I never thought I would say these words..
I am quitting my career and becoming a stay at home wife.
Let me start out by giving you a little background story..
I have been working since I was 15. My first job was at a thrift store, sorting through the bins of clothes and donated items, spraying them with disinfectant and managing $3.15 transactions on the oldest cash register known to mankind. Over the years I have worked at an amusement park, a fast food restaurant (If you can even call them "restaurants,") and several other restaurants waitressing and bartending. I have never ever, a single day in my life not had a job!
In 2010, I fell into my career as a hair stylist. That year I was twenty one years old, 4 months pregnant and in an emotionally (and often physically) abusive relationship. Facing an unexpected pregnancy with a man I knew I could not spend my life with, I also decided bartending in a hotel bar could not be my end game. Luckily, I stumbled upon an ad for a local Paul Mitchell cosmetology school and I thought to myself "I can do that." With zero experience or background in the beauty industry, something inside me told me to go for it anyway.
After a miscarriage, 11 months of cosmetology school, and a very scary breakup, I felt that being a hair stylist was still something I wanted to pursue. And since starting my career, it has thankfully been non stop growth.
I got my first job as a stylist, fresh out of hair school at one of the busiest and most popular salons in Hampton Roads. Four years in, I outgrew the place and decided to pack up my blow dryer and move on to a smaller, more intimate boutique salon. Two years after that, with the support of my wonderful clients and with the help of my best friend/business partner, the next most natural step was to go into business for myself.
So here I am alongside my best friend, Ashley, a proud business owner of our own salon space, living what most hair stylists would call the dream, and now I'm walking away from it to become a stay at home wife.
It has taken me many sleepless nights, daydreams over cups of coffee, conversations with my husband, best friend, clients, and really anyone who will listen for me to be able to come to this decision. I started with nothing at the beginning of this, but as hard as it is to walk away from a career I worked so hard to build, I know I am making the right decision for myself, my husband, and our future children. Let me tell you why.. and maybe I can help another person on the fence about ending their career.
My best friend (and business partner) is moving
This is perhaps the saddest and scariest part of everything. I met Ashley at the first salon I worked at and we have been on our career journey together, side by side, ever since. We have taken the same classes, worked at the same salons and now we have our own salon space together. She however, has other plans and they are taking her down to Destin, Florida to be closer to her family. The universe somehow always has a way of aligning the stars for us, and though I am going to miss my best friend immensely, I also know that her leaving is pushing me in this direction: to close the business, to focus on my passions, and to start a family with my husband - all things that I ultimately want!
I plan to be a stay at home mother.
This is something I knew I wanted when I met my husband. My mother stayed home with my brother and I until we went to kindergarten, and I distinctly remember the times when she was not with us and I had to be watched at a babysitter's. These were some of the hardest, darkest times of my childhood. I, personally, want to be the one raising my children. Not to mention, daycare is outrageously expensive!
Here's how I look at this one.. If I continue to work (despite the loss of my business partner) up until the very last day that I can possibly stand before I birth my first child, my husband and I will go from two incomes down to one in the blink of an eye while simultaneously adjusting to parenthood with a newborn at home. That sounds stressful. It makes more sense to us to adjust to a single income before we start a family. We will navigate that, work out the kinks and then we will add the cost of a child into the equation. Avoiding any issues during what is already seemingly a huge transition seems to be the best road to take.
I have a lot of hobbies I would like to develop and hopefully turn into some sort of profitable venture while I one day raise my children. Working full time, meal prepping, keeping my house clean, working out, running and folding the laundry - all on top of these hobbies often leaves me with one choice. Hobbies or rest. If I want to explore these passions of mine I choose to get zero rest and at the end of the week I feel mentally and physically drained. Taking a hiatus from or simply ending my career is giving me the opportunity to explore these other things I have passion for more thoroughly. If I ever plan to turn any sort of profit from them, I won't be able to do that while working a full time job as well.
I want to be prepared.
If we are planning to have children, I want to go into that chapter of my life with a sound body and mind. Many mothers will tell you things like "Oh, you'll never be ready enough," and "nothing can prepare you!" That may be all well and true, but that doesn't mean I should just come crashing through the doors of motherhood, comb and shears in hand trying to figure out where I'm going to find the time to do this or that. I need to get myself in order before I go into this next chapter of my life. I have the chance to do so, and I'm taking it. I know from first hand experience what it's like to be pregnant by surprise, so why not take the time to prepare myself this time around.
My dog is fat
This is actually not entirely true. She's at a decent weight right now, but it could be better. You see, with my husband and I working full time while keeping up with the house and everything else that comes with daily life, our precious Darla doesn't get as much exercise as she really needs. Her weight has yo-yo'd up and down over the last year or so with diet adjustments and veterinary advice, but at the end of the day she really just needs to go for at least a daily walk. Once I'm not working full time, I'll be able to properly exercise her and give her the attention she really deserves.
I know some may guffaw when they hear what I've decided. Some may ask what I plan to do with my time, assuming I'm going to be sleeping in everyday and binging on Netflix. Some may even consider me privileged. I don't come from a world of stay at home wives and stay at home mothers. My parents struggled to pay bills those few years my mother was home with us and she went back to work as soon as I went to school. I feel extremely grateful to be on the cusp of such an opportunity. It is a reminder that I have found the best partner in my husband because he truly values not only me and my time, but also our future children and the beautiful family we hope to one day have.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts and feelings on this subject. Is anyone planning to do the same or is already living this life? Leave your struggles and triumphs below.
Photo Credit: Charlyn Daiger at CS Photography