Why I left my job.

Hi. I’m Aimee. I’m almost 28.

I have a bachelor’s degree, I’m a homeowner, I’m married and I have two toddlers. I have student loan debt, I have a mortgage, I have car payments, I refuse to carry a balance on my credit card, and I am saving for my kids’ future college expenses. I’m a planner and a hard worker. I have had a job since my freshman year of high school. Ever since then, I have always had a job. Until last week.

On June 7, I turned in my work laptop and my employee badge to my boss. He had security open a gate for me so I could exit the building. We shook hands, I walked to my car, and I never looked back.

This was a big moment for me. It’s right up there with getting my diploma, marrying the only person in the world who I think will ever know me better than I know myself, purchasing a house with my husband, and giving birth to my son and daughter. It was a big moment because I chose to leave my job. I chose to leave my job without having another job lined up. That’s right, I’m unemployed now.

Wait, what the !@#$ did I just do?!?!

Let me explain.

I started my most recent job in late 2010, and for a while it was awesome. I was writing, and I was making decent money doing it. The company offered great benefits, and I was working with many talented and motivated individuals. I thought I hit the jack-pot in terms of jobs. But then things got overwhelming really fast.

I had a second baby. Production goals increased. I was breastfeeding my daughter at all hours of the night and trying to fit in pumping while in the office during the day. Then I started working remotely at home five days a week, which meant I could shower during my lunch break instead of before taking the kids to day care. But then production goals increased again. I started working at night to catch up on the writing I couldn’t finish during the day. I stopped breastfeeding and pumping. I started potty-training my son. I was finally at a point when I was not having to work as much at night after the kids went to bed, but then production goals increased again. My husband started grad school. And I unraveled.

Going back to work after maternity leave with my daughter was a struggle. I wanted to stay home with her and my son, but I also knew that I needed to help support the family financially. I couldn’t make my husband be the only one responsible for making the money to pay the bills. After about three, four or five months of being back at work, I was finally able to get up in the morning without crying about wanting to stay home with my kids. And I was doing fine for a while.

But when production goals increased to the point where I had to start working at night after a full work day just to meet goals, I was miserable again. I kept telling myself that once I was done breastfeeding and pumping, I would have more time during the workday and more energy to get my work done. But by the time that happened, it was only a few months before goals increased again.

By the beginning of this year, I had no time to work on my career development. I was just writing, and writing, and writing. My motivation to advance at the company was gone. Employees who started after me were already advancing far beyond me. My husband also started grad school, which meant he was at night class once a week and also had to study on Saturdays and some Sundays. He is a great father and does so much for our kids, but because he couldn’t help as much as he used to, I started to feel like a single parent. I supported his decision to go to school and made sure he had the time he needed to do well in his first class, but I didn’t expect to get so exhausted so quickly.

I have been drowning. I want to swim again.

Things came crashing down on me pretty hard a couple of months ago. I was exhausted. I knew I needed a new job, or no job at all, but when I was asked what I was interested in or wanted to do, I didn’t have an answer. When I was with my kids, all I could think about was the basket of laundry that I still needed to fold and what I could do to try to accomplish more work in less time so I wouldn’t have to work at night after putting the kids to bed. I was angry at myself for being so miserable. I was angry at myself for wanting to leave my job. I was disgusted with myself for not being able to fully enjoy my time with my kids  because I was constantly worrying about everything else. I knew I needed to change something, and I knew that meant quitting my job. But I was scared. So I made an appointment with a psychotherapist.

After a couple of sessions with my psychotherapist, after months of praying to God for clarity, and after numerous discussions with my husband, family and friends, I finally allowed myself to send in my resignation.

I cannot keep my passions caged any longer. It is time to open the cage.

There are so many things I have been wanting to do. I want a job that is fulfilling. I want to further develop skills I haven’t used in a few years, and I want to learn new skills. I want more time to spend with my children, and I want to learn how to play with my kids without constantly worrying. I want to allow myself to indulge in my interests without feeling guilty about it. I want to go on more dates with my husband. I want to write a children’s book. I want to socialize with others more. I want to try bartending. I want to live.

Was it necessary to quit my job? Yes. It was smothering me.

Do I understand that most people don’t just quit their jobs without having another job lined up? Yes, I do. But I have so much more to offer, I have a husband who is willing to support this decision, and I will not let my family down. My husband deserves a happy wife, my kids deserve a brave mom, and I deserve to live life.

Watch out world; here I come.

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26 thoughts on “Why I left my job.

  1. Congratulations on taking such a liberating leap. I just happened to come across your blog and couldn’t believe the similarites in how I am feeling. I am in the exact same boat, minus the children (at this point). I don’t know what I want to do when I ‘grow up’ but I know its not what I am doing now. My husband and I are both working toward new goals. It is both terrifying and exhilarating. Wish you the best in all your new passions!

  2. Wow! I’m so happy I came across this blog! I read your blog posts with such intensity and just had to comment. Congrats on quitting your jobs. With your determination, you will definitely find a way to do what you love. I see this blog growing into a huge community and support group for young moms, people who quite their jobs and trying to find their path.

    Your story is so close to my heart. I’m 23, no kids, no husband. I graduated last year and realized after I came back from my summer abroad that I needed to take my life into my own hands–that the dream job I wanted is something I had to create. I had to go into business, be an entrepreneur, so when I do have kids in the future, I can spend time with them. It’s challenging b/c I’m attempting something that will be a challenge, but I convince myself that if I have to work, I might as well build something I can enjoy, something that can contribute great things to the world, something I can be proud of, something I want to give to the world. You hit an important point: so many people are looking for jobs that bridge the divide btw money and meaning. And I believe more and more people will have to create their own jobs to get there.

    It’s so nice to hear you have a supportive family. I don’t know if you know about BlogHer http://www.blogher.com/. They promote women bloggers and if you write really good stuff, they can promote it on the front page and pay you. They are a great community to be apart of.

    You are such an incredible writer and your story is so powerful. I know a lot of people would love to follow your story. I definitely will! I want to keep following your story!

    Best,
    Hodan

  3. Oh my gosh, you sound exactly like me! EXACTLY!… only I can’t quit my job just yet. I signed a silly contract and my job owns me for two more years. However once those two years are up, I plan to join you in the job quitting and I can’t wait! Good luck and enjoy those kiddos!

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  6. L’ha ribloggato su e ha commentato:
    Continua la saga delle scrittrice stressate. Anche stavolta, mi trovo d’accordo. Però, Aimee, potevi anche aspettare un paio d’anni a far due bambini, eh!

    • I tried typing this message into a translator, but as the saying goes, some things may have been lost in translation. From what was translated, are you saying that I should have waited to have two children until later on in life? My children are my world. But balancing home life and work life proved to be more challenging than what I ever imagined, especially since having children also drastically changed my view on life and my purpose in this world. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and leave a comment. But my kiddos are not the cause of my frustrations. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Well said lady! Life is WAY too short to be miserable. I am so happy to hear you took a huge “risk” to follow your passions and become a more well-rounded happy person. I bet your hubby is happy too! I am in the same boat with you as I was miserable in my career choice. It is extremely challenging to switch your career focus but it is also essential to your long-term happiness (and sanity) level! AMEN!!

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