Working Mom Wednesday: Why I Quit My Job

by Heather Campbell, Princess Mommy

This post is a continuation of a new weekly feature at Amateur Parenting: Working Mom Wednesday. Each week, we’ll discuss another aspect of the challenge and reward of balancing the roles of employee and mommy. Want to request a post on a specific working mom issue? Contact us with your idea!

Over much of my young adult life, I jumped jobs often. Even after getting married, I wasn’t quite settled. I didn’t have to be. I switched jobs to make more money. I switched jobs if I didn’t get along with people. I switched jobs just because I was bored.

But four years ago, I accepted a position that honestly I thought would just be another name on my resume. I didn’t feel overwhelmingly passionate about the work or company. I thought a lot of things would happen with this job but surely I didn’t expect most of what really did. I started full time, switching jobs after my miscarriages and with a rocky marriage because I wanted a new start. I wanted a workplace that didn’t know my past.

And then just a few weeks into my new job, the craziest thing happened: I was pregnant. It didn’t really even occur to me to take a test if not for being extremely sick. We’d only had sex once (still struggling) and honestly I had no idea when my last period even was. My first real thoughts were being upset. I didn’t want to lose another baby; I didn’t want my new work to feel sorry for me. But as the pregnancy continued and grew, I realized this time was going to be different.

This was the point that I became a working mom. At that first ultrasound, with that tiny blip on the screen, that was the moment I became a working mom.  That was when I had to either gain the strength to work through my hyperemesis gravidarum or lose my job (and insurance benefits.) An adult decision.

Unfortunately, adult or not, the pregnancy was stronger than me. I kept getting sicker and sicker and finally had no choice but to cut my hours. I’ll spare you the details but by 25 weeks along, I was finally able to work about 6 hour days, four or five days a week. It wasn’t ideal. Our lifestyle required two full time incomes AND we were trying to save for a baby. It was devastating.

By the time that gorgeous little girl was plopped into my arms we had made budget cuts and figured things out to keep me working part time.

It seemed like the perfect situation. I “had it all.” I could build my career and have time as a stay at home mom too.

I continued to further my career, learning everything I could, setting a development path, winning awards, and even being chosen as a leader in my work and getting the opportunity to train to be a manager.

I was on top of the world really. My oldest was thriving. Princess Daddy and I were finally at a peaceful place, and work was amazing. So we decided to try for another baby.

And wow, another baby we got! The journey was just insane. I fought through the beginning but didn’t call in sick even once for morning sickness. I was put on a 48 hour bedrest early on for heat exhaustion and had a scare with cramping at 16 weeks but otherwise, I worked my normal shifts, still dancing circles around my coworkers. I figured out all the details of my maternity leave and started looking for babysitters. I had every intention of going back to work. Repeat. I had EVERY intention of going back.

And then I went into preterm labor at 24 weeks. And then the girls were born at 32 weeks. And then they were in the NICU for a month. And then my maternity leave ended before I even reached my due date. And then I sunk into a horrible anxiety and depression pattern.

I no longer knew what would happen. I no longer even knew what I wanted. I returned to work on Saturdays only with the plan to return more hours once the twins were 6 months old and sleeping through the night. 6 months went by and there I was still not sleeping.

I’d already started to do freelance work at this time and honestly, working from home was spoiling me. I put some effort into trying to find proper care for the girls but was left frustrated and feeling hopeless. My identity was no longer in my career. I no longer felt that industry was where I wanted to be. And the idea of having someone else watch my youngest (and last) babies tortured me.

I’m very much at peace with the decision. A lot of who I am has been redefined this year. It’s hard to explain but I’m really happy with the person in becoming. I’m still a working mom, just not the working mom I had planned on being.

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Heather Campbell, Princess Mommy

Blogger at Amateur Parenting
Heather Campbell (aka, Princess Mommy) is a red-headed work-at-home mom of three under 4 who lives in the St. Louis metro area. She also blogs at Magical Chaos and Mumbling Mommy. Meet the whole AmateurParenting.com team on our About page.

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