A few months ago, for a variety of reasons, I left my job. I was indeed very lucky to have a decent salary after 11 years in the same career, but lately it felt like things weren’t working out anymore.
I didn’t enjoy my time at work, I always felt frazzled and overwhelmed at home, and I resented spending more money on childcare than what I earned! So, after careful and long consideration, I decided to take a break.
And I guess without really admitting that at first, I went after a career change.
My plan was to give myself 2 years to get to a point where I could earn an income from working from home (from my laptop?) during school hours. The 2-year period is simply dictated by the fact that The Little Guy will be mainly at home with me until then.
But me being me, I couldn’t wait to get started on my 2-year plan! I couldn’t wait to make it happen, so I took the jump and a big leap of faith and started my blog with the idea to eventually start earning a bit more money as a freelance writer.
So I went from a decent income, although it was ALL (and more!) spent on childcare, to a very very small income. I went from the relative certainty of a permanent job as an employee to the totally new and not-so-secure territory of being self-employed (more on this another time).
And I feel guilty for it.
I feel guilty for not having my old income. Although The Husband has been fully supportive of my decisions, doesn’t put ANY pressure on me, and he’s happy with me doing what I’m doing, not having my old salary seems odd to me.
And I suppose that’s what happens when you go through a big change in your life.
In reality, I think I’m doing something that’s quite brave (or at least I’d say it’s brave if someone else did it). In my mid-thirties, I decided my career wasn’t something I wanted to continue with in this point in time.
I recognised and admitted that I was burnt out and stressed. I was pulled in too many directions and not doing anything well enough. Or not as well as I wanted to anyway.
Something had to give.
I wanted more time. I wanted the luxury to be the one walking my children to school and picking them up at the end of the day. And I want to continue to have that luxury. I want to work of course, but on my terms.
So in 2017 I’m going to invest in myself
I will pay for The Little Guy to spend a few hours a week in nursery in the mornings to have that time to invest in myself.
It all seems counter-intuitive, I know. I don’t even earn enough money to cover my spending, and yet, I’ve decided to spend more money?
If I want my 2-year plan to work for the future, I need to do this now.
The hours I will ‘gain’ by sending my Little Guy to nursery for a whopping 12 hours a week, I’ll use to look after myself, exactly like I said I need to do at the beginning of the year!
So here’s the plan:
- Recover from my injury (swim and exercise!)
- Recover from 3 pregnancies and fixing my diastasis recti (more on this later, as I intend to review the programme I’ve chosen to follow!)
- Learn how to become a professional blogger / run my writing business (more on this too as I start a Blogging category on my website to share my learnings)
- Increase my formal meditation practice, because in 2016 I just felt I wasn’t ‘with it’ anymore! I was unsettled and stressed. I was always distracted and on the back foot. Pretty much in surviving mode. And it wasn’t sustainable. I had to learn it the hard way by hurting myself and ending up in an ambulance, not once but twice!
And I wouldn’t have the time to do any of this, for now, if I didn’t pay for that little bit of childcare.
Yes, of course I feel guilty. It’s the curse of motherhood, isn’t it? I feel guilty for not earning as much money as I did before and for sending my Little Guy to nursery when I’m here at home. But to be honest, we all know that he’ll have more fun in a muddy garden (he’s going to be going to a Forest School) than following me around the house doing chores!
And let’s be honest – guilt or no guilt, looking after myself is the best thing that I can do for my children and my family right now. I need to keep myself well – I’m pretty sure my very patient Husband wouldn’t be very accepting of another broken leg, and I promise I’ll do my best to stay away from ambulances from now on!
So while I look after myself, I’ll also be working on creating that new career I want for myself, so I’m ready to run with it when I have more time to dedicate to it.
Sounds like a plan, right?