I recently quit a really good, pretty high paying job. It was a full-time, salaried position. I chose to leave the job for personal reasons that I won’t get into here. Many of you moms can relate to my struggle with trying to figure out whether to keep a job, or stay home with your kids, or work part-time, or shift what field or type of job you pursue.
The decision to leave definitely wasn’t an easy one. I had so much anxiety about leaving but then I’d have anxiety about staying. It was tough, but what it all came down to was what was best for my family. And for some reason, I had many moments that made me realize that leaving that position was what was best for my family.
I am only in my first week post-quitting that job, but I feel different.
It’s not easy for me to be assertive and to make decisions that might make someone else uncomfortable but still stand up for myself and follow through, but I did it with quitting that job. Again, it wasn’t a bad job. It was quite a good job both income-wise and with the actual work that I did.
Anyway, one of the driving forces behind me leaving that job was that I wanted to be more involved with my kids’ lives. I was driving almost an hour and a half one way to get to this job and that was adding to the feeling of distance that I was having toward my kids.
I was missing out on the cute things my two year old was saying. I was missing out on what my two school aged kids were experiencing in school, what they were learning, what was going on with them socially, what they liked, disliked, and just being in tune with their personalities.
I also wanted to have more of an impression on their upbringing. It’s important to me that I teach them healthy habits and positive attitudes and behaviors that will impact who they become for the rest of their lives.
I don’t say all this to encourage you to quit your job. I simply want to express my experience as I went from being a busy, run-all-over-the-place, can barely keep track of what I am doing later today, kind of mom to a relaxed, in the moment, in tune with my kids kind of mom.
Since I quit my job, I have been able to go on bike rides with my kids. My 9 year old son especially likes bike riding. I could rarely do this being out of the house like 12 or more hours a day. During one of the bike rides, my son talked about pollution and how he thinks people should take better care of the earth. He even suggested bringing a trash bag next time to pick up the garbage we saw on the side of the road. I never knew he thought about this and he doesn’t usually talk that much either, but bike riding seems to get him to open up.
I was able to make a home-made bird feeder with my two year old. We bird-watched in our own backyard (even though I don’t think the birds really wanted the home-made bird food that we made).
I was able to have more patience helping my 7 year old daughter with doing her hair (something she really doesn’t prefer to do). Many of the girls in her class have nicely done, almost flawless hairstyles every day. I’m certainly not that kind of mom (or not that talented), but I still want her to take good care of herself and I want to teach her skills for doing so.
So, to all mom’s, whether you have a job, full-time or part-time, or you work from home or you don’t have paid employment, from my recent experience, I would suggest to you to remember to pause and to slow down and to truly be in the moment with your kids. Let’s not let life rush by us.
Even though I’d be financially richer if I had kept my job (a lot richer at the moment), I would have missed out on some truly rich moments that I have been able to experience recently with my kids.
I quit my job specifically thinking that I wanted to be more present and available to my kids instead of always having my mind on the next work-related thing I should do. It’s only been like four days since I quit my job, but I believe the lessons I’ve learned in these past four days have truly been worth it.
Don’t rush the moments you have with your kids.
Let your kids lead and follow them to observe what fascinates them.
Truly listen and respond to your kids with patience, compassion, and understanding.
With all that being said, I know reality happens. Kids get attitudes. Moms get attitudes. ðŸ™‚ Kids don’t always follow the rules. And more. When that stuff happens, even then, we can teach our kids something.
We can have more patience and more calm within us so that we can encourage our kids to become problem solvers, thankful spirits, forgivers, and overcomers.
Image credit: Voyagerix via Fotalia