Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Walked Out of My Office

It's been almost a year since I walked out of my office for the last time. Almost a year. I have a hard time wrapping my head around a whole year free from the constraints and responsibilities of a career.

I'll admit it was arguably the most difficult transition in my life. The other being my divorce. When your marriage comes to an impasse, you expect to walk through the gates of hell and run a couple laps through the park of flames before finding a ticket out of that pit. When you come home from the office, like I did, you don't know what to expect. At least I didn't.

At first, it felt like a vacation. I was home, I was taxi mom, attended every school function, meeting, game, etc. I signed up for volunteer positions and meet many other mothers thanks to the freedom of being a SAHM. I've never spent so much time on one campus as I did those first two months.

Then life became repetitive...
Wake up
Coffee
Dress
Empty Dishwasher
School drop offs
Gather laundry
Sort laundry
Wash laundry
Hang laundry
Fold laundry
Meet Doc H for lunch (if he has a lunch break that day)
Iron
Run errands (bank, dry cleaning, obtaining items kids need for school projects)
Find an answer to the daily nemesis, "What's for dinner?"
Grocery Shop
Cook
Dishes
Walk the dog
Pick up kids
Nag kids (pick up, practice, did you do your homework?)
Give rides to their friends in need
Dinner
More dishes
....the list goes on and on...

And still be a sexy vixen for Doc H when he got home from the hospital.
{Excuse me, I have to pause and laugh at the thought of that-- oh, jeez, poor guy. I love him so much.}

I got bored. As more time passed, a small cloud of depression came over me. I no longer knew how to fill in the "OCCUPATION" line on the patient information sheet when I checked in for my physical. I deflated at the realization that I had no professional title. Wasn't that directly tied to my self-worth?

But this is what I wanted, right? I decided on my own to leave. I decided it was time to come home and be available to whatever kids were home with us that day. It was me. No one else made this decision. It was all me.

I freed myself from the office and unknowingly, walked straight under that cloud.

19 comments:

  1. That's my fear. I've always worked and I really enjoyed the social interaction with other adults while at work. A couple weeks ago, for some odd reason, I decided I was going to be a Stay at home mother/stepmother. I'm starting to feel a little down though. I think I miss having a purpose out in the world.

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    1. I miss my colleagues so much! THEY would give me pats on the back and say, "WELL DONE!" At home, I have to be happy with a simple "thanks". I hope you don't get as down as I did, but if you do, just know this... I am much better now. I've found my stride. It was just that transitionary period that brought about some depression.
      Sending you good wishes!

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  2. Replies
    1. It's awful. Hate it. It's a basket full of vile.

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  3. I remember the day I left my office... two days later I had a new baby in my arms. But it wasn't sunshine and rainbows. Even as the end of my maternity leave approached, I knew I couldn't go back. I had already made a decision, I just didn't realize it was a final decision. So that was the end. 8 years later, I still miss it sometimes. Just parts of it, not all of it. Thanks for the reminder of all the things I need to get done today. I always start with the fun stuff.... I should try it the other way.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe it's better that way. After 27 years in the workforce, I came home to a houseful of teens. It was a shock to the system!

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  4. I've only been out for 2 months at this point but I still list my profession. I don't think it's a lie as I'm still reading to keep up and I maintain my licenses. Anyway, you could always start writing in things like 'project manager' or 'writer' or 'chef' or 'researcher'. All of these are true. Besides, I find that once you fill that in it's never mentioned again...you could really have fun and say things like 'butcher' or 'ornithologist' or 'sexy vixen'.

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    1. Hmmm... If I wrote that in on my paperwork at my doctor's, I wonder if that would make it back to Doc H? I could just see it... He's at the clinic cafeteria and my doc sits next to him and says, "So, I hear your wife is a Sexy Vixen." Oh, Doc H's FACE!!! That would be hysterical!

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  5. I don't think I was meant to be a stay at home mom BUT I would like less "work" time and more "home" time. But I think that would be a fear of who am i? what do I do? I mean really if I stayed home I would be a homemaker but coming from my corporate world I get it.

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    1. I think there are some people who are just built to be SAHMs. They do it wonderfully, thrive, and enjoy it. I don't think I was built that way, especially when they were younger. I think a part-time job would've have been perfect when they were younger.

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  6. I can so relate to this post! I quit my VP job two years ago and stay at home now. My day looks much like yours except I have to take the dog out multiple times and that takes 2 h of my day! And now with blogging, well, my laundry isn't just doing itself...

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    1. Don't you miss the sense of authority? I do. I miss people coming to me with questions and problems, other than "Where is...?" "Did you wash any of my underwear?" "Can you pick me up at..." etc...

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  7. Hilarious but so true!

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  8. I loved this post. Definitely we almost all could relate to it. But here's the answer to you occupation question..."blogger" because you are one, and a good one at that. However sexy vixen would be much more interesting!

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    Replies
    1. Ha! You're right! See, I was stuck thinking it had to be a PAID occupation! Oh, if only we were paid to blog! :)

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  9. We've been enriched by your decision to tow the path of change. Sadly but understandably, some are not this brave and face a life of depression doing a job they don't love while merely keeping up the appearance of being happy. Anyway, I think it is rather cool to say one is self - employed.

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  10. I can definitely relate to your post. I have been home 11.5 years! I left my job as an allergy office nurse, went into preterm labor at 32 weeks, and have been home ever since. Hubby worked bizarre shiftwork, which is a large part of what kept me home. Oh, and baby #2. Now that they are 8 and 11, I have tried to get back in the workforce with no luck. Still kept my LVN license, but nobody seems interested. My formerly at-home friends have obtained degrees and started new careers, yet here I sit at home. I feel stuck. Your discussion of the repetitive aspect is spot-on.

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    Replies
    1. I've only been home not quite a year, but I do worry about that should I decide to go back at some point. However, I am working more now (at home) with this new start-up we're trying to get off the ground and doing volunteer work with a organization I have a deep passion for. At least that's throwing some variety in my days and it completely lifts my spirits!
      I wish you much luck on your job search! In the meantime, enjoy your kids while they still like hanging out with you. If your kids are anything like my kids, you have until the age of 13. ;)

      Delete

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