a SAHM, I’ve realized something. It’s ok to “do it all” a section of your life at a time. Yes there are the little day-to-day balances that we all have to work on. However, for me, I’ve found the greatest joy giving “my all” into whatever chapter of life I’m in and accepting one chapter ending and a new one beginning. I realize that I’m going to have to accept my little ones going to school and myself probably being in the workforce again. But for now, I’m 100% enjoying giving 100% to my kids. I gave 100% to my work for so long that it’s going to take a few more years for this time in my life to balance out the long chapter preceding it.
Can you describe a normal home day? Wake Up, Play, Eat, Clean, Play, Eat, Clean, Sleep, Clean, Errands, Play, Play Play, Clean, Clean, More Clean, Bit more Play, Thank God for another Beautiful Day, Sleep.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully with the last and final kiddo added to our bunch and working part time or preparing for “the next chapter”.
If or when you go into the work force what do you see yourself doing?
I’m open for God’s plan. I would prefer to do something with a flexible/school type schedule.
Thank you for the inspiration, Mama!