Ever since I can remember, I've felt like my purpose on this earth was to be a mom. I knew I wanted a house full of kids and I wanted my job to be to take care of them. Even in high school, I wanted to be able to say "mom" when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Instead, I decided to become a scientist. I spent 3 1/2 years getting my Bachelor's degree with my summers filled with undergraduate research and an internship with a big consumer company. I got married 5 months before graduation and started my job with that same company two weeks after I graduated. I did exactly what society said I was supposed to do.
A year and a half after we got married, we found out that we were expecting a sweet little baby. The next August, my life was changed forever. I became the mom that I was destined to be. I was blessed to spend the first 6 months of her life at home with her. When I went back to work, my mom watched Layne. Gray was born 20 months later and I was again able to be full-time mom for 6 months before going back to work. Mamaw stepped in again.
I went to work everyday and gave it my all, but my heart was with my babies at home. I wanted to be home with them more than anything. I am so blessed for my mom to have watched my kids for the past five years. It was the next best thing if I couldn't be home with them. But it still wasn't me kissing their boo boos and teaching them their ABCs.
We tried to find a way to make it work many times. Time after time, we would decide that it just wouldn't work, I had to work. Either our bills were too high, or we'd lose our benefits, or it was too risky since Matt has his own business, or some other reason.
I prayed about quitting my job for years. There were MANY times that God spoke to me through a conversation with a friend, an email, or scripture. I struggled with my desire to be home for a long time. Was it really what God's plan was for me? Or was it just my selfish desire?
In August 2011, we made a very big decision for our family. We put a plan in place to work towards my dream. We decided to try to add another blessing to our family. After the baby was born, I would take a year long maternity leave to give us a "trial period." Then at the end of the year, I would either quit my job, or go back to work.
We got pregnant in November of last year. We had been debt-free besides our mortgage and a car payment for a long time, but we lived frivolously. We had a second, disposable income and we lived like it. There were months were we spent over $500 eating out. We all had new wardrobes every season. In March, I started budgeting and cut out hundreds of dollars of spending each month. We made important changes to enable our family to live on less.
We were on our way to living out our plan, but God decided to throw a wrench in them. The company I work for announced that they were going to reduce their head count. It's a long story, but for a while, I was worried that I was going to lose my job and benefits. I prayed and prayed for answers. They ended up offering voluntary separation packages right before my maternity leave was getting ready to begin. We prayed some more.
In July, we decided that I would express my interest in taking a voluntary separation package. A few weeks ago, I found out that the company said yes to me. And come October 31st, I will no longer be employed.
I will have my dream job. My job will be to be a mom.