I just quit my first ever full-time job. The Kansas City Star. The place that taught me how to be a professional graphic designer and columnist.
But it’s also the place that kept me from a few of our son’s baseball games. The place that made me miss countless nights tucking him into bed.
“So you’ll be there to pick me up the first week of school?” he asked.
“That’s the plan.”
I never wanted to stay home, even after I cried the entire week I left my 3-month-old baby in the hands of strangers at an early learning childhood center. Being a working mom shows your children that mommas can go out there and bust their butts just like dads to bring home the bacon that buys new school shoes.
But after 12 years I decided I needed to be home more for my 10-year-old. It won’t be long until he doesn’t want to hang out with ol’ mom at the zoo.
The thing about the news industry is it’s 24 hours. It demands commitments on nights, weekends and holidays. Some people love the rush, but the job just wasn’t for me anymore.
This doesn’t mean I plan on staying at home full time. It means it’s time for me to find a new gig that allows me to say “I love you” in person to both my husband and son before they go to sleep. Maybe I’ll even have time to be a volunteer.
People tell you about a gut feeling when you know it’s time for a change. I had that feeling a few weeks ago, and like Jerry Maguire I grabbed some imaginary goldfish, went into my boss’s office and resigned. I hadn’t told anyone, not even my husband, that I was going to quit that day.
With tears in my eyes I texted my supportive husband: “I did it.”
“I’m proud of you,” he said.
When I told my parents, I could tell they were shocked and a little scared for me. I don’t have anything lined up yet, but both my mom and dad pumped me up with compliments about my talents.
I am scared, excited, optimistic, worried and really, really psyched. Even though my hair is falling out and I haven’t slept well since the day I quit, I feel young again, like that time I just graduated from college and was ready to conquer the world.
In life there is no rehearsal; the time is now.