Why I Stopped Making a Living in order to Make a Life

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I quit my job this week! It’s been a big, momentous occasion that I thought would leave me feeling overjoyed, but instead, I’ve been feeling very emotional. Not because I doubt that this is the right decision, I am 100% confident that this is the right choice for me at this time in my life. But still, just because something is right, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Let me explain.

For the last 4 years, I’ve been working as a care manager for children with emotional and behavioral issues. I’ve supported a lot of families in making sure that their children get the care they need in order to feel healthy, confident, and secure. I’ve helped families improve and heal their relationships. I’ve helped the kids I work with find positive recreational activities, learn healthy ways to cope with their feelings, and excel in school. The work has been meaningful and rewarding. I have learned so many important resources and skills that will help me indefinitely now that I am a parent myself. When I got hired at my job back in 2012, I was recently married and we had just moved to the beach. I was new in town and wanted a job where I would get to know and help my new community. At the time, this job was my dream job. Until recently, when it wasn’t anymore.

I heard a theory a while back that the main 3 resources we have at any given time are time, money, and energy. The idea is that we are always trading one of these resources for another. Whenever you are lacking in one area, you can make up for it by focusing extra hard on one of the other two resources. For example, if you would like to make more money, you can devote your time into working extra hours, or you could use your energy to create a product to sell. If you would like more energy, you could spend money to join a gym, or spend more time doing activities that give you energy. If you would like more time at home, you can spend less time and energy at work, and vice versa. This last category is where I have found myself recently.

When I went back to work last year after 4 months of maternity leave, it was very difficult to leave my daughter. It felt unnatural to me to be apart from her, after being in our newborn love bubble 24/7. But, as I got used to going to work everyday, it honestly started to feel like a bit of a relief. I started to see how nice it was to have adult conversations, to be doing meaningful work, to be able to eat my lunch in peace without a baby crying for my attention. But, when June turned one year old this summer, I started to rethink things. I started to feel very strongly that parenting is my main purpose in life right now. I started to feel like I was living for the weekends, those precious days where I could devote unlimited time to my little family. I started to notice how very quickly the time is going. I began thinking that there are only a few short years left until she will be in preschool. I started to feel like I was missing out on these precious moments of my daughter’s young life… time that I will never get back.

Around the same time, I started working on this blog. I craved more time to dedicate to writing, to supporting other moms, and to helping other women. I wanted to continue working with families, but I needed to find a way to do it in my own way, and on my own time.

And so, I made the decision to leave my job. I am excited for this opportunity, for all of the unknown that lies before me. I know I am blessed to be able to do this, and it is not something I take lightly. I am very much looking forward to spending more of my life bonding with my young daughter, taking her to music classes, and story time, and sharing fun experiences together. I know that these are times that I will cherish. I am excited to work on my blog and offer more yoga and meditation classes. I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds!

I am also sad to be leaving my job. I feel emotional about leaving my friends at work, the awesome people that I have shared my life with for the last 4 years. I feel scared about leaving something that was such a big part of my life, a job that feels secure and comfortable. I worry that I won’t be the mother and wife that I tell myself that I want to be and can be.

But I know I have to try this. The only way to grow is to continue challenging myself and doing things that feel uncomfortable. I want to teach my daughter that she is capable of living her life in whatever way she wants, and I know that the only way to do that is by living my own life in this way and setting a living example for her to follow. Work-life balance is difficult for all mothers to figure out, and there is no right answer, only what feels right to each one of us individually. In the work I’ve done in my career, I have helped many families, and now it is time for me to help my own family. This is what’s right for me, and it’s what’s right for us. In the next few months, I will be figuring out my new balance. I don’t know what that is yet, but I know it’s not working full time. I will be sharing my process as I figure it out. 🙂

Now it’s your turn. Are there any changes you feel called to make in your life that you’ve been putting off because they feel scary or uncomfortable? Take a look at your time, energy, and money exchange. Does it feel right to you, or is there a shift that you would like to make in order to feel more balanced?

Make difficult choices. Take chances. Trust your gut. Follow your heart.

Be well,
Ambar

 

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16 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Making a Living in order to Make a Life

  1. Ambar, thank you so much for this post. I needed the reminder that we are always trading amongst time, energy, & money and that if we don’t have one we can still be grateful that we have the others!

  2. I left my job of 11 years to stay home with my daughter when she was born. At first it was hard to leave the career I had built and the friends I had made, but now all that seems like a distant memory. My days are full caring for my daughter, going on adventures with her, Mommy-and-Me classes, etc. and I have never been happier. Plus, now I have the unique opportunity to start a blog and pursue a passion I never had time for before. It has been life-changing. I hope it will be for you too.

  3. I think it is a wise decision to be the Mum you want to be. If that means being at home with her that’s great because it is what you want to do.Also you will have the headspace and time to develop yourself and create a working role that fits in with your daughter. I mainly worked part time when the children were growing up, so glad I did. They are now 22 and 19. Honestly the time just flies by. Enjoy 😀

    1. Thank you so much for your reassuring words Cherie! I am hoping to figure out the right balance of working part time while being able to be home with my daughter the majority of the time. It’s so helpful to hear from others who have done it and have been successful! Thanks for sharing your experience with me! Much appreciated. <3 xo

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