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Choose Joy: My mantra as I leave my career behind to focus on family.

A couple weeks ago I handed in my letter of resignation. This means my year long leave of absence from the classroom has been extended indefinitely.

Choose Joy - Turning in my letter of resignation with my sidekick, Charlie Beth. Sincere Thoughts on Sincere Elephant

Took this cutie with me to turn in my letter of resignation.
  

It’s no surprise that going from a two income family to a one income family means that you have to find a way to live with less, but that less has allowed us to find the greater joys in life.

Choose Joy - Watching my little one on her balance bike. Sincere Thoughts - Sincere Elephant

Enjoying time outside on her balance bike. 
 

Now that I don’t work full time, we have more time to get everything done. More time for passions and hobbies. And most of all, more time for each other.

Choose Joy: Taking the tiny one our for a spin in her trike. Sincere Thoughts - Sincere Elephant

Enjoying a ride in her trike. 
 

I knew staying home would mean I would get to spend more time with our girls, but what I didn’t realize would happen is that it also allows my husband much more time with them as well. Since I can get a lot of the must dos done throughout the week, like cleaning, grocery shopping, errands, in addition to no more grading papers and lesson planning, we both have a lot more free time in the evening and afternoons. 

Choose Joy: Josh with Ellie Grace. Sincere Thoughts - Sincere Elephant

This has allowed our home to be so much less stressful. We aren’t running in a million directions all the time. We aren’t constantly looking to the brief moments we have with each other on the weekends. We are able to live with one another happily.

Choose Joy: Swim Lessons. Sincere Thoughts - Sincere Elephant

Ready for swim lessons.

Don’t get me wrong, staying home all the time isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows, but it is what is working for us at this moment. We all seem to be less stressed and are better able to enjoy this time in our lives, especially with one another. We only get so many trips around the sun, and I’m going to do my best to enjoy them. 

Choose Joy: St. Patrick's Day Parade with a sleepy baby in the Ergo. Sincere Thoughts - Sincere Elephant.

St. Patrick's Day Parade with a sleepy baby in the Ergo. (I do have some green on. Promise.)
 

Sure, it seems absolutely crazy to not have that extra income. It seems crazy to quit your career that you hold a bachelors and masters degree in. It seems crazy to not stay for a couple more years to be vested in the state retirement system. But sometimes the best choices are not necessarily the sensible ones. And right now, I’m going to choose joy.

This is simply my journey from career to work-from-home mom. This is what is working for our family. Like everything in life, you need to do what is best for you and your family. Enjoy working outside of the home? That’s fantastic! Enjoy being a stay-at-home mom? Good for you! This parenting gig is hard, and it is so wonderful when you are able to make it work for you and your family!

Do things seem really hard lately? I challenge you to take a deep look at what's going on. Is there something that you could do differently? If possible, give it a test run for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. It doesn't have to be something as drastic as leaving a job, maybe omitting a simple activity a week, meal planning, or a different nightly routine could relieve some stress and make things flow more smoothly in your home. 

I challenge you in whatever phase or moment you are in, to choose to find the joy. Lots of laundry? How lucky are we to have so many clothes to wear! Your toddler's willpower makes you want to pull your hair out? It is so great that she is so willing to advocate for herself! <These are two things I told myself in the last 20 minutes. 

 

Your turn! What is one way you are choosing joy today? Let us know in the comments! 

 


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