Friday, July 8, 2011

Thoughts of the Week - Mourning For An Old Life

 {This picture makes me happy - Source}
Taylor and I are getting on an airplane to visit my friend Lea in Scottsdale.  It's her baby shower.  I hope I don't melt :)  I guess the travel has me thinking about work a lot lately, seeing as how I was traveling just about every month.  Seeing so much coverage over the 4th weekend of NYC also has me a bit nostalgic.  I miss it.  I don't miss my old job per se, and I don't miss that stomach wrenching feeling I got every time I stepped into the airport, but I just miss working, as strange as it may seem.

I know quitting my job was the best thing for everyone including myself, but the sad truth is that no one ever really prepares you for what it will be like to give up a career once you have children.  They tell you about the sleepless nights, colic, breastfeeding, sleep training, baby proofing.  But no one ever sits you down and says "once you have kids you will have to make a very important decision about your career that you worked so hard for."  I know it sounds whiny and selfish, but I'm just letting it roll this morning.  For some woman it's not even a question and the decision comes so easily, so naturally.  It's always been a hard one for me though.  I've always struggled with it.

I was reading over the post I wrote last year when I announced I was going back to work.  Gah, I sound so defensive and bitchy.  I was in such a different place back then though, so scared.  My apologies for anyone who was reading back then.  Man, people gave me a lot of crap though for my decision.  Why do people do that?  Why is there this constant silent fight between working moms and stay at home moms?  I hate it.  Life is hard enough as it is, motherhood is hard enough as it is, we don't need to make things harder for each other.

I love my babies with everything I have and I am so, so thankful that I can stay home with them right now.  I do not take that for granted for a second.  I am thankful for the busy, activity filled days and I'm thankful for the slow and easy days even more.  I'm also thankful for the fact that I had a career that I loved.  I used to get so mad at myself for being torn, but I'm finally coming to the point where I realize it's okay to mourn my old life a bit, to mourn my old career, and it doesn't make me any less of a good mom.  It's taking practice.  But doesn't everything take a bit of practice?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Sorry for the downer post, just had to get some thoughts off my chest.  XOXO


  1. I can so relate to this! I stopped working about a year and a half ago - and while I don't miss that job per se, sometimes I really miss having a "career." I wish I could have it all but I know it would be too much for me to have 2 kids and a hectic job. So I'm trying to be at peace with that too. Your post wasn't a downer - just honest! Have a great trip!

  2. I am torn about this all the time. When I was working, I wanted to be home. I've been home for 7 years and I think about going back to work all the time. I'm glad to be home though and I know this time can never be replaced. I also agree that moms who work should not be given grief. Each family has to do what works best for them.

  3. I don't know why we feel the need to criticize each other. We need to be lifting each other up! I have actually never missed working. I'm not sure what that says about me, hahaha. I do worry about when it will be time for me to go back, will I even be employable it will have been so long. I just love that you are flexible to what God puts in front of you, whether it's working, not working, whatever. Have fun on your trip ;)

  4. Nice post! Cool blog too!

    Check out mine?

    If you want, follow it and I'll follow yours.

  5. It's weird when our sense of importance and worth comes from our titles and benefit packages, huh? I know that someday I won't miss working at all, but I'm sure I will miss the respect that comes from the position I've earned.

  6. I can relate!! There just always seems to be two camps. . .working mom and stay at home mom. It took me a long time before I could step back from the accolades that came with my job. I still work part time, so I kind of have one foot in each pool and even that is hard. There's no right way, I don't think--people have to do what they have to do for their families sake. I don't think your post is a downer--it speaks volumes of truth...have a great weekend!!

  7. Wow! I just had this conversation with my husband yesterday! He said I'd seemed down lately and when I explained that I didn't WANT to go back to work, but I missed the working me, he just couldn't get it. He kept saying, "Well, let's just put them in day care if you want to go back. It's fine." I love being home, I wouldn't change it but I do miss my career too.

    As for us being unsupportive of each others choices - I've never understood it either. We each make the decisions that are best for us and our family. Life is hard enough. Why make it harder?

  8. It's just like everything we have talked in the past about....
    People have a need to criticize and tear down because they themselves yearn for affirmation and a sense of "I'm doing the right thing."
    If you can remember that undo criticism almost always comes from a place of pain, it will make it easier to ignore.

    Your feelings are so normal. I have days where I really miss working. I loved that job.
    Missing it will never negate from the love you have for your kids.
    Saying goodbye to a job doesn't mean forgetting it.

  9. Oh Andrea! I haven't visited in a long time, but am so happy I popped over and caught this post. I can soooo relate. I know we had a few conversations about our attempts to get back to our careers - post children. I am glad I did try to go back though, because I always wondered.... and now I am much more at peace with my choice to stay home. Glad you are settling in and yes, I tell people all the time that after you have a baby, you need to mourn your old self... because it really is like starting over. At least for me it was. Hang in there, my friend, and enjoy your trip. Don't melt! ;D HUGS

  10. how exciting! enjoy your girl trip!

    press on. be encouraged. seek the lord and do what is best for your family. so sorry if you've encountered haters;)


  11. I always appreciate your honesty and insight! Especially on the career side! I think your feelings are SO valid and relatable. I am sure you will be the first person I come to when I have to make that same decision :)

  12. I can relate completely! I went back to work after having my first daughter, and I hated every minute of it. I was just not cut out for trying to have a full-time job on top of being a mother. A month before I had my second daughter, I quit my job because I knew I wouldn't be able to take being away from two kids all day, nevermind one, plus two kids constantly getting sick, etc. The way I feel is, I tried it, I hated it, and now I know that I need to be a stay-at-home mom. I've been home with my kids for a year and a half now, and even though I really wanted it, it was still hard to leave my co-workers and it still required a lot of adjustment.

  13. I rather unconventionally quit my 9-5 career before starting a family, and can definitely relate to feeling a sense of loss. I hated my job, but I loved having my own income, and the routine, and the outside connections. Being home, while gratifying in so many ways, has been a challenge for the above reasons, and I spent the first several years hosting arguments in my head for and against it. That said, I lament the fact that home has gotten so far removed from work (something that didn't used to be), and I hope that we can move back to thriving and rewarding enterprise that is rooted at home.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Stephanie from Make Home Make Sense

  14. Mourning a past time of your life that you loved is healthy, not whiney or a downer. You're choosing to recognize that there were good things you sacrificed for the sake of something else. Mourning keeps us from being resentful, because it reminds us that we made a choice, and it is with our own WILL that we continue to walk each day in the other direction. Proud of you for your vulnerability on how hard those steps can be. And impressed by your determination to keep taking them. ;)

  15. I JUST had this same discussion with my good friend. I think it is not only normal but HEALTHY to admit that we mourn our old deserve to! It doesnt make you any less of a great just makes you honest. And lets be real if you dont help get to that honest and real state than your fooling yourself and everyone around you. I LOVE being a stay at home mom...but I have to be honest with myself and mourn my past life as well...I learned to say GOOD BYE to the old and HELLO to the new AND (important AND) look forward to the NEW and IMPROVED future life. I actually am grateful that amoungst all your FABULOUS blog posts I find this one that I am sure many mommies can relate with! :) God Bless...have a Great Weekend

  16. a family member told me that she doesn't talk to moms that went back to work because she gets to stay home. it totally urked me because i will have to go back to work for a few years most likely. it is just our life. but i think as women we need to stick together and not draw lines that don't need to be there.

    popping in to say hello to the other sugar babies! yeah blog sugar!

    i'm hosting a july giftaway - anthropologie pillow and some goodies! i hope you'll enter!


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