Every exit is an entry somewhere.

So maybe two days before Thanksgiving wasn't the best time to hear the words, "Have a seat" come out of the boss's mouth.  Maybe the news that "beginning in December your hours will be cut to half-time" seemed better than being let go altogether.  Maybe seeing the tears in the boss's eyes when I told him that half-time with two kids in full-time daycare simply isn't an option was a small comfort in an otherwise tumultuous day.

You see, the whole thing has been a long time coming.

Dang economic downturn.

I take some comfort in knowing that I made it all the way to "the end".  Of all of the employees in our tiny company, I was the last to be let go.  And it was visibly painful for my boss to have to say the words.  I know that he didn't want to do it.  I also know he kept me too long because when it comes down to it, he's not a business man.  He's an engineer - with a big heart and not a lot of savvy.  It's okay.  It's one of the many reasons I like him.

This job isn't perfect.  I've been [grossly] underpaid for the duration.  The benefits are pretty much non-existent.  I have virtually no opportunity for advancement.  But there are a few perks.  My boss is a good Christian man, whom I deeply respect.  He values family and has let me bring my kids to work with me on countless occasions when there seemed to be no other option.  He let me move hours around here and there so I can attend my kids' school functions, basketball practices, and doctors appointments.  He let me work through lunch to pay back the time it cost me to pick Ben up from school two days a week.  He lights up when the kids stop by for visits to see me.  He has told me countless times that "when 5 o'clock comes, you go home to those babies."

And he provided the afternoon chocolate too.

There simply isn't enough work to keep me on right now.  I get that.  I've been quietly anticipating it each payday...the conversation that would start out with "Have a seat"...just like I've heard many times before me.  Only, that joker changed things up and did it on a random Tuesday instead.  When I least expected it.

I guess he wasn't expecting it to go the way it did either.

The final decision was that I would work as needed, from home, with the promise to check my email once a day and keep in touch.  He insisted that he can't do it all without me.  (But I really think he can.)  I suppose it's nice to feel needed.  I left work that afternoon to pick Sarah up and told the director that I was going to have to pull the girls from the school.  And that's when it all sank in.

My greatest fears realized:  I am going to be at home with my babies.

This shouldn't terrify me but...it does.

My mom asks me pretty regularly how I fit everything into a day - from work to chores to fun times.  My answer has always been the same, "I don't know any differently."  Since the moment I became a wife to the moment I became a mom to right now, this very moment, I have always had a somewhat chaotic lifestyle.

And now...I am facing the unknown.  A whole different kind of chaos, I'm sure.

I really am going to miss this place.  The truth remains, this is part of a master plan.  I might not get that, but God does.  And there is a plan for me.  I just have to listen - and figure out what it is.

For now, the plan is for me to take a breather for the first time in my adult life.  I am going to enjoy every minute of this holiday season.  We are going to tear up the kitchen making cookies.  We're going to burn some of them because we will be distracted from dancing to Christmas carols.  We're going to play school.  We are going to keep working from the workbook that Abby loves so much and have our own "circle time".   We're going to break the new backyard playground in.  We're going to stamp our Christmas cards together and I'm only going to mind a little bit when my four year old helper puts them on upside down and crooked.  We're going to take walks in the middle of the day around our quiet neighborhood.  We're going to put tinsel and garland on every flat surface in our house.

And no, Julie, I will not prepare myself for the weight gain that supposedly plagues the stay-at-home crowd.  I have heard your challenge.  And I accept.

But I am still going to have my afternoon chocolate.  And my morning coffee.

Because some things, no matter where I spend my 8-5, just don't need to change.

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, prayed for me, and ridden the ride along with me.
"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."  Proverbs 16:9 (New Living Translation)


Brooke said...

{{hugs}} Jennie, I totally feel your pain. We are looking at this possibility ourselves in the near future and while not "working" sounds wonderful, it scares the bejeebees out of me too. You are such a strong woman, you are going to find your niche and go along with the ride. And if God's plan leads you to a new job, so be it. Just enjoy every second you get to spend with those adorable little munchkins!

Hawklady said...

Jennie, sorry girl! you know a year ago I was in the exact same boat. Your post made me tear up a bit. Enjoy the time at home with your girls!! God's got something great in store for you because you are awesome!

Rachel said...

I've been unemployed since Oct 1. Every job I apply for, I think, "Maybe this is the one!" but I also think, "I'm having too much fun staying home; I'm not ready for this to be the one!"

Emily said...

I can't totally relate to your situation, obviously, since I stay home, but any major change in your life is going to be difficult for a time. Transition is tough. But from what I've seen of you, you really will make the best of the situation! And of course your girls will enjoy spending the extra unexpected time with you. I'm praying for you Jennie! A new normal will come before you know it!

Andrea said...

Praying for you,

Aneesa said...

Shoot...I think weight loss comes from staying home...chasing all the kids around and seeing the mess in front of you all day makes you want to clean and organize and work more.... Plus you can cook and plan healthy meals :)
But either way, you'll do great! Come on and join us SHAMS (as Nick likes to call us!) We'll be praying for you in the transition and decisions coming ahead. If in the coming weeks you feel like you are losing your mind, just let me know, so we can lose our minds together :)

Angela Winford said...

You can totally do this Jennie! I find getting out of the house at least once a day helps tremendously with sanity....even if it is just a ride to Sonic for a drink (FYI - 99cent larges if you go before 11am :)...that's where my Sonic 'addiction' started. And then getting together with friends for playdates either at a place like Chick-fil-a or at your/their house. We're available to play! Enjoy your Christmas season! It'll be great!

Eryn said...

While my circumstance was somewhat different, i have been there. When we were not prepared financially for 1 more baby, we discovered it was 2 and working and having 3 babies in daycare was not an option, so I had to venture into the terrifying stay at home mom status. I always wondered, how in the world am I going to do it? How am I going to keep from getting bored when I am always on the go, and the thought of being alone with my 3 wonderful, but hyper kids scared the living crap out of me, mostly because I wondered how on person (me) was going to divide myself 3 ways and be enough for all 3 kids. After a lot of prayer and encouragement, I realized I can do this, and if another opportunity reveals itself, then that bridge will be crossed when I get there, but for now, I am going to enjoy every moment of my precious babies growing up. The moments that I missed with Madison, I got to see with my twins. While it is no where near boring, almost always chaotic, and sometimes on the verge of insanity, I would not change it for the world. haha and the weight gain is non-existent if it is anything like my house and I am constantly chasing after one of them. Good luck in this adventure, God knows what he is doing.

Merry Flatt said...


Saying prayers for you and your family. As someone who's recently left a job, I know how strange the extra time can feel. I've recently started making (slightly tacky) greeting cards and walking more. (So there to stay-at-home weight gain!) Good luck with your new adventure and enjoy the extra breathing time God's given you.


Cuz Merry

Jaybird said...

Thanks for being so vulnerable, Jennie. I agree with the other gals: outings, schedule, routine, and Chic-Fil-A. What I'm learning is life is just dang hard sometimes, and so is being an adult, but who we do it makes the struggle worth it. Thinking of you!

Debbie said...

I'm just getting back to my home after a long day. My head wasn't expecting this even though I had been praying for your job for some time now.

To be honest, I'd like to jump in the car and head to WR to give you a hug. It's the mom in me.

I read this post and cried. Then, I read it aloud over the phone to that husband of mine and cried again. It was an odd sort of crying. Half of my heart was crying because you are hurt and scared. The other half was crying because you are such a wonderful mom with a positive attitude who is going to enjoy every minute of this transition period and beyond. You described my favorite memories pretty perfectly, right on down to playing school and walks around a quiet neighborhood.

I feel with every part of my heart that God has something wonderful and huge planned for you in this, and this is just a transition to it. Whether it is going to be working from the house for your wonderful boss or a whole new adventure, I don't know.

I just know that this is the start of something too wonderful for you to have dreamed up on your own. God will honor your willingness to use the talents that he has given you.

Prayers begin anew tonight. You are important to me!

Debbie said...

Probably should have sent an email, huh?

Sharon Kirby said...

Jennie - Oh my sweet friend! I am so very sorry for this turn of events. I know you said you'd been "half expecting" it - but it still had to be kind of stunning when it finally happened. You have an amazing attitude, and I also agree that God has something VERY GOOD in mind for you and your family...

Being at home "full-time" can be very wonderful! I did it, and I still have a mind that works (don't argue with me - humor me...).

God will bless this time with your children, and He has plans for you, too. I will pray for the financial difficulties that I'm sure are on your mind. But I will also pray that God will give you clear direction on how He wants to use your talents. Because you DO have them (many) and He DOES want to use them (mightily).

Cut loose and act like a kid with your kids! Dance and sing and bake and be silly! No matter what happens in the future, you will treasure these moments...AT HOME!!


(I guess I should have sent an email, too!)

Sherri said...

Oh Jennie I am so sorry for the loss of your job. Please keep a light heart and try to enjoy the holidays as best you can with your little ones, and see where the path leads you after that.

I just love your attitude, by the way. You are always positive, even when things seem crazy.

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