Guest post by Charlene Haugsve
photo: Green Wellies
I used to have a fast paced career in sales.
Then I became a mom.
Sales is an incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding career path. My cell phone was turned on 24/7 and I can’t tell you how many times I jumped out of bed at 3am to check a message or grab a call. I thrived on the roller coaster- sashaying into my office when I was on top and lurking in dark corners when I had a lackluster month.
My husband and I had a comfortable income and enjoyed our lifestyle. When we got pregnant, I thought things would stay the same. I would return to work and we would arrange for daycare. I have always been motivated and ambitious and I figured I would have the baby and then start looking into opportunities to advance my career. After all, I had just spent a lot of time and money getting my MBA so I could take the next step.
Once I had the baby, I began to realize I simply didn’t care anymore. What?! I used to lay awake nights replaying conversations over and over- obsessed with why something went wrong at work . Now I couldn’t focus long enough to compose a quick email. Was this the same person that would panic if they slept past 7am? What was happening to me? I simply couldn’t muster the motivation to care about what my competitors were doing, the latest gossip at work or who was buying what from whom. I was busy taking naps with the baby.
I went back to work after five weeks of maternity leave and regretted every moment I was away. Yet when I was home I felt guilty for enjoying time with my daughter instead of being productive at work.
A few months after my return, I was driving my daughter to daycare on the way in to work. We were about an hour late and facing serious traffic and my stress level was through the roof. I was attempting to eat a sandwich, drive, sing to the baby and instinctively grabbed at the phone when it started to ring. I had an epiphany at that moment and realized I was not the Super Mommy multi-tasker that had it all together. Instead I realized I was a disaster waiting to happen- after all was that call important enough to risk our safety? We were in traffic, in a rainstorm and I was steering with my knee and grabbing through my purse to get the phone.
Shortly thereafter circumstances at work made it impossible for me to stay and I quit. It has been seventeen months since I resigned from the corporate world and we now have our second child. Our lifestyle has changed radically for the better. I no longer own a cell phone. Yes, I really do not have a cell phone. I haven’t missed it for a second. It has been very difficult to go from two incomes to one- and I have started blogging about our quest to live well on less at My Frugal Adventures.
Being a stay at home mom is more challenging than I ever thought it would be but overall I love every minute of it. I am actually happy to wake up every morning rather than waking up in a constant state of panic to do more.
Guest pots by Charlene Haugsven.
Charlene is a stay at home mom of two girls in California. She can be found blogging at My Frugal Adventures.