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This is me. NOW. For the last 18 months, I was a full time working mommy, and to add to that, 15 out of the 18 there was added stress of working the night shift. I've very recently quit my full time job, and this post is a reflection of what the last year and a half were about.
What started off as an exciting, corporate job, one that I took up with so much enthusiasm turned into a game changer of sorts, turning my entire life and schedule upside down. Due to the demands of the job, the only shifts were I could work and still have enough quality time with my kids would be the night shift, and that is what I opted for.
So technically, I used to work while the rest of my family slept, get home in time in the morning to send the kids to school, cook, clean, sort out my house and then finally, sleep. On a good day, I would get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep before my kids got home from school and woke me up. Thereafter, the whole evening would be spent with them: getting their homework done, play dates, cycling, reading, story times, dinner, and finally when they were settling down for the night, I would leave for office. My kids were used to my schedule, cheerfully seeing me off as I left for work every night with a heavy heart.
Added to this was my passion for blogging, my family commitments and my efforts at maintaining work-life balance and suffice to say, the tiredness just kept accumulating till I reached breaking point. When it started affecting my health, I knew it was time to take a decision for my benefit, after all I needed to be around for the next 50 years or so for my kids!
So I quit my job. And that's when I realized how TIRED I actually was. I spent the first 15 days just sleeping, sleeping and sleeping some more, while trying to get used to sleeping again at night and staying awake during the day.
And now I think I'm finally getting the hang of things again. I've always been a working woman, but I took an extended maternity break for 3 years when I had my kids, and thus found it difficult to get a job when I wanted to get back to a career. I grabbed the first big opportunity that came my way, lured by the big names involved. That was my decision entirely, I knew what I was getting into, but I just did not realize EXACTLY what I was letting myself in for.
While I've had some awesome moments working with a team whose members were maybe half my age (they all used to call me "mommy") and mostly just starting out in life, I've realized that the monotony of corporate life is not for me. Not at all. Nor is the cut throat competition. Nor is not knowing who your friends are and who is pretending to be your friend but looking for ammunition to stab you in the back. Through no fault of my own, I was faced with the fact that not everyone out there is good, or nice as you think they are or even they try to make you feel. It's a dog eat dog world, and people will stop at nothing to get a promotion which they think they deserve.
I took the decision to save my sanity, my ego from derailing further and my self-confidence from draining further. I quit, and I couldn't be happier. So many avenues now lay open before me, so many missed opportunities are calling out to me again, so many things I've wanted to do are beckoning, so many books I've wanted to read are there to enjoy, and so many moments I've wanted to enjoy with my family and my boys are now mine for the taking.
For now, I'm just chilling. Spending time with my kids, and trying to recapture every moment I've missed in the last year. Holding my husbands hand in the evening, without looking at the clock to see if I'm getting late for work. Planning meals with my mom and dad, because now I have the liberty of time to do so. Organizing a family event, because now I need not give an explanation to them as to why I have to rush off to work as the party is just starting. This, and a lot of other stuff!
Of course I know, being the kind of workaholic that I am, that I will get down to a job hunt soon and look for better opportunities that come my way. But this time I will do it a little bit wiser, a little bit older, and with just enough grey in my hair to not make the same mistake again!