Right now.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A few weeks ago, I quit my job at the hospital. Had anyone told me several months back that I would do this, I wouldn't have believed it. I was so determined to make it all work - the nursing, the breastfeeding, the Etsy shop, the being a wife and mom and friend and daughter.

I went back to work for about a month and got to experience just what it would be like for the foreseeable future had I stayed. There was the 14 hours away from Liam, the trickiness of securing childcare on different days every week, the pumping breastmilk every three to four hours in a utility closet, the responding to Etsy convos on my phone during breaks, then sewing as soon as I got home. As much as I wanted to make it all work, it just didn't feel right. I was utterly exhausted and felt like I had about 3 full-time jobs, and none that I was doing well.

I feared both decisions - the decision to stay and the decision to go. I feared that the current setup wouldn't work for long, and that I'd live my life balled up in stress. I wasn't doing anything well, and that's not a good feeling. I also feared the prospect of being a stay-at-home mom, with long periods of just me and Liam at home, which I do not handle well. I also feared that if I didn't continue to work, I'd lose my nursing skills and job prospects for the future. I'd worked so hard for the past 2 years to become a nurse, and now I would just walk away? Needless to say, it was a tough decision and I went back and forth for weeks. I have so much respect for moms in all situations - working moms, stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms. None of it is easy.

Ultimately, I had to make a decision. With Shawn's support, I gave my two weeks' notice. The profession of nursing will always be there. But Liam won't always be little - and I don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the most incredible mom I can be for him, while working from home.

Another major component - and the real tie breaker in this decision - is Brighter Day. We did the math and figured that I could make just as much, if not more, through Brighter Day than working as a nurse, for which I am so thankful. And that sealed the deal. (I have so many of you to thank - your support over the past couple years has been unbelievable and is now allowing me to work full-time hours from home... incredible! Thank you!)

I was hesitant to write about this, mainly because I didn't immediately feel confident about my decision. But the Lord has been faithful to bring peace. And joy. Will I miss aspects of nursing? Absolutely. I worked for the greatest people in the sweetest community hospital out there. But I have no regrets, and I'm moving forward with this dream the Lord has given Shawn and me for our family and for Brighter Day. We have some big dreams this year in regards to Brighter Day's future (which I'll talk more about soon), and I couldn't be more excited. Thank you so much for your constant support and for coming along for the ride!

42 comments:

  1. I'm happy to hear you were able to come to a decision that gave you peace! My husband and I are facing the same dilemma right now, so I understand how difficult it can be. Good for you mama :)

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    1. Thanks, Danielle. I hope this was encouraging!

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  2. It's so amazing that I'm just reading this now, after contacting you last night....it's like the stars have aligned!

    You have made a very difficult decision, but I think, the right one for now. You won't regret these years.

    I think we will chat more about these things in emails to come.....xo

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    1. Love it... thanks for your encouragement. :)

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  3. You are so inspirational! I am currently trying to get an Etsy store started so that I can leave my job and start a family with my husband. It's overwhelming and terrifying but I know I need to be there for my children and family. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make and I just have to build the foundation before we take the first steps! You're blog is a constant source of inspiration for me and I cannot thank you enough for that!
    Teri-
    lastkeycreations.blogspot.ca

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    1. Good luck to you!! What an exciting time!

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  4. Ever since I found your blog many months ago, you have been a source of great inspiration for me.

    I'm not a mom, I'm not married, I don't have a job... I'm not even out of high school!! And yet reading your blog and your love story and how much you love both your husband and your son, gives me hope to believe in what everyone keeps saying doesn't exist. I'm seventeen years old and you are everything I hope I can get to be when I am older.

    Thank you so much for writing this blog and being such a source of inspiration for so many people! And as Alison Butler said, I really believe you won't regret your decision. If there is one thing I know my mom regrets, that was working so much when I was younger. We are extremely close now (she is my best friend), but I know that if she could change that, she would, so I'm glad cute little Liam will get that chance at being with his mom often!! :)

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  5. What a wonderful perspective you have! You are so right, your sweet Liam won't always be this age, but there will always be nursing. Ever since I met my husband and started picturing our family, I've had such a desire to be able to stay at home with our future children at least until they go to school. I pray that our finances make that dream possible! Being a wife and a mother is one of the greatest things on this earth. Well, I imagine. Ha! I'm not a mother yet, but I can only imagine how fulfilling/trying/exhilarating/exhausting/rewarding it must be. I know that God is going to bless you all financially for being so faithful to Him and His calling for your lives.

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    1. You're exactly right about ALL the things you say motherhood is. :)

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  6. I am excited for you and this new step in your journey!

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  7. How refreshing it must be to know where you are is right where you're supposed to be. Not cookie cutter for every mom but just what the Lord has for you. :)

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  8. thanks for writing about this so us readers can know what is going on. :) i was a bit confused when i read the blog article on the shine project yesterday... and became a bit thoughtful. i realized you had been sewing a LOT to still be working within nursing, and that you were posting more regularly. glad to know that you have found a place where you are content. (and working from home is a sweet deal.. i've done it for 6 years!)

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    1. Haha I figured that was a bit confusing... and love knowing it's worked for you for 6 years now!

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  9. I gave up my career in health care 20 years ago to stay home with my children and I have never once regretted the decision. Sure I missed my patients and co-workers and the extra money but being able to participate in their daily life and watch them grow up into wonderful and caring adults (20yr. old and a 17yr.old) has made it worth it. Enjoy and savour every moment you can with your growing family.

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  10. I bet it was a hard decision to make. I did the same thing 3 1/2 years ago when my daughter was born. I was working as a nurse on the ortho/neuro floor of the hospital. I enjoyed working there, but I really wanted to be home with my daughter. That's great you can still work from home with Brighter Day.

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  11. I admire this so so much. I am about to graduate college, and got married in December. As I think about what I want to do career wise, I have been at such a crossroads about grad school and feeling pressured to plan out exactly when we'll have kids and exactly what I'll do and all these sticky details. Then I remember that the Lord holds it all, and that things can change at any time. It is so encouraging to see you choosing what you believe is best for your little family. Can't wait to read more!

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  12. Whitney, if you only knew the overwhelming feeling I had of "No, this is the wrong decision!" when you announced you were going back to work as a nurse, perhaps you would know the joy and relief I feel about your resigning! As I read your posts I'm always uplifted and challenged. But even more I'm struck by your love for Shawn & Liam and your love to create, encourage, and share who you are. This is ministry; this is life! Btw, I bought Shawn's song on iTunes and the more I hear it, the more I love it. But you are the reason I know about it. Thank you! Do what God has called you to do. Be who God has created you to BE! Love to you all, Anne.

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    1. Anne, you weren't alone in that feeling (ahem... Shawn). :) He was so supportive to let me try it out, but knew (and I did, too, deep down) that God had given us such a gift in Liam and Brighter Day and making that work instead of forcing the hospital situation to work. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  13. I'm so happy for you! I was a stay-at-home mom thirty-three years ago, until my children were teenagers. At that point, I began my journey into college and a teaching career. But then my life changed with the arrival of my beloved grandbabies! Since my daughter and her husband work, I just knew I had to leave my career and provide daycare for my grandbabies. The time did come when I really missed teaching - until the happy day when the Lord showed me that I have two students in my home! So, thanks to blogs and Pinterest, I am teaching much younger students - and learning much more from them! One day, in prayer, I thanked the Lord for blessing our finances so that I could stay home. He replied, "I didn't bless you to stay home, I blessed you so that you could love those children." Ever since that day, I have a new clarity about my life. I don't regret my decision to be a stay-at-home mom thirty years ago or to be a stay-at-home grandma now. May the Lord bless you, your home, your child and all the other moms out there who are doing the best they can - at home and in the workforce. You are all an amazing generation of strong women that I admire!

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    1. Thank you so much! What an inspiring story!

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  14. I am just over the moon for you that the Lord has blessed your business so much that you are able to work from home! I was wondering how you were managing everything! You are a much more energetic woman than I. Praise the Lord for this special time that you will be able to spend with your little boy and enjoy to the fullest! Not too mention Brighter Day! So happy for you! God bless you in this new season of life! leilani

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  15. wow, so inspiring. I guess I'll have to re read this post by the time I become a mom. But as you say, God has a different plan for everybody. My husband and I away thought that I would leave my job and be a stay-at-home mom who would home school. That was until I landed into my dreamjob which I feel was exactly what God has called me to do.... And now I am confused if I think about what I should do once we get kids, and actually it also influences my thoughts on when we should get them. Well I guess doors will open and close and I just need to relax and ask God for wisdom... Thanks for sharing your journey Whitney....

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    1. The Lord will make it clear... I know that much.

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  16. Pois é, aconteceu o mesmo comigo. Eu saí do meu emprego quando minha filha completara 10 meses. Foi a melhor decisão que já tomei. É incrível vê-la crescer. Força, você será completa ao lado de seu bebê. Beijos

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  17. Way to go. I totally agree with your decision. I am a working Mom and while I love what I do outside of the home, I would give anything to be able to stay home full-time. Just to be available to my daughter 100% of the time and to be able to take care of our home without it feeling like another "job." God will bless you for your faithfulness to Him and to your family. :) Can't wait to take a look at what you are going to do with Brighter Day! May just do all of my Christmas shopping through you this year!!!

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  18. I'm not sure anymore how or even when I stumbled upon your blog, but I'm so glad I did! I've been inspired by your faith, your dedication to your family and friends, and the way in which you nurture the gifts that God has given you. I was blessed with a baby boy about a month after you, and so I have enjoyed reading your posts about the joys and challenges that come with being a new mom. May God bless you and your family as you go forward in this new chapter!

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    1. Congrats on your baby boy!! Thanks, Erin!

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  19. I think you made a very good choice, that will be the best for all of you:-)
    I can really understand that you want to be with Liam now that he`s so small, and I think it´s amazing how you can also make a decent income from Brighter Day! The pieces seem to fit better now, don`t they?

    One thing I am so grateful for by living in the country I do, is that the day I have a child, I will get almost 1 year of paid maternity leave, so I won`t have to worry about being away from a little one. So when reading about how short maternity leave is in the US, it makes me rethink about how lucky I really am. It must be so difficult!

    anyway, I hope you`ll enjoy this next chapter in your life!

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    1. It's kind of crazy... I technically got 6 weeks unpaid maternity leave, and Shawn got 1 week of paid paternity leave (which was just using his vacation time). You are so lucky!

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  20. Congrats! Such an exciting time in your life, you won;t regret taking the leap! Wishing you continued success. Thank you for the visit!

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  21. Sorry my english is not so good....

    But I love reading this blog, about your thoughts..
    It must be a difficult desicion.
    I made the same 11 years ago. O, now I look old, but I am 31 years.
    I'm a stay at home mom of five children and from 2009 I have also my own business on the internet.
    I love to read your story!

    Greet, Mirjam

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  22. Congratulations! You will be truly blessed with your brave decision. Personally I've been struggling with work/life decisions and I find you to be an inspiration. Thank you.

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  23. When I read a post before your son was born where you said you would probably work or something like that, I wondered if you would really feel that way once the baby was born. :) Only because (while I don't have kids myself) after watching a few new mom's I have been close to go back to work after their first baby, almost every time if at all possible they end up quiting their job, if possible or finding work they can do from home (daycare, other home jobs...). I just seems like something changes your heart about things when you are a new busy momma. In my opinion you won't ever have any regrets about being there with Liam but you might regret missing a few things even though I am sure he was being well taken care of by loving kind people. :) Anyways, I am actually very happy for you! Happy for you and happy Brighter Day is doing so well to allow you to stay home and still have some income!

    -Emily

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