It occurred to me this weekend that it has been over a year since I decided to stop pursuing my career in IT to spend all my time with my son. I was working from home and had been for a little over a year before Little Man was born, so to say I resigned to “stay home” with my son is not entirely accurate.
Check back tomorrow for my views on choosing the SAHM route. Today, I am just reflecting on one thing, after I provide some background: how long it took me to adjust to my new role in life.
Following my education, I spent about four years carefully constructing my career and, in many ways, creating an identity for myself. I had it set in my mind that I would work as hard as possible to move up the corporate ladder as quickly as possible. I did not just want any career. I wanted a successful career in which I was one of “the best”.
In retrospect, I pretty much accomplished that goal (accept for “being the best”, of course):
I found a niche in Information Technology (SAP data migrations) and I did my best to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could. I made connections and I pursued and landed my ideal job as an SAP data migration analyst for a large company on a five year project where I was allowed to work from home because I knew my boss from a previous company and he already had a global team in place.
What did my husband and I start discussing as soon as I found a job where I was allowed to work from home? Starting a family, duh! 🙂 We both thought that was the perfect scenario for kids. What we both did not anticipate was the longer hours that came along with a job like that AND the undivided attention that job still required. This meant that we still needed childcare and, in the end, part-time childcare just did not cut it because I was on the phone constantly at all times of the day 6AM to 8pm (I mentioned the global team, right?).
How long did it take me to adjust to my new, post outside career, life?
Until this month. Really. I am not exaggerating.
I think it took me one year and two months to fully embrace my new roll as a homemaker/SAHM. I have spent the past year bouncing back and forth between going back to work and staying home. I even started a new job at the beginning of the year, which was designed as, kind of, a loose contract to hire situation. I was hired on as a contractor for about a month with the possibility of hire once their budget was approved for the year (I knew the guy who hired me from another as well – yay networking!). It ended up falling through when it hit how little I would be getting to see Little Man considering how long my days were and what a good sleeper he was (7am to 7pm, at the time).
I wonder, though, if it has anything to do with working outside of the home (as in for an external company) vs being a SAHM or if it is just a period of change that all mothers have to deal with after having their first baby.
Can anyone else relate to that? Do you think you define or defined yourself by your career? Do you think it takes a woman, career or not and working or not, a long time to wrap her head around her new identity as a mother? Or do you think it is harder to adjust when a mom goes from a full-time career to homemaker?