Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Goodbye high heels, Hello highchairs

Last May, my company announced its plans to relocate to Atlanta.  I wrote then about my dilemma and that I was struggling with what to do.  I've worked at my company for 6 years.  I have worked incredibly hard, been promoted several times and think I've earned a fair amount of respect.  I report directly to the CFO and have a nice office and parking space, and enjoy the people I work with a lot.  Although it hasn't been without its stresses and long days and weekends, it's been a really good place for me to work the last six years. 

So when the move was announced, I was thrown.  Tim and I spent over a year in this strange limbo, where we weren't sure what to do.  We wanted more space but didn't want to do anything more with the house until we knew what our plans were.

There were a lot of advantages to moving to Atlanta for us:  bigger home, warmer weather, leaving Illinois and being able to get out of the declined market value on our home, staying with my job and the security it offered, and a financial bonus to move.

But there were a lot of disadvantages too:  we'd be further from family, Tim would have to find a new job, the location of my new office wouldn't be near the probable location of Tim's new office and trying to find a good location between the two would be difficult.  Plus, being a two-career family was starting to wear on us.

We kept wavering back and forth in our decision, with each of us gung-ho on moving at one point while the other was unsure and vice versa.  But my decision was ultimately made in July/August, when the stresses at work reached their maximum levels.

We decided that moving for my job is not in the cards right now.

This means I will be job-less in June. And I'm going to take the opportunity to stay home with the kids for a while.

This is a scary prospect for me.   I started babysitting at age 11.  I started my first job on my 16th birthday, the very first day I was eligible.  Work has always been a huge definer of who I am.  I worked very hard to get where I am in my career, made a lot of sacrifices to get where I am, and I know that if I stayed with my company, I'd continue to have a lot of success in my career. 

But at what cost?

I really struggle with how little time I'm spending with my children. The time we do have is very meaningful and their mom is still the most important person in their lives.  But I still crave more.  So after my job ends, I'm going to take a little bit of time off and decide where to go from there.  It will be a good opportunity to "try out" being a stay-at-home-mom and decide if it's something I want to do full-time.  If it's not for me, then back to the office I go and I'll find another job.  If it is for me, then we'll make some changes in our lifestyle and our finances and do our best to make it happen for the longer term.

I know it'll be a huge change.  No more high heels, daily routine, quickly running errands on my lunch hour, adult conversations.  Now it'll be the never ending stream of preparing meals, cleaning the house, cleaning up faces, wiping noses, time outs, mediating fights.  But hopefully those mundane tasks will be broken up by lots of hugs, laughs, cuddles, tickles, songs, books and kisses.

I am incredibly nervous about this "new life" I'll be taking on but oh so excited too!
THIS is how I'd rather spend my days!

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