Monday, January 25

Hanging it up


Over Christmas I made a decision. One that has been nagging me from the minute I went back to work after my maternity leave with Charlotte. One that has been harder to make than having children in the first place. I have decided to leave IBM and stay at home with Charlotte.

Every single day of the past 2 years the question has been in the back of my mind - "Do I really need or want to be working? Or do I need or want to be at home with Charlotte?" If you know me well, you are probably sick and tired of hearing about this decision and the fact that I have never been at peace with it.

Why has this decision been so hard for me?

1. IBM has been SO good to me. When I joined IBM a little over 5 years ago, it was my dream job with my dream company. I have been able to go part time and work from home on Mondays or when Charlotte is sick. I am really lucky - lots of working mothers would love to have my flexibility.
2. While we don't need my income - it sure is nice.
3. I have technical skills that will become obsolete in a year if I am not changing and evolving with each new thing. The languages I use to develop applications may not even be around in 5-6 years when/if I go back to work.
4. I enjoy the challenges of solving an issue or creating a new business process.
5. Charlotte is doing really well in daycare - her language skills are amazing to me, she interacts with other children really well, she is able to be more independent.
6. I really enjoy the quiet days working at home on Mondays. I also enjoy the adult interaction in the office (most of the time). I really enjoy drinking a cup of coffee at my desk with no one pulling on my legs.
7. Because it is easier to continue with status quo. It is easier to just keep working - because that's what I have always done.

Why did I make this decision?
1. I'm the type of person that is happiest when I can give 100% to what I am doing. I haven't felt like I could ever truly give 100% to work or Charlotte. If I was at work, I felt the pull at home. If I was at home, my mind would drift to work.
2. I am stressed out a lot. I don't like to be stressed out. I don't handle it very well. I tend to raise my voice a lot when I'm stressed.
3. Things are changing at work. Our group is changing priorities. They aren't necessarily the same priorities I have.
4. If I don't ever give myself the chance to stay at home with Charlotte - I will ALWAYS wonder what it would have been like.

I am extremely lucky that I can do this. I know a lot of people don't get to make this decision - financially it is made for them. I realize that and I am very grateful.

I also want to say that I didn't do this because I think day care is evil. I think that the right day care situation can be a wonderful thing. We have been very lucky to have Charlotte in the day care that she is in. She has grown so much. Her teachers are kind, loving, wonderful people. In fact, I am nervous that I won't be able to continue to teach her as well as they have.

My last official day is Feb 15th. I'll be working from home beginning Feb 1st. I don't have day care starting Feb 1st - so those two weeks may be a little hectic.

I am so looking forward to this next chapter. I have my new dream job. I am able to spend my days playing with our girl. She is at such a fun age, I just want to soak it up.

Lastly, a big thank you to Judd. The poor guy has put up with a lot over the past 2 years. I couldn't have made this decision without his support. I think that's why this decision has been so hard - because he has left it to me to make 100% - but he supported whatever I wanted to do. I think he has heard me talk about this more times than he can count. He has taken the brunt of it when I have been stressed to the max - sometimes it amazes me that he still loves me.

So, who wants to schedule a play date?


Mel said...

Very happy for you...I feel like it has always been what you really wanted so I am glad that you finally decided to take the leap!!

Rebecca said...

Wow! I'm very happy for you (and a little jealous too!) What a blessing to be able to do this for yourself & for Charlotte!

Now...just waiting on the post that everyone THOUGHT you were going to post on. :)

Sarah said...

congrats :) we would love a playdate...even though connor's a little too young for charlotte!

Luis Benitez said...

We'll miss you here! So glad you can do this and that you are doing this. Now we have to get our butts to ATL so that we can finally have a play date.

Allison D said...

I know I sound like a broken record ...but I am so happy for you. It takes a lot of courage to make a decision like that...a true leap of faith (and trust me, there is no other way to describe it).

Kristina Young said...

Trust me girl, you'll be just fine. Of course I say that because I DO still have day care 3 days a week. But really, not to take anything away from the Big Blue Mothership... it's simply awesome to be done. I am so glad I have those years, and those friends, but not having that constant panic of someone trying to reach you for some crisis or another is a beautiful thing. You'll be awesome!

Carrie Beth said...

Have fun! It's the hardest job you'll ever love, but so worth it. :-)

john3052 said...

Congrats!!! We will miss seeing Charlotte every day but we'll need to keep in touch. I know what you mean about the feeling of never giving 100% to either part of your life - it is so tough. Good for you guys!