The Great Resignation: One Working Mom’s Experience

If you are paying attention to the news right now, you may have heard about “the great resignation” happening in America. Employees are leaving jobs at unprecedented rates. Some are switching companies, some are making industry changes and some are leaving the working world completely. Employees are deciding what works best for them and their family and making the necessary changes to seek the life and lifestyle that works best for them.

Last month, I gave notice to my job, and I am also joining the great resignation.

Honestly, I have always enjoyed my job. The work I do is thrilling, my team is phenomenal, and my job helps to provide for my family. But my job also has a lot of responsibility, long hours, and a seemingly never ending list of things to do. I am beyond burnt out. Balancing a hectic job along with the constant changes of living during a pandemic has left me feeling empty. I just can’t carry it all anymore. Well maybe I can, but at the risk of what I am sacrificing (my mental health, time with my family, etc)… is it worth it? No.

The pandemic also gave me a taste of what my current job just doesn’t offer- flexibility. I have a position that can be done remotely, but I have an employer who requires us to be in person any time it is legally allowed.

When I returned to work following my maternity leave after birthing my first child, I was a changed person. I was a completely different employee than I was previously. While I still loved my job, it was just different. I was a mother now and I held the additional title of being a working mom.

Becoming a working mom required some adjustments on my part, and I set new boundaries. I worked without breaks during the day to minimize what work I may need to take home. I steered clear of taking on new projects unless they were aligned to a goal or professional growth opportunity. I no longer stayed to chat after meetings. Honestly, around 2pm every day, I mentally checked out. The thrill of work fizzled off, and my heart yearned to get to my baby.

I learned that as much as I loved my career and my job, it just didn’t come first anymore like it had for so many years of my life. But working was still important to me. I truly enjoyed my work and projects, and the culture and adult conversations daily were exciting. But, I didn’t LIVE for work anymore. I subconsciously craved more flexibility, and a way to balance the career I loved and the family I loved more.

Fast forward to the pandemic

In March 2020, daycare and my office closed, and I began working from home full-time with my child. Balancing working full time while being mommy daycare felt impossible and the days were long and hectic. But eventually daycare reopened while I was still working from home, and it was there that I found my groove.

I got so much more done. My days weren’t filled with Sesame Street and toddler activities anymore, but they also weren’t filled with distractions that come with being in the office. I was more productive and that allowed me to be more present with my family afterwards. I wasn’t making dinner while simultaneously thinking of all of the work stuff I would have to finish once the kids went to bed.

Eventually, we returned to the office.

While I had missed my coworkers, I also missed the pace and lifestyle I had created for myself during those previous months. I missed being self-directed. I missed the flexibility. I missed the time to myself.

I quickly realized that I would need to find a job that fit me and my desired lifestyle as a working mom. So with a heavy heart, but a clear vision of what I know is next for me, I resigned.

Sending love to all the working moms facing difficult decisions every day.


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