I Quit My Job!

This year, I quit my six-figure job – without a backup plan.  I am a Physician Assistant with ten years of experience, working in specialties everywhere from family practice to neurosurgery.  When the most amazing boss in the world retired last September, there was nowhere to go but down. I’ve been leaning toward staying home for years- since our daughter was born five years ago as a matter of fact- but we haven’t been able to make it a reality until this year.  One would think that five years would be plenty of planning time, but here we are!

What I’ve learned, in no particular order:

  1. We can live on a lot less than I thought. We’re talking half the money going out (and coming in!) than six months ago. Also, budgets. They’ve become absolutely necessary – and surprisingly helpful! And I’ve barely missed the things on which we used to spend so much money.
  2. I had to commit to quitting.  Just talking and thinking about it was making me miserable. That feeling of being trapped in a job was making me less compassionate, and that is not how I want to be around patients.
  3. Being a full-time mom is a tough gig. It’s exhausting in an entirely different way.  The conversations go on (and on!); every moment is a teachable one; every sight, both new and old is exciting.
  4. I miss our fantastic, superhuman, fun nanny! She still comes around every week, but our daughter begs to see her nearly every day.  I miss her daily friendship and our chats. When she does come over, Anna tries to squeeze every single activity she can imagine into just a few hours.
  5. My daughter is the most amazing human! She’s seriously the coolest, and I get to experience that every day now!
  6. My husband is a rock star, working two (and a half) full-time jobs to keep us going. I feel like we get to see him even less now that I’m home, but I know that he wouldn’t change a thing. I seriously don’t know how I ended up so blessed to get to spend my life with this incredible man, my best friend!
  7. I have time to read again.  I read ten books in the first two months and joined a book club. I feel like a teenager! Or at least read like one!
  8. I have so many new ideas! My husband and mom must be getting tired of all of my this-is-the-most-amazing-idea-ever chats and phone calls!
  9. I started a blog.  Or rather resurrected a blog that had one semi-post from a decade ago. There’s so much to learn; it’s overwhelming!
  10. I’m reading the Bible more and completing Bible study plans.  And if I can remember to do it early in the day, my entire day flows so much better.
  11. I’m journaling, although not daily. I’ve been surprised at my creativity but also at the seemingly mundane things that I hadn’t even acknowledged were bothering me.  It’s hard work, but I feel more relaxed when it’s done.
  12. I’m losing my professional identity.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I haven’t missed the hospital once, which confirms that it was time to move on. But I now don’t have an answer when people ask what I do. After a decade of full-time work, “stay at home mom” feels strange coming out of my mouth and I still feel the need to explain my recent exit.
  13. I still get to see my former co-workers, but it takes a lot more effort. They’re busy working, and I have a constant five-year-old companion who would rather not sit through a boring two-hour lunch with mommy’s friends. I’m thankful for the nanny who allows me some time out of the house to catch up with friends.
  14. I’ve made new friends and I have been welcomed with open arms into the stay at home community around me. I’ve started doing life more with my neighbors, and that’s been a very good thing.
  15. I make time to live more intentionally.  I feel more authentically me again, although that is taking some time.  I am rediscovering who I am and what I like, my passions, what drives me, my purpose.  I feel like I’m coming up for air after five years of being a full-time working mom.
  16. I’ve realized how much it’s not about me, despite how many times I’ve just written “I” and “me.” I’m seeing how much everyone struggles, and how sharing my struggles and failures and hearing the same from others makes us all feel less alone.

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32 Comments Add yours

  1. Tracy says:

    This is wonderful! Proud of you for taking the leap and all the cherished moments with your daughter will make it all worth while. Rich in love right?!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Absolutely! It’s something I’ve wanted to do since she was born and it’s so great to spend so much time with her!

  2. Amber Starr says:

    Committing to quitting! Yes! That’s exactly what I’m working myself up to do in just 10 months! Love the list and thanks for this little bit of kindred feelings through intentions.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Yay for you! It’s such a scary step with big potential for reward!

  3. Rebekah says:

    Wow, props to you for following through with this life change! I’m sure it will enrich your life in more ways than one, as you’ve already seen. The identity loss must be a bit of a challenge, especially coming from a career with a bit of prestige to that “SAHM” title. I know God will honor the desires of your heart as you seek to serve him in this phase of your life’s journey! 🙂

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      It is a challenge and you’re right!

  4. Staci says:

    Every one of your points hits home for me! I too (after 17 years of working and 9 years of being a full time working mother) became a SAHM about a year ago. Your points are very well articulated and eye opening about what you’ll experience when you make this change.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      It really is a blessing to get to do what you love!

  5. Heather says:

    This is the moment I daydream about. I agree that it’s so tough to commit to the idea and that is such a struggle. Such a great read!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      You’re always giving something up no matter what you’re currently doing. Work finally just became that something I was willing to let go of!

  6. Kristin says:

    I’ve been home with my kids for eight years now, but like you, it took me over six years to get there. So many of these points resonated with me and reminded me of the novelty of it. Staying home isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but it’s certainly easier than being a working parent when it comes to stress and energy levels. Congrats on your new gig! I look forward to reading more!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      I’d love to hear more about your insight you’ve learned over the years!

  7. Stephanie says:

    This is absolutely wonderful. Love what you do. I hope that one day my blog leads me to do this. Congrads….

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Loving what you do makes the hard days bearable! Hope your blog leads you places!

  8. Crystal says:

    Sounds scary but like it’s been a good thing! Good luck!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thank you, it has!

  9. Niki says:

    I want to quit my day job too. Luckily, Ive been blessed with the opportunity to work from home while caring for my kiddos, but I also miss my daily interaction with our former nanny. Kudos for you taking that leap of faith and making it actually happen.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thank you. The nanny is just so wonderful that we try to see her as much as possible!

  10. Anna Aponte says:

    I went through the same thing in October last year. I’m a chemical/environmental engineer and now i’m a stay at home mom. It has been great and crazy. I completely identify with the loosing your professional identity. I feel like I have the opportunity to remake myself and it’s kind of cool and scary in the same breath

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Exactly! It’s a weird mix of awesome and slightly disappointing and new and wonderful!

  11. BriGeeski says:

    Good for you! Congrats on taking this time for you and your family. It sounds like you are already on track to finding YOUR way and your passions.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thanks! It’s nice to be at peace with big decisions.

  12. Randi Beck says:

    Quitting a six figure gig, boy that had to be hard! All I can think of many days is how I wish I had that six figure income. However, I know with that comes the not so positive aspects. Missing out on family, the responsibility that type of job requires, the lack of freedom… So glad you’re able to enjoy your daughter, they only grow up once.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      It was so scary but the right decision for us. Thanks for the encouragement!

  13. I’m a stay at home mom as well, I’ve been struggling with this decision for awhile. Often times I miss my professional life, but then I get to see all of my daughter’s milestones and my heart is so happy.

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      It’s the little moments that make up the memories!

  14. Lauren says:

    Awesome. I’m so glad to hear you’re at a good place in life, and you took a leap of faith! Best to you and your lovely fam 🙂

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thank you!

  15. Ann says:

    Good for you for being able to make this change in your life and making it a positive one. My husband and I started budgeting a year ago and it’s been eye opening how little we truly need to survive. I love that you read your Bible daily. I try to do this but it doesn’t always happen. Thank you for sharing!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thanks for the kind words! Budgets sure aren’t fun but they make such a difference!

  16. Daisy says:

    I’m so excited for you and your family! Such a brave move! I’m glad it has been so positive! Congrats!

    1. thislifeanywhere says:

      Thanks! I love spending more time with my favorite people!

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