i started what i thought was my dream and last job until retirement back in may. it was with a company that developed products i truly believed in. the people were young, smart and funny. i felt like i fit from a personality and chemistry stand point. before i even stepped foot into the office my first day, i knew i was going to work long hours, the job was going to be challenging, and i was going to be stretched to the limit … and i was genuinely excited to take the next big step in my career.
what i didn’t anticipate was the incredible toll it was going to take on me and more importantly, my family.
i took a four-month maternity leave with my daughter but came back on the agreement of working flex time from monday-thursday, and from home on fridays. a couple years later, i had my son, and started a new job where i telecommuted a minimum of three days a week. so since being a mother, i always worked on my terms. and then *bam* i was working a minimum of 12-hour days … there were quite a few times i worked 18 hours, and even times i worked 20 hours straight. too many days, i saw my kids for an hour in the morning, and by the time i came home, they were asleep. i had become a weekend parent.
my husband was willing to do the drop offs and pickups, making dinners and packing lunches, giving baths and putting the kids to bed by himself but if he had a choice, of course not. who would? my once easy-going daughter was having meltdowns at school. my momma’s boy blatantly preferred my husband.
besides the almost unbearable stress and tension at work, i also felt sad, isolated, alone, anxious and guilt. ohhhhhhh the guilt. it was always there – wet, heavy, pervasive, invasive.
what the F was i doing? why was i putting my family through this? why was i making all these sacrifices? the longer i worked there, the more painfully obvious it became that this was not a good fit. then why the jeebus did I stay?
one word: money.
let me tell you, i learned the very hard way money is not worth it if you have to sacrifice your family. so i walked away and it was the best decision i’ve made in my career. however, in the process of all that, it drained any creative excited funny sarcastic cell in my body, and i couldn’t bring myself to blog. i didn’t want to share my thoughts and feelings because i was depressed and angry at the entire experience. i was ashamed and humiliated I couldn’t make it work, that I had thrown in the towel.
i’ve had some time to decompress. i actually feel refreshed and back to just around somewhere near normal. i’ve been freelancing for the past couple months and i absolutely love it. sure, i don’t have a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks but i get to drop off my kids, volunteer at their school, make them dinner and eat it with them, read the same freaking 3 bedtime books, watch the last season of jersey shore with my husband, stress out about packing lunches, explain homework, do timeouts, make “the police man is coming to get if you don’t listen” threats, wipe stinky but very cute butts, play referee every 10 minutes until I want to punch a wall, have them plop on my lap while I sniff their heads and inspect their dirty toes. i get to see relaxed happy faces again.
the silver lining is i now know without a shadow of a doubt that being a mother is the single most important thing in the world to me. and that was a lesson worth learning.
i’m mostly my old self and can’t wait to start ripping … er … ruminating about my family again.
glad to be back.