Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Leaving my job to become a SAHM

I was putting some dates into my calendar today when I counted out the time that I have left at my job...just seven and a half weeks left!  I've been a nanny for one family for almost nine years, and honestly leaving will be very bittersweet.  There have been many times over the past nine years where I have been ready to leave, but I've ultimately stayed on with them because it's been a really good job for me.  They pay me extremely well, have given me perks such as paid vacation time and a car, and the hours are fantastic.  In many ways, though, I am very, very ready to be done.  The kids are boy/girl twins, and they are teenagers now, which makes for some difficult days that I never imagined I would still be here for when I first accepted this job back in January of 2004.  The reality of things is that I've helped to raise those kids...I helped teach them how to read and how to ride their bikes without training wheels.  I was there when they first jumped off the diving board at the pool and learned how to pump their legs on the swings at the playground.  My job has changed in countless ways over the years as the kids depended on me less and less.  Now I'm mostly a cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, and tutor.  I don't mind those things either, but I miss the days when the kids were little and my job was more about entertaining and taking care of them than picking up their dirty clothes.  The kids' parents have always maintained a moderately professional relationship with me, and I've always had certain expectations in my role as their child care provider that I strove to meet and exceed.  Every year I've gotten an annual performance review and my salary has been adjusted according to their perception of how well I met their expectations.  I've always felt the need to explain to people why I don't have a "real" job, even though I graduated with honors from a large university, but in so many ways being a nanny has been a "real" job to me.  It's also a job that will be really hard to leave in some ways.  I've been a part of the kids lives for nine years, and now all of a sudden I won't see them every day.  I won't hear any funny stories about what their bible teacher did that day, or about drama with their friends.  I'm not going to be there when they have their first boyfriend and girlfriend, or their first kiss.  I'm going to miss their sweet, lovable dog most of all!!  I know that there are better things to come though, too.  I'll get to be at home with our daughter, and any future children we have, which is what I've always wanted.  I'm going to have freedom to run errands during the day and go on play dates with my friends who have kids, which are things I've never been able to do as a nanny.  I'm hoping that I won't feel as resentful about doing a lot of the housework because I won't have to do it at two different houses anymore!  I'm excited to be able to teach our kids how to read, and ride a bike without training wheels, and jump off the diving board.  I've also learned quite a bit about the things that I'd like Dave and I to do and not do with our kids in terms of discipline, chores, etc., from seeing how another family handles those aspects of child rearing.  It's been such an eye-opening experience and it's taught me so much about the kind of parent that I want to be someday.  I know that being a SAHM will NOT be easy.  I know this because being a nanny hasn't been easy a lot of times over the years...and I get to go home at 6:00 every night!  I know that we will have to make a lot of financial sacrifices in order to successfully live on one income.  Thankfully, Dave has a good job and we've been smart about preparing for the future.  We've run the numbers a dozen times, and while it will most definitely be tight, we'll be able to manage.  If things happen to change in a year or two and we decide that living on one income isn't right for us, we'll find a way to make that work too.  January is going to bring SO many changes to our lives, and it will be quite an adjustment to go from taking care of someone else's children every day to taking care of our own, but I really can't wait for the adventure that lies ahead!

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