Monday, August 18, 2008

Shake it up, baby

Are you ready?

I just gave my employer two weeks' notice.

This change - such a biggie - has been some time coming. My vacation gave me time (mostly on the road and late at night) to think and pray and really come to the conclusion that it is time to let go of this job I have loved for the last four years and go back to being "just a mom" ... even though of course we all know that no one, but no one, is "just" a mom.

This blog started out, shortly after I started my job, as a working moms' group blog with a few friends. Silly me, working moms do not have time to blog! So it quickly came down to just me. It has been a useful place to spew out all my brain garbage so that I can get on with my workday. I guess that may not actually change. The blog will certainly continue to exist. I think we may have some interesting times ahead as I make this transition.

I am full of plans and ideas about how I want things to be after I leave this desk where my behind has been glued eight hours a day for the last four years. I am trying to keep my feet on the ground about it. It's hard. Eight hours seems like a lot of time when you're glued to a chair. When you're chasing kids, I know it's not really that much.

Still, a major life change would not be complete for me without a bulleted list. Here are some things I want/need to do.
  • Freelance for my current employer 15-20 hours a week. This is a must, financially. I'm thankful that it is going to be possible.
  • Free up my husband to finish his dissertation and get us all on with our lives, by taking primary responsibility for the house and kids.
  • Take care of myself and my mental health by exercising daily. The last time I was doing this regularly was before Z was born. As much as I have tried, I cannot fit it in my current schedule. It has to be very high priority on the new schedule because of its stressbusting power. I won't lie, being a stay-at-home-mom stresses me out. I do remember that much.
  • Improve my kids' social opportunities. Have friends over. Go to play dates and stuff.
  • Write. My own stuff, fiction and essays, not press releases and brochures.
  • Make stuff homemade - you know, food and maybe some clothes - and be really thrifty. Again, not so much a want as a need. We are going from 1.5 incomes (my salary and G's grad student stipend) to maybe .75 incomes if we are lucky (the stipend plus whatever I can do as a freelancer).
  • Be a better friend, visiting teacher, and Primary teacher. I have been skimming by on all these things for the last four years. Thankfully I have had friends and companions and fellow church workers who have uncomplainingly picked up my slack. How did I get so lucky?
  • Brush up my math skills over the next three or four years and generally prepare so that when Z goes to school, I can, too. Graduate degree, here I come. Slowly.
There you go. It's not totally unrealistic, right? Maybe just a little bit?

How surprising is this, by the way? My boss said she knew it was coming. Has she been reading this blog?


Braden and Meredith said...

Good for you, Ana. I admire your strength and determination. It will work out for you guys somehow--it always has for us and we've never quite known how it would. God bless!

MaryRuth said...

Congrats and Good Luck. Things will work out... they always do... maybe not like we always plan or imagine but they do work out.

Here's to a new chapter in your life!

Sara said...

Good for you Ana. If anyone can make this work, you can. I look forward to reading the blog as you make this transition!

ang said...

those are some very worthwhile goals! I know you will love this new part of your life, and your kids will love it too :o)

D said...

Don't you wish you could keep the income and still be a stay at home mom? After having done what you just did several years ago, I know things will work out for you guys one way or another.

Jeannine said...

I have goosebumps! How exciting and scary for you.

Best of luck!

Lucy said...

I'm happy because you sound so calm and sure. Of course, things will work out for you and your family. You have Amazing faith, and your leap will land you somewhere spectacular.