Thursday, September 14, 2006

Career change

We now return you to your regularly scheduled all-pregnancy-all-the-time programming.

I quit my job.

Okay, I didn't really. I am still here, still working away. But this week I gave notice to my direct bosses that I do not intend to return to work after maternity leave. It seems early to make this decision, but because of the way the work in this office is funded (all grants and contracts), I felt my bosses needed to know sooner rather than later.

I've been surprised how ambivalent I've been feeling since I made this "official." I've known since long before I got pregnant that I was going to stay home. It's what I want. It's what Brian wants. When I first announced I was pregnant, a couple of friends asked what I was planning to do about maternity leave, and I told them happily that I was planning on "maternity quitting." But whenever I was asked at work, I was non-committal, refusing to say one way or another what my plan was. Now I've said it, and while I am happy with my decision, I am somewhat anxious about it: I really enjoy my job; I am still paying off student loans for the degree that helped me get this job; and I have no idea what it's really like to be a mother. But this is what I want, for myself, for my family. (Oh, crap! We're going to be a family!)

I am a planner. Maybe I don't take it to the same extremes as some people, but I like to know what's going to happen in advance. Well in advance. And I like to be the one making the plans to make things happen. I don't like letting go control over plans. But I figured out this week that actually finalizing plans actually makes me a bit crazy. I guess that's why I plan a trip six months in advance, only to buy plane tickets two weeks before I leave.

So we have contingency plans. Lots and lots of plans to help settle my neurotic, hormonal mind. Right now the plan is to stay home for a few months and see how that goes. If it seems like it is the right decision, we'll stick with that. If I find that I am the kind of person who is just not cut out for being a stay-at-home mom, then I will can look for another job. I am leaving this job on good terms, but I think if I do want to continue to work, it is time for me to move on to another experience. That may mean moving back to the west coast; that may mean staying put in the DC area. I feel okay about that uncertainty because there is a plan in place for either of those options, as well as for the option of having me continue to stay home with Sticky.

It seems as though I've got all my bases covered (although I know there must be something I've leaving out), which means I can direct my anxiety toward reorganizing the rest of our closets.


The Sister said...

I am so very jealous. About 75% of me wants to quit my job and just focus on passing the CMA. But the other 25% says "you don't want a whole in your resume and you don't want to leave Sam and Jennee high and dry." The advantage of quitting before I have a new job is that I can apply for all the jobs that say you must be available to start immediately. I'm going to wait and see if I pass this first exam and then see what I want to do. Anyway, jealous jealous jealous.

Elizabeth said...

I have a solution for you: have a cousin for Sticky and then you can explain the hole in your resume by saying you were out of the workforce because of that. You can study between changing poopy diapers.

Christie Grabyan said...

Thanks for the shout out Liz. I don't seem to be able to live down the reputation as the most organized person everyone knows. I would be happy to relinquish the title, but I don't think I'd like my successor very much. I'd probably think they are crazy or OCD.

In an effort to live on the edge, I still don't have a place to live in London, and my flight departs from Prague on Monday - I don't have a hostel booked or any subsequent trains/flights. I just know I need to be back in London around 29 or 30 of Sept. We'll see how this goes, but I'm doing well so far just planning out a few days in advance :)

Shana said...

I run a website, Babes in Blogland, that lists ttc, expecting, and parenting bloggers to help us all find one another. I've added your site to the blogroll. If you need me to correct any information or if you would like for me to remove the link, please let me know.

Thank you and congratulations.