Did you know that 67% of adults are in a career they don’t like?
I was beginning to approach that stage of my career as a fifth grade teacher. I always thought I’d retire an elementary teacher or other teaching profession. When I was pregnant with my second child, I made the tough decision to stay home with my boys. I really loved teaching and the people I worked with, but teaching was taking up a lot of my time at home as well as during the day. (AND the only place available for pumping at that time was the staff bathroom. Gross! The thought of going back made me cringe!) So after my second son was born, I resigned from my job. And cried.
Here are a few things that surprised me after I quit my job.
No Regrets (or Not Too Many)
To be completely honest, I really second-guessed myself for a long time after I quit. I even avoided driving by the school I taught at. I knew I was not only giving up a decent salary, but insurance and job security as well. I kept telling myself that I could always come back to teaching, but my kids needed me now.
I was surprised that once I was at home with my kids that I didn’t have many regrets. I loved going to bed at night knowing that even though I might be awake four times, I could still be home in the morning and relax. Not teaching has also given me the flexibility to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms and to attend events at their school during the day. I trust that I am where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing at this point in my life.
More Space for New Ventures
I think the biggest surprise when I quit teaching has been the other opportunities that have come my way. I’m back to working again, but I learned that I wanted to set my own hours and schedule. I always joke that I became a doula by accident (it was never something I imagined doing!), but because I wasn’t working full time as a teacher, I was able to start this new career. I tell people that I was a school teacher for a season of my life, and now I’m in the doula season. Who knows what my next season will be! I’ve learned to not try to plan my entire life but to allow space in my life for new things to come along.
I Became Happier
Like I mentioned earlier, I really loved teaching kids. It was everything else—conferences, night obligations, in-services, TONS of meetings, etc.—that really wore me down. I found a way to balance my love of teaching and my love for working with kids. I volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School, teach Junior Achievement in my kids’ school, and teach birth classes for adults. I am still fulfilling this passion in my life, but it looks much different. Since I’m still using my talents, I find myself very fulfilled. I am happier since I’m only focusing on the best parts of my passion—teaching—and not being “weighed down” by the other stuff. I know lots of friends are facing similar circumstances with their jobs in their professions, too.
My husband has always been very supportive of my (our) decision. I am beyond grateful for his support because it meant putting the sole income responsibility on him. While there have been some negative surprises (we now pay for all of our insurance out of pocket, for example), most are balanced by time with my kids. Almost every day, I’m reminded how thankful I am to be in this season of life!
Disclaimer: This is my story. I feel very fortunate that we could make this work for our family. I know this isn’t for everyone, and lots of people need/want to stay with their career. How wonderful! This blog post was not meant to change anyone’s mind or for you to question your own job. I wanted to share some positive changes in my life since I stopped teaching in case you, or anyone you know, needs that extra push to make a life change!