21 September 2012

Bye Job, etc.

I quit my job. I just typed I quilt my job, so I guess you know what I have been doing since I quit.

It was an enormous struggle to decide, and I was very upset with my dear Alex for about a week. That is probably the longest I have ever been upset at him, except when we were dating and I was angry at him for moping such a long time because I broke up with him. Who can blame him, though? We are MFEO, after all. Anyway, here are the reasons I quit:

When I got my job Alex had one job, and it was his own business with flexible hours. So he could watch our kids for half of the time I worked.  He had applied at the college and not got any work from them, so ostensibly we were looking at continued self employment for probably at least a year.

Within about three or four weeks of my hire, the college called and offered him a class to teach. Then they called and offered another one. Then one of his clients asked him to work full time for them through September, as well as half-time after that.

With Alex's 2.5 full work load, we had to have the kids babysat every day until both of us got home from work. When we all arrived home, there was no delicious healthy food on the table waiting for our ravening tummies, and Alex began to fear major marital repercussions if we did not quit having low blood sugar together for an hour together every day.

He also felt that 20 hours a week was too long for the wee ones to be watched by non-parents. My mental jury is still out on that. Henry loved it like a play date, and Scott finally seems to have overcome what I thought was an unhealthy neediness for me due to my brief stint of working.

I still eventually want to work in a clinical setting. I was very upset that this, which I now feel was the right decision, had to come from poor Alex. It just violated my feminist sensibilities. If a man can change a diaper and wash a dish, a woman can have a part-time job (or any job, really).

I have come to terms with my feminist outrage now, and I am really enjoying being able to cook healthy food and help Grace with her homework. I think I even appreciate it more now that I had a break and realized just how valuable my work at home was and is.

Another thing I learned is that any job, even one you love and get paid for, has boring, repetitive parts that I would rather not do. But that is part of life and the human condition. Leaves fall down. If you want trees in your yard you have to rake them. We wear clothes and eat food. I have to wash dishes and do laundry unless I want to be naked and hungry.

I was again reminded of the importance of attitude. If I can have the attitude "make their day" at work, I can certainly do that a lot better at home with my children. I can take more pride in a clean kitchen and an efficient laundry system. Just because I have done it for so long and am sick of it, doesn't mean I can't let go of my whiny attitude and rock it.

So those are my new goals.
Keep the kitchen 72% cleaner than prior to when I worked.
Stay mindful and present with my children, so I can enjoy them while they are small and unfettered by the problems of teenagers or adults.
Quilt whenever I can squeeze it in.
Treat each day at home as the gift it is.


amy said...

As a fellow feminist in unpaid domestic servitude, congratulations! Feminism is all about women having options, anyway :)

Your post inspired me as my attitude has been waning. I expect I will be more cheerful, at least until lunchtime.

Lisa said...

okay so I wrote a big long comment and then my computer kinda wigged out and it lost it. So here is the condensed version:
My kids go to 20 hours of daycare a week and I agree that it is healthy for them. I think that it has made them learn how to make friends and function with other kids. It's also made separation easier: they know that mom leaves sometimes but she always comes back :)And that's something that I am grateful that they have learned, because I know some kids who won't learn that until kindergarten and how sad to associate school with such a lesson? School has enough issues without having to learn MORE.
Second, I think whatever works for you, works for you. Being a mom at home is not always fun or easy or even enjoyable. But your kids need you there... but do they need you 100% of the time, no, they don't. Kids need interaction just as much as you do so make sure you still mix it up (something I struggle to do frankly).
That's my two cents. :) Good luck with it all :)

Marie Says Yes said...

Having to let Ben make the decision (which for his safety, HAS NOT BEEN USED but very sparingly) is one very hard thing. It feels violating. Even if it is what it is, even if it turns out to be the right thing. Sigh. I don't know if he could ever actually understand what those moments take from me when they happen. Which, I guess, is why it must be used, oh, so sparingly. Good thing God gave us so many super powers, or I might be mad. I'm so glad you survived your week long restraining order.
And the best part is, your sassiness stays in place, for that is what they love, right? Glad you have a renewed vigor and vhim. Glad there were positive effects to your little adventure. May your kitchen stay ever clean!

Just Me And The Boys said...

I am a recently singled-mom and am having to be gone from my kids all day (from 8-4) for the first time since I have had kids, so about five years. They are at preschool and day care all day. I am struggling to feel like they are not going to be negatively affected by this change in schedule and by not being parented for so much time each week. It sounds like you have some thoughts that can help me come to terms with this. The two preschoolers do well, for the most part, but the youngest is only a year old and I feel badly that he doesn't get Mommy to put him down for naps and play with him like the other two did at his age. He also goes to bed earlier at night than the other two and I'm so busy in the evenings when we're home that I feel like he just floats from toy to toy and I barely get any play time with him. When I do sit down to play, the other two commandeer my attention. How do I overcome this guilt?

The Yoder's Four said...

I'm sorry that you had to quit! Sometimes I fantasize about going back to work, but then I realize I like getting to stay home in my pajamas and clean up after everybody much better. I'm glad that Alex got some extra work, though. What is he teaching at the college?

PS. Mark is thinking about building an R2-D2. I think he and Alex need to get together and discuss.