I made the decision last week and acted on it. I decided to leave my job as a secondary school teacher of 10 years to become a stay at home mum. I wrote my letter of resignation and posted it…its official.
This was a decision that has long been in my and Mr W’s thoughts and conversations. It is not one that we took lightly and our thoughts and conversations always came back to what would be best for our family.
I loved my job, easier to say now that I am not doing it! But it is true, I enjoyed interacting with the kids, watching them develop and helping them understand things that they previously did not. I love the subject that I taught, Geography. It is unique and diverse, it is an art and a science and covers literacy, numeracy and wellbeing without even trying. It explores the interactions between the land, the people that live on it and the environment that surrounds us. I could go on but I think it is clear that I did not leave my job because I disliked it!
However, despite what some may think it is not a job that you can waltz into at 8.30am and rush out of at 3.30pm locking away the work that has built up through the day with the lock of a classroom door. The expectations, changes and challenges that education is going through just now meant that a typical work day would easily spill out either side of when that bell rings and well into the evening, weekend and holidays. The demands of the job and if I am honest, the demand I would place upon myself to do the job justice would undoubtedly impact on the time I spend with Baby E out with the official school day.
Something would need to give and I would be frustrated if it were the job that I took so much pride in and heartbroken if it were the precious time spent with my son.
We are very lucky that Mr W and I are on the same page when it comes to childcare and even luckier that one of us being at home with Baby E is even a consideration. We knew from the start that we wanted one of us to be with Baby E rather than go to into childcare. We also don’t have the ‘safety net’ of family living close by that could help with the inevitable times when we have meetings and other commitments outside normal working hours. Splitting the week between us so that we could both continue working while ensuring Baby E had one of us at home was a consideration. However, financially this did not make any sense for us and so was discarded and brought us a step closer to our final decision.
I want to be with Baby E…all the time. I love that I get to be with him every day and consider myself extremely lucky that I can be. From seeing his smiley face and hearing his sing-song voice in the morning through to sneaking into his room to see his peaceful, sleeping little body in his cot before going to bed myself. I want to be there for the smiles, the sulks, the meal times, the milestones, the tears and even the tantrums (don’t quote me on that one in a couple of years though!).
So while making the decision to leave teaching was difficult, doing it to spend time with my son was not. I might have regretted going back to work but I am certain I will never regret giving it up to be with Baby E. That is how I know we have made the right decision.
Are you a stay at home mum or did you return to work after maternity leave? I would love to hear what influenced your decision.