After dropping off my daughters at the bus stop this morning, on my way home I realized that it’s been a year and a half since I decided to leave the career world and devote my time to my family. I wish I could tell you that I’ve found my groove after all that time…but I can’t. Looking back, if you asked me what I did with myself that first year, I’m not sure that I could tell you. So, I decided that this morning I would take a survey of where I’ve been to see where I’m going and you get to take that journey with me.
When I decided to leave the healthcare field and nursing, after 24 years, the last 10 years in management, I found myself trying to learn how to adjust. I didn’t have to worry about my pager going off anymore…whether it was a patient emergency or staffing “crisis” (which half the time wasn’t a “crisis” just someone complaining about something) the sound of my pager became the trigger for a stress response. My heart would pound and I would hold my breath until I found out what was the emergency. Towards the end, 99% of the time it was someone whining and trying to find reasons not to work or blame someone else for their issues. Sadly, it’s true. Most days, I would have to brace myself for the day ahead. Who was going to be the pain in my rear that day? What kind of emails I would find in my inbox? What new deadlines are looming? What meetings did I have to go and which ones I could fore go so that I could attend to the pile of paperwork on my desk? In the end, I was miserable at work and it was taking it’s toll on me, my marriage and my family. So, we decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore and that I would leave my position and be home. I wish I could tell you that, that was an easy decision…but it wasn’t. We would need to learn to live on half our income and it took awhile for my husband to get adjusted to not having a successful career woman as his wife. Let’s face it, in today’s society if you’re not a successful career woman you get the “what’s wrong with you” look but as I came to realize it’s not worth the sacrifice (for our family anyway).
I didn’t realize how stress really effects our lives until the major stresses in my life were gone. The first two weeks after leaving my job, I lost seven pounds without doing anything except resting and relaxing. They say that stress can cause our bodies to hold onto fat stores because of the stress response that are built into our bodies and that you need 8 hours of sleep to help restore your bodies ability to function thereby losing weight. I didn’t know how true that was until then. Stress bad…try to avoid it. Our bodies are amazing and truly balance is the key.
For the next couple of months, I tried to learn how to be a mom, a full time mom. I tried to find a routine, being a former career woman and nurse, I love consistence and schedules. The easy part was learning my daughters’ and son’s schedule. I’m up at 5:50 am, I get our son up and ready for school then the girls are up at 7:30 and out the door by 8:15. My son gets back from school at 2:30 and then my daughters at 4:00…easy! Here was the harder part, I now had time between 8:30 and 2:30 to find a schedule for laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, making dinner etc. To this day, that schedule is not set. Here’s the thing, over the last year, I’ve also started to get reconnected with prayer groups, started volunteering at the schools, started ministries and to add to it all…I’m trying to reconnect to my passions. But I’m getting ahead of myself… essentially, the process of learning to be a mom is still in process and then I added trying to learn to be a wife (a Proverbs 31 woman) and then a woman of God…over the last year, I have found myself constantly evolving from what was once was to something new and that’s where I am now.
So, as I look back and then forward…I want to share these little glimpses to hopefully encourage and help other woman like me. I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up. I hope you’ll enjoy reading my struggles and successes. Here’s to the future!