Leaving a Job I Loved


It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be…. The decision had been made long before I was ever faced with it. It had been my plan for as long as I could remember; and in my mind, there was neither room nor need for further consideration.

But that was before I had a great job. Before my first child was born. Before my maternity leave was over. Before my decision had to be exercised.

Becoming a stay-at-home mom. It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be. I’d heard so many women talk longingly of the day they would become a mom so that they could quit the full-time job they were only just barely enduring until that time.

But I didn’t get it. It’s true, I never had to endure the waiting period: my womb was opened about a week into marriage, almost before the possibility of pregnancy had even become reality to me. But also, I loved my job. I didn’t long for an excuse to quit like those other women. I enjoyed going to work each day. I liked what I was doing, and I was good at it.

At Home with Baby During Maternity Leave
At home with baby during maternity leave

So when baby came and my maternity leave commenced, I was in some type of hopeful denial… at home with my baby where I wanted to be while still employed at the job where I also wanted to be. But I couldn’t pretend forever that nothing had to change. The weeks ticked by against my will to slow them, and the exercising of a decision made long before drew nearer.

I couldn’t have it both ways. I wanted to return to my job, but I also wanted to NOT leave my baby. I didn’t WANT to choose between two things I desired—two things I loved. The decision to be a stay-at-home mom had seemed easy when it was merely intellectual. But it was emotional now. And I was emotional.

It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be. In fact, it was hard. In the final making of that single decision to stay home with my child, I traded all that was familiar and self-affirming for all that was new and self-emptying. I gave up one life in order to live fully in what felt like an altogether different existence.

It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it would be; but seven and a half years later, it’s more right than I ever knew it could be.

Have you struggled with the decision of whether or not to return to work after baby? What was the deciding factor for you?


  1. Yep, I struggle with this a lot. I definitely know that staying at home is NOT the easy way out. We have a good amount of student debt, and so working is the choice I have to make for ends to meet, but I am blessed because I’m a teacher. I get breaks throughout the year and a good 2 months + of summer to be with my boys. I’m also double blessed because my husband is a teacher as well, so we get to live endless weekend in the summer as a family. We have been blessed to find a wonderful in home daycare where our boys are taken care of just as if they were her own children. They love going there, and so it makes the decision to work much easier.

  2. I have struggled with the decision of staying at home and working and I can vouch that I have a job I LOOVE! After my second child it was a harder decision than it was my first to go to work. I have the perfect mommy job as a school nurse, employed in the district we live in. I have the best of both worlds, I earn a decent salary so we can contribute to our children’s college accounts, retirement, and have extra money for family vacations, trips, and “fun stuff (that would be sacrificed if I didn’t work). I know I am sacrificing a lot right now with working and being away from my kiddos during the day, but I will have it ideal with they start school, to be on the same schedule, know their teachers, know the curriculum they are learning, knowing who their friends are etc, which is very much important especially when those tween and teen years come. (My kids do not have a prayer!)

    I have great hours, great time off, I have the ability to impact the lives of other people and specifically teenage kids, all while having plenty of time with my babies and family. I am super blessed to have a friend who watches my babes, and they are the only ones their except for her 3 year old son. My greatest struggle is not to work or not to work because I honestly believe that the Lord blessed me with this jobs 7 years ago for countless reasons, but rather I struggle more with the judgment and questions from other mom’s and mainly my sisters in Christ, and unfortunately it has caused me to often distance myself from many friends who are stay at home mom’s because I feel I don’t get the support in my decision to work.

    I honestly wish mom’s would build each other up and support one another on the decision of work or not to work than tear each other down, because it is often one of the most difficult decisions us as mom’s have to make.

  3. This was the HARDEST decision I have ever had to make. I went back to work when my daughter was 9 weeks old and it was a really hard time for me. When she was 7 months old I was extremely blessed to get a part-time job at my church (with on-site day care). I work about 26 hours a week, have great benefits and see my daughter a lot more — it’s perfect!

    • I’ll bet that was hard leaving your 9-week-old! I remember looking at my new baby when I was struggling with my decision and wondering how in the world I would ever be able to leave him. So much strength and bravery it must have taken for you to carry through with what you knew was right for your family!

      Thanks for the comment, Kelsey! Blessings to you!

  4. I am very blessed to work 3 days a week at a job I love. Even knowing how blessed I am to have the schedule that I do there are some Monday mornings that come around where I am so sad to leave them and think about all that I am missing out on when I’m away from them. On the flip side, there has been more than one Monday where going to work is refreshing and I come home as more attentive and patient mom.

    • I definitely hear a lot of moms say they are better moms when they can get out of the house a few times a week! As a full-time SAHM, I know I’m definitely refreshed just to get a little “me” time away from the kids once in a while… whether it’s a church event or a night out with the girls or a date with my husband.

  5. I was one of those who was ready to be done with my job. It had changed drastically right before I got pregnant and I didn’t want to continue with – my answer was easy. Plus I didn’t make enough money to even justify working. Social workers don’t earn very much…

    • The money thing was something we never even took a look at because of our original intention for me to stay home. The whole scenario of us losing my income seems a little crazy when I think back on our financial situation, though. My husband was finishing his last semester as a full-time college student while working as many part-time hours as he possibly could in order to provide for his family. I can’t imagine that we were bringing in much money during those months before he graduated and began working full-time, but somehow we always had enough!


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