A few weeks ago the hubs and I made a decision that will be a big change for the Mills family: I have quit my job to become a full time stay at home mom.
The responses from friends and family have been all over the board. Lots of surprise*, some happy and others more hesitant. A little bit of doubt, a lot of delight. It’s the same range of emotions I have felt myself when I think about leaving work. There has been a Trump-sized ‘Wall of Doubt’ in my head since we made this decision. I love my kids, but can I survive spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week with them? Sometimes the best part of my workday was leaving my loud, cranky, and hyper children at daycare, then sitting at my computer surrounded by actual silence. From now on there may never be silence in my life again.
It wasn’t an easy conclusion to come to. I was doing something many people never thought would be possible: working in my field. I have an art degree and work at an art gallery. Technically, a nonprofit art center that curates year-round exhibitions, provides after-school art programs for kids in need, offers classes for adults and children, and hosts a fantastic gallery shop that features a huge selection of locally handmade artisan items. I adore my job, and I cherish the art center.** But no matter how much I love my job, I love my kids more.
I worked so hard and so long to graduate. It took me seven years. Seven. Within those seven years I lived in three different cities, got married, and had a baby. But through all of it I was determined to finish. Am I abandoning all of that hard work and effort? Was it all for nothing? Giving up on something of such significance to me isn’t something I think I can accept.
Maybe my passions have shifted as my life has changed. While my enthusiasm for the art world is still present, the energy I have for my family has become the center of my world. And that I can accept.
My kids will only be young like this once. It sounds like such a cliche, but some truisms become that way because of the truth that completes their foundation. Ava will only have tea parties ‘x’ many more times, Harrison won’t let me cuddle him to sleep forever. And I don’t want to miss either of those, or a multitude of other extraordinary moments, while they still exist.
My new life begins this Saturday. While I can’t guarantee my mental or emotional state from now on, I hope there will never be an ounce of regret. Also, luckily for all my lovely readers, I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me MUCH more often. Look forward to that. (And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a minute of it.)
* I use a thesaurus every single time I write, and when I looked up ‘surprise’ it led me to ‘shock’, and one of the words was ‘sockdolager’. It’s the best word ever and I’m going to use it soon.
**If YOU are also interested in loving the art center check it out here: Lubeznik Center for the Arts