I took me hours to muster up the courage, yes courage, to type up my resignation letter from a budding career that I nurtured and saw bloom in front of my eyes. It was a painful moment in motherhood for me.
My entire life I had dreamed of being a stay at home mom. I had been so sure until the moment I realized I had to chose. I had to chose this story book life I dreamed up in my head for all these years or my career that I had worked tirelessly to grow over the years. It surely didn’t seem fair.
For months before my delivery, I had secretly planned and plotted ways to do both. Part-time this. Part-time that. Nanny. Of all the concoctions that I created, none realistically fit the bill for my dream of motherhood.
I am an all or nothing person, so my entire heart and soul went into my career. With a child, how could I be 100% at both and do them both well? It can be done. I’ve seen it done, but I was so afraid that I couldn’t turn off one to support the other.
I knew my ideas of clinging both to being a full-time mom and a great employee simultaneously were unrealistic for my personality, so I did what I always do, stuff the decision deep down and pretend it’s not there. Pretend that one day a great opportunity will just present itself magically to me that will allow me to successfully manage both.
I wanted the dream, and I didn’t want to give up on either. I spent the first 3 months of motherhood with this looming life decision tucked deep down under everything new motherhood presented to me.
My son was in the NICU and extremely sick for the first 3 months. He cried on cue from 3-9 p.m. every single day. Even with his constant needs and this upset in my dream of amazing motherhood, I still craved to keep both. I never shared my desires with anyone, because with all my son’s issues, everyone close to me expected me to quit and give up on the business I had worked so hard to build.
I judged myself enough for wanting to be a career mom; I didn’t need anyone’s opinion tainting my already rocky start into motherhood.
A week before I was to return to work, I knew what was right for our family. I needed to stay home and grow this family, devote all my time and energy to my new son and my husband, but it was extremely hard to give up on my other dream.
I typed that resignation letter with much sadness but relief in the fact that my looming question had finally been answered. With each key stroke, I mentally noted all the perks I was giving up with my career, but once my son outgrew all his newborn issues, I knew this was the right choice for me.
Seven years later, I have not once regretted this choice, but I will admit I often find myself dreaming of the career I abandoned. I miss the suits, presentations, sales lunches, month end…even the constant emails and phone calls.
It’s an odd thing. I’ll never go back and don’t want to anymore, but it is something I often miss. Even after all this time, I find myself wanting to explain to others that I was once a successful, respectable career woman not just a mom.
That’s the thing though. I’m home with the kids, but I’m not just a mom. I am so much more than that with or without a career.
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