So as I mentioned briefly in my last post, I’ve gone back to work! It has been really hard for me to find the time or the motivation to blog, so I figured I’d start a series of how I’m feeling about this stage in my life. I’ll be talking all about going back to work after being a stay at home mom: what brought me here, how I feel about it, tips I’m using to make the transition easier, and lots more! There will be something for everyone, stay at home moms, work at home moms, work out of home moms, so I hope you’ll follow along!
I was very fortunate to have several years at home with my babies. I knew I would go back to work at some point, but I honestly thought it would probably be when all 3 were in school in some capacity. Maybe I would finish my degree, or start a new degree, you know, figure out what I wanted to be when I “grow up.” My partner, Taylor, had been in the oil field for around 4 years and we lived a modest, but very comfortable life. He made enough that I was able to be at home to help my son with his health and educational needs. We weren’t “rich” by any means, but we really didn’t pay too much attention to our spending. Then the price of oil collapsed.
We had been keeping an eye on the industry for quite awhile, just hoping to weather the storm. We heard of all the layoffs (hundreds of thousands of layoffs), and even watched some of our friends lose their jobs. Taylor got laid off in July. I cried. He really didn’t seem too worried, but me being the worrier that I am, I was panicking. He seemed to think he would be able to find a job rather quickly, while I knew that just wasn’t going to happen. The oil field just wasn’t (and still isn’t) hiring.
I was always willing to go back to work, but I knew it would be hard for us. My experience was outdated, and pretty specific. In a past life, I was an insurance producer who specialized in employee benefits. I was good at my job, but my employer was not a well known broker. So I was very, very nervous about going back to work, if I could even find a job.
It happened very, very quickly, and I’ll admit that I was not prepared for that. I took a job at a popular chain hearing aid company. I applied on a whim, just trying to follow the idea of “if you throw enough (you know what) against the wall, something is bound to stick.” And it did. In less than 2 weeks I drove 3 hours away for training.
The best thing that came out of that was that my youngest FINALLY weaned. I had been trying to get her off the boob for awhile, but she was persistent. I, on the other hand, was over. it. What I wasn’t over was being the one to get my babies out of bed in the morning, or cooking their meals, or being the one to tuck them in every night. That rug got ripped right out from under me.
I remember lying in the hotel room during my training for my first job back after being a stay at home mom and bawling my eyes out! My kids were perfectly fine, but I was not. It was such an odd feeling, knowing that I was doing what was right for our family, but I also felt like I was turning our whole family’s lives upside down.
I think a lot of my guilt came from knowing that that just wasn’t the job for me. I knew nothing about the industry and was never interested in sales. I know as moms that sometimes we just do what we have to do, but at the end of the day we have to evaluate if that is enough. For me, it wasn’t. I knew I would never be good at that job. I met some amazing people with whom I still keep in touch, but I was never going to find the passion or motivation in that industry.
I am happy to say that I have now found something that I know I can be good at, and that I can enjoy. And I look forward to sharing what that is. But for now, for today, I hope you can read this post and see how hard it was to cross that first bridge, to not only go back to work, but to jump head first into a job I knew nothing about. To throw all caution to the wind and take a chance for the ones I love the most. To do what is hard and what is scary because the ones who depend on me need me to make that choice.