Yesterday I alluded to the fact that it was a bit of a momentous day, and it was. Reason being - I no longer have a job. Not because I'm on mat leave - but because I am not going back when mat leave ends on Monday. Paperwork signed, goodbyes said, career on hold. Gulp.
I never in a million years thought I would be a stay at home mom. Sure, maybe when I was 20, I imagined a perfect, handsome, rich man sweeping me off my feet and fathering some perfect and handsome children that I would stay home and take care of. But then came reality. I found my perfect, handsome man who fathered my perfect, handsome children, but the RICH is nowhere to be found. A mortgage, an obscene student loan debt, and real life all quickly pointed towards me being a working mom, and I was ok with that. I was good with that in fact. After Rio, I went back to work 4 days a week and for me it was the perfect mix. I got my adult time where I got to advance in my career while my daughter was with a daycare she loved, but I got 3 quality days of family time. It was pretty ideal.
When I got pregnant with twins, the plan was still to go back to work. Pretty quickly we figured out that daycare for three kids would not be feasible, but we would still be farther ahead financially if I worked and we got a nanny. Before I went off on mat leave I had friendly discussions with my boss because he was sure that as a mother of three I was not coming back. Repeatedly, I told him I was.
But then the twins were born early and everything changed. At the beginning, childcare was the farthest thing from our minds - we needed to just get by and not think about the future. But eventually they came home and we began to look at our options. Finances aside, the boys require so much attention with all their follow up appointments and therapy, not to mention keeping them away from too many people for another winter, away from excessive germs. So the decision was eventually made. I would not go back to work and we would survive the next couple years by just getting by, because we really had no other choice.
So here we are now. My job title went from "Project Manager" to "Stay at Home Mom", and that is something that is going to take a bit of time to adjust to. While I know it is best for the family, for the past 9 years I have worked hard to be well respected (I hope!) by both my colleagues and my clients and I am now, at least for the time being, giving that up. There will be a period of self acceptance where I learn that it's ok to not have a job title as part of my definition of myself. Because really, what's a more important job title than Mom? Nothing.
My days have been busy and will no doubt continue to get busier, so I know it's just a different type of project for me to manage, and hopefully one for me to excel at. Like all jobs, there will be good days and bad days. There will be days when I am frustrated, and other days when I think I have the best job in the world. I just wish the salary was a little bit more competitive...
So here I am, on the first day of the rest of my life. Wish me luck as I start this new adventure!