I quit my job and it's terrifying af
I worked hard to get where I was in my career.
In 2009 I graduated with a degree in business and creative writing ... when there were NO jobs. I hustled as a freelancer, writing web content for pennies. After landing my first "big girl" job I worked my way up and sideways and back up at a handful of agencies until I ended up as a senior copywriter at the largest advertising agency in Kansas City.
I had a great gig on a wonderful team filled with talented people and friends.
The pay was great. The benefits were awesome. The culture was fantastic.
And I quit.
Holy shit I actually quit.
When Memphis was born, my world immediately changed. Things that seemed to matter so much just days before lost all significance. He became my world. And when he was hurting and in the NICU, I felt a kind of earth-shattering emotional pain I've never before experienced.
The day we brought him home the sun came out again. Seeing him lying in his bassinet right next to the bed brought me so much joy. Though sleep was fragmented, I could finally rest. I was so at peace. Even when he needed to be fed every 1-3 hours, waking to his hungry cries made me smile. Because my baby was right by me. Where he belonged. And I was capable of fulfilling his needs.
Days revolved around him.
Feeding him, changing him, loving him, sharing small pieces of the world with him.
I didn't have a schedule. No to-do lists. My only task was to love him, and I've never been more fulfilled by any work.
When Memphis turned 2 months old, I couldn't believe it. It really is true what they say, that it goes by so fast.
His smiles give me a lightness that makes my heart float right up to the clouds.
One of those smiles is what made me certain I had to make a change.
I was going through my clothes — putting away the maternity clothes and getting my normal clothes back out — when I looked down at him and caught one: a great big, infectious, gummy grin.
I realized right then that there was absolutely no way I could leave him.
I know every mom struggles with this. I haven't talked to any mom who's said, "Oh I can't WAIT to take my baby to daycare!"
None of us want to leave our babies.
We also don't want to lose that part of ourselves that makes us individuals — our careers, our passions, our hobbies.
My mom said when she went back to work it was hard to leave me ... that being at home with me felt right but that “putting that lab coat [she worked in a pharmacy] back on felt right, too.”
And then there's, you know, money. We need to keep our babies fed and clothed, after all.
I like money (don’t we all?). I like a lot of things and I do enjoy working. I tend to have a lot on my plate. By choice.
Before Memphis, I was working a full-time job, freelancing on the side, teaching yoga and throwing a blog post up here from time to time.
It was a lot.
To be the kind of present mom I want to be in Memphis's life, there's no way I could keep up with all of it.
So I decided not to.
Out of all that I had going on, the 9-to-5 gig was the best for my bank account, but not for my soul. I had to decide what was most important.
Keep the good paycheck so I can help support my baby?
Or give up the good paycheck so I can raise him at home?
Depending on who you ask, either choice could make me a bad mom or a good mom. Ultimately I made the choice that felt right to me. Not just because I want to raise my baby at home and soak up all the cuddles I can, but because I also want to spend more of my working hours doing what I’m most passionate about.
I’d rather Memphis see his mama chase her dreams and struggle than see his mama give up her dreams but buy him everything in Toys ’R Us.
The day Memphis was born was a life-changing event. Quitting this job is up there as another pivotal time. More significant than any other job change I've made. Because I'm not leaving one cozy, dependable salary for another. I'm leaving a cozy, dependable salary for the unknown.
I'm still very much working. I'm a full-time mom, part-time yoga teacher, part-time blogger, part-time freelance copywriter.
I'm fortunate to have my husband's support in this endeavor. For him, it would be most beneficial for me to go back to the salaried job. But he supports my decision and believes in me. I hope to prove him right.
And if it doesn't work out ... or if in a couple of years I decide I miss the advertising world too much and want to return, I hope someone will look at the gap in my resume and see that I'm passionate, not inexperienced. I know former stay-at-home moms often struggle to return to the workforce, but that's a battle I'll face if I need to and I know it will all shake out the way it's supposed to. Life always does.
Thank you for supporting this little side project of mine and reading my posts. This little side project is something I've wanted to invest more time in since it began and now I'm going all in. I quit my good-paying corporate job to invest in a non-paying blog and the lucrative (can you sense the sarcasm?) world of yoga. And mostly the job that makes me wealthiest in love, Mom.
Am I crazy?
Maybe a tad.
But I believe in myself and I believe in following your dreams. I could totally fail. But even if I do, years from now I won't be wondering "what if...?"
I want to be an example to Memphis. To show him that you should follow your heart and pursue your passions. That it's OK to be terrified and it's OK to jump into something without a picture-perfect plan. Because sometimes you just have to do what feels right in that place deep inside. The place where magic resides.
Here’s to tapping into that magic.