The Oh Crap…I Shouldn’t Have Quit My Job Phase

Published Date: May 27th, 2008
Category: Weekly Thought


I am now in week three of leaving my job to stay home with G. In that time, we have: all gone on a long weekend trip to Manhattan, survived my husband’s 3-day and then 2-day business trips, rushed through the Hopper/Homer exhibit at the Art Institute (barely), attended “National Train Day” at Union Station (which should have really been called “Amtrak gives away a bunch of free stuff day in hopes that you book a ticket” Day), celebrated Mother’s Day with a 5K, a brunch with my mother, and a dinner with John’s mother.


Now that I have written this down, I see why I am so exhausted. Because frankly, I was never this exhausted when I worked part-time. And this, of course, was concerning to me. As with all of my life-decisions, once I quit, I started having second thoughts. And third thoughts. I made exclamations to my husband such as,


“I knew it! I should not have quit! How are we going to pay this $500 doctor’s bill?”


to which he calmly replied,


“It is probably some sort of mistake. I am sure we don’t owe $500.”


He was right. Insurance company mistake.


So in case you are wondering the various phases you may go through (and I have confirmed this with other female friends who went through similar transitions) once you quit your job to be a stay-at-home mom, let me lay them out.


1) I’m Really Just on Vacation Phase


This is the greatest phase, so just enjoy it. One would hope it would last a few weeks, but for us Type A overachievers, really only expect a week, possibly ten days at the most. Sleep in, have long, leisurely breakfasts with your kids (pancakes during the week? Unheard of!), and go to that Wednesday morning story-hour you always wanted to attend.


2) Financial Panic Phase


I hated this phase. During this phase you should expect knots in your stomach, finding out nice little facts like you miscalculated your husband’s yearly take-home pay by a few thousand (not hundred) dollars, and the realization that you won’t be eating out four times a week anymore and are condemned to cooking at home FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.


3) I Shouldn’t be Buying this $2 Iced Coffee Since I am not Financially Contributing Phase


This is the phase I never understood when I was working. My stay-at-home mother friends would say, “Oh, I really shouldn’t get that $10 bottle of shampoo” or “I feel so guilty buying myself these new jeans even though my other ones have five holes in the crotch” and I was in disbelief. These women worked as hard as or even harder than their husbands. They should feel entitled to purchase WHATEVER they wanted! But now that I am in this situation, I totally understand. It is this messed up, backwards psychology that us moms (not our husbands, mind you) infringe upon ourselves. We are the ones responsible for REMOVING the extra income, so therefore we deserve NOTHING. I am hoping like bangs, I outgrow this phase.


4) Financial Panic Phase


Alas, this rears its ugly head again. Albeit, not as rampant or gut-wrenching as before, but you might be faced with a $500 doctor’s bill that you weren’t expecting, and the panic sweeps in again. Ride it out (or call your insurance company) and realize that no matter how much you budget and checked your budget before you quit, there will always be unexpected bills and you will figure it out.


5) Slow Sink into Subtle Stupidity Phase


Now this one was utterly surprising to me. On so many levels. It’s not like I don’t read books anymore or watch the news or talk to adults all the time. So why have I become so stupid? Within 3 weeks of quitting my job I have: forgotten how to use my scanner, left the trunk of my car open, burned two dinners, gotten a parking ticket for an unfed meter, and used “good” instead of “well” no less than two times. Like Phase 3, I hope I outgrow this or at least am able to cease or reverse the descent.


These are the phases I have experienced so far. I am sure I have the following phases to look forward to: the I Need a Break Phase, the How Come I Can’t Stop Eating All Day Phase, and everyone’s favorite, the Why am I Watching Beverly Hills 90210 Reruns While my Son Takes a Nap Phase.


Until then, I need to go check and make sure my trunk isn’t wide open.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 7:23 am and is filed under Weekly Thought. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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