I’m Putting My Career On Hold Because of the Pandemic…And That’s Okay

Mothers. We put a lot of our identity on the back burner, don’t we? Careers, friendships, writing that book, or running the marathon? We keep telling ourselves that we’ll get to it once the kids are a little older. And then a pandemic strikes. It seems as though all of our own hopes and dreams came to a halt.

Personally, I’ve had to press pause on my writing career and turn down teaching jobs at our local college and university. While putting myself on hold wasn’t easy, I’m looking at it as one more year with my kids. Right now, this time I get to spend with them at home feels like a gift.

I want to preface the rest of this post by saying that I truly empathize with those who are barely hanging on by a thread. Virtual learning while working from home is like trying to solve the Rubik’s cube—nearly impossible. The demands feel like too much. We’re trying to balance the budget and merely survive. So, in writing this piece, my hope is to only provide a different perspective, never to minimize the struggles and mental load of mothers—because I know that all of this is far too real and often unfair.

So, yes. I’m enjoying my time at home with the kids. No, that doesn’t mean I walk around with a grin on my face all day. I still yell–a lot. But the moments in between where we wander in the woods and I catch my daughter stopping to pick up an acorn or when we bake brownies together–these are the moments I’ll treasure forever.

career on holdYou see, I decided to just freelance from home and teach one online class this year—instead of trying to climb any ladder {If you choose this, kudos to you, Mama}. I never would have dreamed that choosing this life over my career would be as fulfilling. But it is. Watching my kids’ eyes open with wonder and curiosity as we embark on new journeys, studies, and ventures is nothing I could have dreamed. From watercolor painting a leaf to watching my daughter learn to read—each day is inspiring me as a woman. I’m learning that I don’t need a big job to fulfill me and ego.

career on holdDo I miss working towards my own personal goals and career? Sure. I’m only human. But I know one thing…

When my kids are grown and my husband and I are all alone rocking on our front porch gray-haired and wrinkled, I will never, EVER, say, “Man, I sure wish I would have worked more that year of the pandemic.” Instead, I will cherish hours spent snuggling on our couch reading together each morning.

And I’ll look back and think…that year was one of the greatest blessings of my life.