Twenty years ago, I was convinced I would never have kids. I went so far as to tell my mother that I hoped for her sake that my brother had kids because I would never make her a grandmother. I didn’t hate kids, I just didn’t see them in my future. Somewhere between my teens and mid twenties I decided that I wanted kids, but I knew that it would be a major life change so I didn’t really dwell too much on it since I always thought it would be “later”. Which was fine when I was younger, but once I was in a serious relationship and the conversations about having kids became more frequent, I started doing the math of having more than one kid (appropriately spaced, of course) and suddenly “later” became “sooner”. Although I still didn’t feel ready. And, honestly, by then I was settled in my career and I saw taking a year off of work as a big step. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to stall my career for that long. I really liked my job and I was afraid of what I might miss out on if I wasn’t there. When one of my other co-workers expressed her plan to come back 10 months after her baby was born, leaving the last two months of the parental leave to her husband, I thought they had hit on the perfect plan. I could come back early and not feel guilty about it because I would be giving that time to my husband! He could spend time with our child and I could get back to the work that I loved. And so I did. By then I had realized that my love for my child was bigger than my love for my job, but I thought I could balance both just as my mother had when I was growing up. And so it went with our second child as well.

And now, I’ve just given up my job to spend more time with our kids. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Partly because I have been “running on empty” and this will hopefully be my opportunity to recharge. By the time I returned to work when Abby was 10 months old, she was only waking up one or two times a night and she was sleeping through the night shortly after her 18 month birthday. With Evelyn, I stayed off the full year but when I returned to work she was still waking up every 1.5-2 hours. Every night. Unless she was teething or sick, in which case she was often waking up every hour. And she has kept up that lovely pace. I kept telling myself she’d start sleeping better “soon” but “soon” never came. And now, almost two years later, I’m really hitting my limits in terms of being able to function on that little sleep. I know that staying home with two kids isn’t going to be all giggles and naps (although I’m really looking forward to partaking in the naps for a bit!) but it certainly is a different pace than I’m running right now. Right now I feel like I’m dancing a very choreographed number, and if I miss a step there’s no chance to recover and catch up with the music again, just a hard landing on my ass.

When I announced that I was leaving work (and the reason why), many people say I hid it well, but maybe it was the hiding of it that made it harder. Or maybe it was the fairly steady stream of caffeine that made it bearable.

There’s also another reason that I resigned and that’s a simpler reason: I miss my kids. I want to spend more time with them. Because there will be giggles. Lots of them. And stories, and songs, and crafts, and all the things that I missed out on in the last three years. And that makes for a very fulfilling “job”.

jumpoliiine jumpy jumpy jumpoliiine