Slowing Down

It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. And I’m still not sure it was the right call.

I have made a lot of moves in my 14-year career. Many sacrificed time with friends and even family. Some sacrificed sleep. But all moved me forward in my industry. Until now.

For the first time, I made a decision about my job that my take my career a step back. But I, and my family, needed a change.

I knew when I took the big job that it was a huge task. I’d be overseeing about 20 people. I’d be going into work well before the sun went up. And I’d be working long hours. What I didn’t anticipate is the stress of always thinking about work. Always.

I spent anywhere between 9 and 11 hours at the office a day. I checked my emails all day long. I even had a special ding for emails from my boss, to make sure I didn’t miss an important one. I made phone calls and emails after I left the office. And more right before going to bed. And if there was something big going on the weekend, I was expected to be involved.

That left me tired, physically and emotionally, and more than I expected.

I almost fell asleep at the wheel a few times. That’s terrifying enough.

But what hurt me even more, was when my toddler would beg me to come play robots with him, and I was just too tired. I said “Just let me rest my eyes for a minute.” His reply: “No napping, Mommy.” Let’s not even talk about the time he took the phone out of my hand. He put it on the dresser saying, “I put this here for you. Let’s go play.”

Then – the final straw. My husband and I have been trying to expand our family for two years now. We finally got pregnant! Only to find out the baby was stuck in my tube.

It was just a few days after the surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy when I decided I couldn’t do this anymore. Life is too short. Kids are only little for a little while. It was time to refocus.

So now, I’m slowing down at work. I’m very lucky my boss is working with me to find a way to make this career work for my family. Even so, it’s very scary.

I had taken that logical next step – the next promotion. But it didn’t work. I sincerely have no idea what’s next.

For years, my career has been my identity. Now, I’m a mom. But can’t I have both? Can I be a good mom and a good manager? Can we really have it all?

What I do know is what I’ll be doing while I try to figure this out. Playing robots. Going to the park. Coloring. Dancing to the Duck Tales theme song. Singing about five little monkeys. All the things toddlers love.

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