Today I started a new job. I will be working longer hours with more labor intensive work. I’ll be waking up earlier and going to bed more tired. I’m taking a pay cut, losing all of my sick days and I won’t ever get promoted…and I couldn’t be happier!
Today the Murray’s start a new chapter of our lives. A new chapter that began 3 weeks ago when I walked into my boss’ office and gave my resignation. Yep, I’m now a SAHM (stay at home mom). No more 8 am breakfasts , no more 5 pm receptions, no more shaking hands with Congressmen/women, no more blackberry, no more monitoring votes, no more hour plus meetings, no more sitting in hearings for hours on end, no more acronyms, no more suits…no more.
The decision process began when we received Metti’s wedding announcement in the mail. We knew it was coming, but I guess we had been in denial about it. However, once we got that little envelope there was no ignoring the reality. Metti is getting married. This is great news, don’t get me wrong. We’re very happy for Metti…and she WILL be coming back…if she were going to be gone forever we might just follow her. Unfortunately (for us…fortunately for her) she’s getting married in her home country of Ethiopia. Given that it’s such a long trip, and given that she hasn’t been back for a visit in nearly 10 years, she and her fiancé decided to make it a long visit, so she’ll be gone for nearly 2 months. We’re going to miss her during that time, but it’s going to be a great trip for her and we’re excited that she’ll be coming back as a married lady!
Making the official decision to become a SAHM was not an easy one. We explored all of our options and prayed diligently about what was the right thing to do. We talked to several people about it and got input from those we trust. To be quite honest, Joe and I didn’t fully agree on the decision. We had countless discussions with each of us stating our thoughts. After yet another discussion, I was extremely frustrated and needed some “me” time to process things. I got in my car to head to the grocery store and said a quick prayer, “Lord, you either have to change my heart, or you have to change Joe’s. I don’t care whose heart you change, but this isn’t going to work unless we’re on the same page.” That night we came to a decision. God had worked his magic and we both agreed that the best step for our family was for me to completely quit my job and stay home with Ella. In January we’ll reevaluate and see where we are. It may be that I need to get another job at that time.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. This is a HUGE leap of faith for us. We trust that God will continue to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. I’m scared to lose the primary thing that gives me my own identity. I’m no longer going to be “Katie, working professional who also happens to be a wife and mom.” I’m now going to be, “Katie, Joe’s wife.” Or “Katie, Ella’s mom.” I’m scared that I won’t like it...what if I just don't like not having a job? I'm scared that I won't be good at it...what if I'm not as "Donna Reed" as I am in my own mind? I'm scared that I won't like Ella as much as I do now...what if I go crazy dealing with a 3 year old all the time and lose my ability to have adult conversation? I’m scared I’ll lose my reason for actually “getting ready” in the morning and I’ll turn into the mom that never fixes her hair, never wears make up and has holes in her ratty sweat pants that she wears every day.
But I’m also excited! I’m excited to spend more than a couple of hours a day with Ella. I’m excited to teach her new things. I’m excited for play groups that I hear other moms talk about. I’m excited to meet friends for lunch. I’m excited to actually be able to plan dinner rather than just throw it together at the last minute. I’m excited to feel like I’m in control of what happens in our house, instead of feeling like an observer that stops in once in awhile.
So here we are, beginning a new phase. I'll miss what what I had, but I'm really excited about what lies ahead.