Big Decisions.

by Sara Fisher  (Self Made Mom)

I’ve been out of the workforce and a stay-at-home mom for six weeks now and I’m still getting asked the inevitable question: Why did you decide to quit your job?


It’s a good question, for sure, but one that’s nearly impossible to answer in one sentence to a perfect stranger. Because I wanted to spend more time with my son. Yes, that was part of it. Because I was sick of the rat race of work. Yes, that too. Because my family needed me more at home than work needed me at work. Because I was sick of dealing with child care issues.


Yes, all of the above. Thing is, there is not one reason I decided to leave the workforce. I don’t think there’s ever just one reason you decide to turn in the towel on 10 years of hard work and a master’s degree. In fact, I don’t know one part of motherhood where there aren’t 52 zillion reasons for what we decide to do.


The only backlash of the “why did you quit your job?” question is the question that inevitably follows: “what are you going to do now?”
Why do people assume that because I decided to quit my job, I’m immediately going to jump into the next gig?


Just to clear the air on that question, I’m happily NOT going to find a new job immediately. I’m not going to update my resume just yet. Instead, I’m just going to relax. That’s right. I’m going to do a big fat nothing for now.


Because quitting my job was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, I don’t feel the need to rush into something else. I said part of my reasoning was because I want to spend more time with my son, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to attend all of those mommy-and-me classes I missed last fall. I’m going to make cookies on a random Thursday afternoon. I’m going to work out more and try to take things a little slower.


Because now I’m not doing the work thing, just the “mom” thing.


I am really considering being a SAHM. I feel I could benefit my family more being at home then earning a paycheck. Just holding out until my husband finishes grad school and then I am really going to make a plan to quit working. I used to really feel like a made a difference at my job which kept me going but lately I just feel like another warm body there just trying to plow through all of the work and demands of other people.


I also quit to stay at home with my daughter. I have two now college-aged kids and a 3-year-old. I am just heading back to work and just want to offer some advice to anyone considering becoming a SAHM. AFTER you've had time to wind down and enjoy some time at home, stay connected to what you do. I mean, stay in touch with people you knew, involved in associations related to your field. You lose earning potential if you just drop out of sight. Do consulting on occasion, write an article here and there, do something that keeps you current. You will probably need something to stimulate you if you've been working for years anyway.


I fantasize daily (no, hourly) about quitting my stressful career and going back to being a SAHM, like I was for the first 2-1/2 years of my daughter's life. She's 5-1/2 now and I wonder what I'm waiting for...HOORAY for you, I say. You're inspiring!


You tell 'em!
I did the exact same thing as you and it took me at least 6 months to detox from the rat race and truly start enjoying my time with my kids. There's nothing like it. Doing what is really right for you is always the hardest road!


Mazel tov, Sara. I'm envious of you and scared for you at the same time. But at least now you'll have more time to blog!


It's a goofy question - "What are you going to do now?" You're going to raise you child full-time without also working outside the home. I could see people asking "how long do you plan to stay home?" That makes more sense to me. Really all anyone should be saying is "Good for you!"


Kudos to you! I SO want to leave the rat race and stay home even if it's only part time (my kids are in school) If I can find a way to manage it I probably will! Thanks for the inspiration :)