I’m Putting My Career on Pause Right Now, and That’s Okay

When people ask what I do for work these days, my reply is simple: I’m a mom. A 24/7, stay-at-home (but not really stay-put-at-home), frazzled, exhausted, and — above all else — grateful mom. That about sums it up. Of course, once upon a time, in what feels like a lifetime ago (but really wasn’t that long ago at all), I was a teacher. An educator of young hearts and minds, as I would often say. But now, I’m consumed by my motherhood.

Shortly after I found out I was expecting my firstborn, I made plans to hand over my classroom keys and, at least for a while, shut the door to one beloved chapter for the sake of the next. I put my career on pause, and I have zero regrets about my decision.

Motherhood Is My Job Right Now

In this particular stage of life, I’m focusing on raising my babies. I’m not sure what the future will hold for my career. And I’m okay with it. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as I wish these short years were something I could simply put on pause, they just aren’t. They’re only here for a short bit of time, and they won’t be coming back once they’re gone. And you know what? That bittersweet reality breaks my heart a little more every single time I stop and think about it.

Now, I’m not here to say anything negative about the countless (and, may I add, incredible) moms on the other end of the spectrum. The ones pushing ahead full throttle into their careers, all while raising tiny humans, too. That’s their journey, and I applaud it! For me? Motherhood is my entire journey right now . . . and that’s something I don’t take lightly. Putting a traditional career on pause to raise babies certainly isn’t for everyone (or even possible for everyone, I know), but it’s the right fit for me. I get to be the one to teach my children, care for my children, and be there for my children 24/7 . . . and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This is my most important work, and I’m happy about the position I’m in.

I’m Not Allowing Myself to Worry About the Future

I could sit here and wonder how I’ll ever enter back into the workforce one day — you know, once these too-short, “little” years are long gone — but I’m choosing not to. Instead, I’m soaking in what I do have: borrowed time with my favorite people in the whole entire world. Long days made up of small moments that will soon become cherished (albeit sometimes foggy, I’m sure) memories. Even longer nights full of cuddling, comforting, and tending to all I’ve ever wanted: my babies. My wide-eyed, imaginative, growing-too-fast babies.

And while I’m not receiving any fancy promotion for the endless hours I’m clocking, I’m gaining far more than any position outside of the one I’m filling right now could offer me. That is, I’m gaining the gift of time. Becoming a mom and watching my once-tiny babies grow into spunky toddlers ready to take on the world has made me realize just how short life is, and you bet I’m soaking it all in. There’s no time to worry about the future when the beautiful, exhausting, blink-and-it’s-gone present is already so very short.

I’m Still Here — And I’m Still Growing

People often talk about how easy it is for women to lose themselves in their motherhood. Although I’ve inevitably said goodbye to parts of my former self in the process, being a mom (and walking away from the life — career and all — I once knew) has introduced me to a whole new sense of self. For the time being, motherhood is my identity. My job. My 9-5 . . . and every hour before and after.

While that might make it sound like I’m losing myself to it, the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, with full-time motherhood as my job at this stage of life, I’ve found myself. My new and improved self, my strongest self, my ever-evolving “I’ve waited forever for this” self. I’ve never felt more at peace in any other position than I do as mom, and I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I’m still here. I’m still me. And I’m still growing.

My Career Is on Pause, But My Work Isn’t

As a stay-at-home mom to a 1.5-year-old and a newly 3-year-old, my career is the last thing on my mind right now. That doesn’t mean I’m at a standstill, though. Instead, I’m simply shifting my focus and giving my all to my babies. These years are short. As much as it breaks my heart to say it, I know I won’t ever get them back. My career might be on pause for this chapter of life, but my work has never mattered more. And that’s something I won’t ever look back on and regret.