An open letter to my husband whose constant answer during this pandemic is to, “Quit Your Job!”
It’s Thursday and the busiest day of the week. I’m up early squeezing in a quick workout, doing my hair and makeup (since this will be my only chance), getting Macy ready for preschool (which is often a struggle b/c she is not a morning person), and then run downstairs to ensure her backpack is ready to go with ice water and snacks plus her face mask. I get some breakfast ready and open the laptop by 7am to check my emails. In the next two hours, I’m working (trying) and getting Maddox ready for his day.
By 9am, we are ready to run out the door for piano lessons, pickup at Macy’s school, a quick lunch, Macy’s drop off at my mom’s house, and then Maddox’s drop off at kinder. The next few hours are a delicately detailed sprint of events. So as I’m about to leave the door and explaining, “Yes honey, this is the day and I’m still supposed to work in 8 hrs of my job into the schedule….”
Your only response to me is, “So, Quit Your Job!”
First and foremost, it is with deep gratitude that in these last years you have kicked butt in your career and reached your highest highs and broke your records. I’ve spent almost a decade with you and I’ve seen you grow professionally – we went from a point where I was the one making more to now my paychecks are nothing compared to yours. I am unbelievably proud of your success and I feel at ease knowing that we are in safe hands.
Secondly, when you married me you knew that I wasn’t your typical girl waiting for her Prince Charming. You knew that I was independent. I had just finished college, had a promising marketing career, and loved to travel around the world. I grew up with two working parents and never thought or desired to be a stay-at-home wife or mom and while I have no judgment (b/c being at SAHM is hard work), I knew that being a wife and mother didn’t define me.
They would be huge parts of me but I was more than that.
Collectively, I was Allison: the girl who graduated college in 3.5 yrs. The girl who interned in NYC. The daughter of immigrant parents. A girl who loved nonprofits and charity work. A wife, and mother of two. I’m a big believer of ages and stages and knew that certain things would take precedence, but they wouldn’t dissolve my past or even define the future “me.”
Who I was then doesn’t disappear. The fire, the drive, and the ambition doesn’t go away. It’s always there.
In these last few years, we’ve been blessed with two amazing young children and had hit big milestones like our first home. Last year, we decided that I step down from a very demanding position that I had held for over 11 years. You knew that it was a hard decision for me, it’s one that had months and almost a year to decide. I had examined and proposed options but in the end, the thought that constantly came into my mind was,
“Who Gets the Best of Me?”
Is it my career or my family? And because of that, it was easy to walk away and find a part-time position. And there are no regrets. I have more flexibility, time, and bandwidth to do more with our kids. I am there for drop off and pick-up. I am able to get to know their educators. I am able to take them on mid-day playdates and take the role as room mom.
But, I’m also able to still keep my old identity by working part-time. I am still able to grow and learn professionally. I know that this option isn’t one that is always available and for that, I feel extremely blessed and fortunate.
Last but not least – this pandemic has been hard, to say the least.
It has tested and spread us so thin, but what I need from you is not, “Quit Your Job.” What I need is, “How Can I Help?” How can we make the most out of this situation?
I’m lucky that there is a “time out” or “tap out” bell when I feel like this is too much to bear. But I also want to know that you can step up and be a team player. Quitting my career entirely is an option, but it’s not one that I choose to take now and hopefully ever. If there’s a will there’s a way and with little eyes watching me, I want to make sure that I’m given them something great to watch. So with love, gratitude, and a gentle reminder – this mama isn’t ready to quit.