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Why i gave up my dream job

When I filled out the application two and half years ago it was my dream job. And, it was in my home town, (meaning it was a needle in a haystack). An opportunity that was unlikely to present itself again in the near future.

At the time I applied for the job I wasn’t looking for full time work, our youngest daughter was only 14 months old. However, because it was my ‘dream job’, I leapt at the opportunity and we figured that we would make ‘IT’ work.

IT turned out to be; both parents in full time shift work, with a commute of 7-10 hours per week, two young children, 9 animals (if you count the chickens) a small hobby business, and a house and large section to maintain.

What ‘IT’ looked like at the beginning of this year was; Hiring a nanny on top of full time day care, having a cleaner 1-2 times a week, using a meal delivery service, several near panic attacks, and two children who simply weren’t getting enough quality mum time. On top of this my husband’s mum died of cancer on the 30th December.

Suffice to say, all of the measures we had put in place to try and manage our lifestyle were not working. I was a borderline basket case. I felt like a deer in the headlights – all of the time. Multitasking like a mad woman just to make it through the day. And topping my days off, far too frequently, with a citalopram and pinot gris cocktail.

Something had to give. Enter the concept of ‘slow living’.

Three and half years ago when I had a newborn and starting reading about slowing down and simplifying. I had literally searched ‘how to slow down’ and found the website Slow Your Home.

After a severe period of post-natal depression in 2011, Brooke McAlary (founder of Slow Your Home), went on a similar search for how to slow down. Her journey started with decluttering approximately 25,000 items from her and her husband, Ben’s, home. They now have an award winning podcast and business that explores living a slower life that is more aligned with your values.

After learning a truck ton of ways to slow down and simplify, alongside getting clarity on my values, I decided I was not willing to sacrifice my family for my job. In many ways it was as easy as that.

In many ways it wasn’t…

“Why should I get to quit and be a stay at home mum? Other people do this, why can’t I?”

“Will I regret my decision and me job hunting again in 6 months?”

“Will we move closer to my office in 12 months and can I just hang on until then?”

“Can we manage financially?”

But after two months of wrestling with myself I finally realized that quitting my dream job was the best decision I could make for myself and my family, at this point in our lives. And once the decision was made it felt like a huge weight had lifted from my shoulders.

I’m not entirely sure what the future holds, and I’m trying to be ok with that and live more in the now.

The immediate future is definitely going to involve a fair bit of self-care, regrouping, and, because it can’t be avoided forever, some grieving.

I love the well-known metaphor of putting on your own oxygen mask before others, including children! You simply can’t do a good job of looking after and giving to your loved ones if you are empty.

I gave up my dream job – and I couldn’t be happier.



4 thoughts on “Why i gave up my dream job”

  1. Well done, you deserve the good life – full of balance to do what you love, spend quality time with your children and husband, and just be YOU. The idea that we must have everything, be all to everyone is something that has evolved over recent years and more people are learning to declutter, live more simply, and look for the joy in their lives.

    1. Thank you Marilyn. Yes, I definitely think the slow movement is gaining momentum. And i hope it continues to do so. Our busy lives are killing us!

  2. Wow, well done Emma, its so much harder (for some of us) to be just full time mothers, I know I found it harder than going to work , so well done, especially since it was your dream job. I pray it continues to fit well for you and your whanau can only profit my your scarifice to be there for them. And I too need to adapt to some of that slow living concept. Thanks for sharing….

    1. Thanks Denise. Yes, i’ve certainly never put myself in the stay-at-home-mum box as that doesn’t fit me either. Thank goodness i’ve realized i don’t have to fit into a conventional box!

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