Last Friday I finally did something that I had been putting off for a very long time – I quit my job.
Before I had Sebastian I was working as an Occupational Therapist 4 days a week at a psychiatric hospital. I was very fortunate to have a lot of support from two women in my life, my children’s grandmothers, to help care for them whilst I worked (in addition to some days at formal daycare). I trotted off to work every day whilst content that my children were well cared for and stimulated through play and social interactions.
Then so much changed after I had Sebastian. We moved away from family to be closer to work for my husband. Luka started school, Sophia started preschool. When my year’s worth of maternity leave was nearly up I realised that going back to work was a lot more complicated this time so I extended my leave for another year.
Well here I am a year later and no closer to finding a solution to going back to work. I mean I could have organised after school care for Luka, put Sebastian and Sophia into long daycare, or perhaps I could have got a nanny. Each option was too expensive to justify. I’d essentiality be paying most of my pay in childcare only to add the stress of missing out on going to events during the school day, to missing out on whole days at home with Sebastian just chattering away, to trying to fit making dinner and doing homework and washing clothes in after 6pm.
I’ve known that this is what I had to do for a long time, yet I still don’t think I have come to terms with being unemployed. I’ve been on maternity leave on two years, but somehow just being ‘on leave’ seemed more legitimate than ‘just’ being a stay at home mum. I verbally told my boss that I intended to resign, but actually writing the letter and sending it in took a very long time. I didn’t want to let go of my worker role. But, it’s done now. It feels like a weight off my shoulders.
The thing that worries me the most is getting so deskilled that when I am ready to go back to work I won’t be employable. I do want to return to the workforce one day.
But for now I am determined to make the most of this fantastic opportunity to be with my children full-time. There is nothing dishonourable or shameful about being a stay at home parent. I’m so lucky to be someone who has this opportunity. I’m grateful that financially our family doesn’t need me to work. My value most lies in being the best role model, teacher, nurturer, counsellor, friend, driver, soccer coach, ballet mum, chef, doctor, nurse that they could ever have. My value lies in being their mother.
I was reading a post on Mummy Smile’s blog this morning that inspired this post here today. She spoke about “synthetic happiness” and I encourage you to go and have a read. Basically it’s about creating your own happiness, about being a glass half full person, being that silver lining person. That’s who I strive to be always! Whether you’re a mum, a dad or neither, there is something to be said for creating happiness in your life.
Happy Monday everyone! Go on and create some happiness in your day and in your week ahead!