I took a chance on me
By Lauren Floyd, Honeycomb Moms
I could work and put my son in daycare, or I could quit my job and stay home with him.
Those were my options, and it wasn’t even remotely a decision I was prepared to make.
No one warned me it was coming.
My mom told me my whole life that if I worked hard, I could have whatever I wanted. Countless television shows reinforced the message that women could have it all – a successful careers and thriving families.
I expected to get the dream I was promised.
But there I was with a college degree and some six years of reporting experience, and I couldn’t even support my family and still be there for my son.
I felt like a failure, and what do people do when they fail? They blame others, naturally. I blamed my husband.
I was furious that this particular decision was left only in my lap when we both had careers. I called him sexist. I yelled. I cried, but the reality of the situation was that it wasn’t his fault. He was being logical.
My entry-level journalism job provided no benefits, and his full-time gig did. My job was a contract role that I was in the last year of. I even made less money than my husband did. It was so much less that just the cost of daycare would have eroded my salary to a mere $13 an hour.
I could make that working any random work-from-home position and not have to put my son in daycare.
So although I didn’t want to quit my job; I refused to quit my job; and I stated repeatedly that I shouldn’t be asked to quit my job, I ultimately quit my job.
I wasn’t devastated about it, but I felt panicked to find something else.
I still had more faith in the company, in any company, than I did in myself.
I felt like I needed a job of the same stature as my last to be a complete person.
I’m so grateful to have a husband who knew better. See, I was the young girl in love with the jerk, but he was the best friend who could clearly see the truth.
He told me time and time again that I didn’t need the big corporation. I wasn’t fit for it. He couldn’t understand why I held on so tightly to something that I didn’t even seem to like very much.
I came to understand it perfectly. I knew I would never truly be happy working for someone else. I knew I wanted my own business, and for the first time, I even felt prepared to be a business owner. But I was afraid.
After all, if a woman introduces herself as an entrepreneur, that loosely translates to jobless. But if she introduces herself as a banker, she’s deemed successful no matter how unhappy she is and how much she has to give up to be a banker.
Now, journalism’s claim to fame isn’t the money. It’s the ability to help people by shedding light on issues that matter. I wasn’t even doing that.
I was pumping out an endless stream of stories about people getting shot and going to jail. I wasn’t really making a difference.
I was simply going through the motions to be able to call myself a reporter. I was supplying a need for security, but the funny thing about parenthood is that it changes your perspective. While it might make some feel pressure to remain gainfully employed at all costs, my pregnancy pushed me in the opposite direction. I felt pressure to find my true passion, to take a risk and to bet on me. When my son was born, that pressure intensified.
I felt like he deserved a better example of success than just going through the motions, and I deserved a better life than that.
So not only did I quit my job, I stopped looking for its Siamese twin and started this blog in the hopes that it would be my passion.
Who knows if it will be?
What I’m feeling might amount to nothing more than the honeymoon stage of a failed romance, but I do know this. I’m finally excited again about writing. I’m inspired, and I think I can help people here. That’s something worth exploring.