New beginnings

It’s my last day at work today and I’ve been so busy settling last minute matters, I havn’t had time to reply to every single question I’ve received since my last column on giving up my job. So I thought I’d do it here, address all the questions I’ve received in one blog post. Let me know if you have other questions in the comments below? 🙂

Why quit since you have a good boss and working arrangement?

I couldn’t have asked for a better boss and working arrangement for the last two years. I’ve been working from home at flexible hours suitable for my family. This has allowed me to fetch my kids and cook dinner, have dinner with them. But even though I’m spending more time with them than I would have when I was working in office, my mind was often on work. I’d be distracted, stressed out, and constantly thinking about work or other related matters. I felt I was shortchanging my kids, and my boss. If I stayed up late to finish my work, it meant I’d be tired the next morning and have less patience for my kids. If I spend the afternoon doing crafts with my kids, it meant I’d have to pull in the extra hours at night after they are asleep. For my own well-being, I decided something would have to give. Ultimately, the kids won out. 🙂

How long did you take to decide? How do you know now is the right time to quit? 

Jason just turned 8 and I’d say the thought of being a stay-at-home-mum was planted from the moment or even before he was born. If I were honest, I’d say it’s always been at the back of my mind. But I was lucky enough to have kind bosses over the years, who gave me time off whenever I needed it, for eg, 6 months no pay leave etc, so I did not feel the pressing need to quit when he was younger. He was in the good hands of my mother-in-law and later in full day childcare, so that worked out. Now that he is in Primary 2 and spends the morning at home with me, I feel a greater need to be there with him, not just physically, but mentally as well. I guess there is no perfect time or right time to quit. For some, quitting the moment their child is born is what they have to do. For others, they may not feel a need to do so. I think it also varies from kids to kids – (read: some require more TLC than others!)

Will you continue writing? Do you have a blog I can follow?

I plan to continue to freelance – either write or edit – when I have time. And since many have asked, I’ve also decided to revive this home and craft blog I started last year. I’m not sure yet how regularly I will be writing here, but I will try to do so from time to time. I really appreciate all the kind comments, encouragement and support I have received from the numerous readers since the last column I wrote. I think the number of emails I got this time round was a record high, more than the mails when I wrote about surviving without a maid. So thank you, please check back here from time to time, keep in touch and keep the comments coming! 🙂

Will you return to your job in future? What will you do to prepare for that day?

It’s too early to say if I will return to my job, or any job. I’ll take it one day at a time. Who knows, after six months, I may have had enough of staying at home. 🙂 I’ll be doing freelance writing meanwhile and it also means I can still stay in touch with the world!

How do you overcome all the negative thoughts about losing your career and also the extra income?

I took so long to come to this decision, to leave my job, that I think I have argued every scenario back and forth in my mind (and with my husband, good friends, family members and whoever who will listen to me! Haha)

Career: Since I had kids, my priority has been them. I’ve recognised that I can’t have it all, and have been less bothered about promotions and all. While I have enjoyed staying on in my job, I’ve since realised that the stress may not be worth it at the end of the day. And I’ve done enough stories to know the importance of having parents who are “present”.  I don’t want to look back and see that I’ve had a successful career, at the expense of my relationship with my kids, or at the expense of their upbringing.

Income: I’m thankful to have my husband’s support to leave my job. He said the decision ultimately has to be mine but he has been encouraging every step of the way, taking over numerous bills that we used to share so that financial considerations are no longer a factor in my decision. I plan to continue to do some freelance writing when I have time. While it will not be the same as a regular income from a full time job, I think we should be able to get by.

Do you have an email contact where I can contact you at?

You can email me at janeng218@gmail.com 🙂

Hope this answers most of the questions you’ve sent. I’m really sorry I did not manage to reply every single question as it came. I really, really appreciate all the kind comments in the mails you have sent. I will be saving them up to read them on days when I need the encouragement to keep going!! 🙂

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