Monday, August 28, 2017

Choosing Slow

Things are moving at a slower pace at our house these days.

It was an intentional change, but not one without a fair share of anxiety, fear, and a few tears. 

My husband quit his job on August 5th.

And on August 6th we began a whole new way of living as a family of four. 

(On my 39th birthday...what wonderful timing!)

It is, for lack of a much better word, wonderful.

This isn't our first time with him staying home with the boys. Back when they were babies, he quit his job to stay home with them from about 16 months until they started kindergarten.

And that was wonderful.

But a TOTALLY different kind of wonderful. A much more tired version.

*one of the more tired days (twins + IKEA)

We had two babies, our income was quite a bit lower, we had just moved into a new house, and we were both navigating what it meant to be parents. Me a working mom, and him a stay-at-home dad, which isn't something our culture encourages or celebrates nearly enough. 

Even though he was home, he was much busier keeping up with the demands of young twins. I was figuring out how to deal with the guilt of not being home with the boys, and how to keep up with my day job while mom brain was in full effect. Those days were tired. Wonderful, but oh so tired.

But this time, the decision for him to quit his job wasn't out of the same necessity as 8 years ago. The need was different, but equally important.

To be honest, our mental health was at stake. His mental health especially. His job had turned into a horrible mess. My husband wasn't himself at all. We were bickering, short tempered, and tired. The house wasn't being taken care of, we weren't eating well...the list goes on and on. 

And it changed in the matter of a few weeks. His job went from bearable to inducing panic attacks. It felt like one of the hardest and yet easiest decisions ever to say JUST QUIT.


This life we are given is worth more than countless hours spent working hard for a company that doesn't respect your work ethic or your family. To make money to spend on more stuff you don't have time to enjoy. 

Oh it felt SO good to make this decision as a family. I honestly haven't felt closer to him than I have the past few weeks as we made this intentional decision to find a new way of living. We've been together since he was 19 and I was 21, and I am amazed to see how we have grown together. And I am so very thankful that growth has brought us together, and not pulled us apart. Because oh there were times I worried it would. 

I've wanted to share this with you all since it happened, but needed to wait until the words came. And today they came.

And I want to encourage you, if your way of living right now doesn't feel like it is working. If you are exhausted and cranky and not enjoying your family or the things you feel like you should be, it is ok to start over. It is so much more than ok to find a way of living that doesn't look like the way anyone else is doing it. And don't worry about what others think or say...all that matters is that it works for your family.

And the peace we feel in our house these past few weeks. Man I wish I could bottle it up, because everything about it is so very good.

And speaking of remaking your life, this Super Soul Sunday talk from one of my absolute favorite authors Shauna Niequist is all about slowing down and it is really wonderful. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope it resonates with you in some way!



Carol Sexton said...

Hey Mandy,
We made a similar decision some years ago when my husband's workplace became so toxic that it was seriously affecting his physical and mental health. At that point, it was easy to make the decision for him to quit. I hope Dan is enjoying his time and freedom right now and staying open to whatever new opportunities may present themselves.

Diane Welu said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mandy! It's wonderful to break through the assumption that a better life means more money! That assumption can be deadly; mentally, physically and/or relationally. I hope that the choice that you and Dan have made, to live life at a slower pace, continues to bless you!

amy lyles said...

Thank you, dear girl, for sharing this part of your story with us. I am learning, even at the advanced age of middle-aged goober, that sometimes slowing down results in more growth than all the movement in the world.


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