Leaving My Job to Be a Writer (and SAHM)

I left my job yesterday.

It was a difficult decision to make – something I deliberated over with great intensity. The decision was ultimately presented to me as a problem. Basically my work wanted more of me; my husband’s work wanted more of him and with a toddler in the house we were all getting tired, stressed and sick. Our family life wasn’t functioning effectively with both parents working (albeit me working part time). I was feeling unfulfilled in my job and unhappy with my writing progress.

With a little guidance I did a values audit and assessed what was really important in my life. My husband and I both agreed that our frantic, stress-filled lifestyle wasn’t working for us.

So we decided I should leave my job. I stressed over the prospect of being out of the workforce for the next five or so years. Of losing my skills and contacts. Of no longer contributing to the household. Of all the ‘what ifs’ – what if we split up and I have to start from scratch? What if one of us (my husband) is injured or dies and we haven’t been making as much money as possible to prepare for that?

I was obsessed with the issue of being dependent on my husband. Not that people would judge me for it but that I have always been a firm believer in being able to look after myself.

The thing is, we are a family. We are a team, meant to help each other and yes – rely on one another. I had dealt with that in my mind but was still wary about the whole concept when I discovered something.

In order to continue to receive the government subsidy for sending our son to daycare (the Child Care Rebate) I had to prove I was working, studying or training during my week. This is when I got excited.

The intention had been for me to continue my one day a week for journalism and then fit in whatever writing I could around the housework, errands and appointments I needed to conduct sans-toddler. But now that I had to prove I was working I had no excuse – I had to write, and take it seriously! This was all the motivation I needed to start my journalism-copywriting business plan.

In my usual way I started to obsess over the details. I have high standards so of course I was expecting everything to be perfect. I have had to remind myself repeatedly of the original reason for taking this new direction. I am making things easier for myself and my family.

The bonus though, is that I get to explore my writing voice in a variety of ways, with the support of a husband who wants me to do this and is happy to continue working to allow me to do so.

I am excited and nervous but most of all humbled by his faith in me.

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