Ava Grace's Closet: The Message
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Message

It didn't take me long to realize that there were signs being sent that I chose to ignore.
Taking too long to find the right nanny.
Feeling so unsure about that decision altogether.
The older kids never quite feeling comfortable.

My first day back at work was overwhelming.
Hundreds of emails to sort through. Many kind welcomes. Many visits.
But still...all I mostly did that day was look at my watch. Repeatedly.
I kid you not - I felt like running.
I envisioned it. I would pack up my laptop, books, files. Grab the few pictures and awards I brought along to make my workspace homey.
And then run.
Everyone would wonder what had happened to me.
"She was there a minute ago" they would say. 

I didn't run. But I did think about it again in the days that followed.
Especially the one where meetings started downtown at 8am followed by a team dinner which meant no Ava that day.
It just didn't feel right.

I've said before that I feel that our little miss was a gift from God. A last attempt perhaps to make us realize that how we were living our lives wasn't how it should be.
always running. always rushing. always telling the kids give me two minutes.
checking emails non-stop. working non-stop.
I extended my year-long maternity leave for an additional 6 months. Thinking that maybe at 18 months, it would be somehow easier to leave her.
Things would go back to the way they were. Nothing would change.
I would see my children for a few hours in the evening (if I was lucky) and on weekends.
And a message would go unheard.

My dear bloggy friend, Danielle, from Changing Lanes made a similar decision not that long ago.
She too had a fantastic job that she enjoyed.
And she too made the decision to leave it and look after what was truly important.
her little family
Her words to me struck such a chord ~ "I kept telling myself I may regret going to work...but I know I will never regret being home".

I resigned last Friday. Only 8 days in.
20 years of service. A substantial income. 6 weeks of paid vacation. Great benefits.
And yet, I have never been so sure of something in my life.
It feels so good to have clarity.
And it feels extra good to know that when Ava calls for mama after nap, I WILL be here.

Thank you for praying for me sweet Danielle.
It worked.
And I heard.


  1. yea ... praise God for answered prayers! coming from the wiegands!

  2. What a wonderful heart felt post my dear..... I too have been in your shoes...many years ago. I too walked away from a successful career, to be where I needed to be...and grow my family.....it wasn't easy and there was a cost I am paying back now.....

    But with everything in me....I know i made the right choice, for all of us.. because....now years later... I have three wonderful, loving successful teenagers . I can come back career wise....but I could never get the wonderful love filled days of adventure... growing my children.... back....it really is such a very small window in life.

    So I say congratulations to you my dear in your very brave decision! I wish you much love and joy on your journey.....

  3. Yes! I love, LOVE this! I recently quit my part time children's ministry job so I could focus on ministering to my own little ones and I totally get this; thank you for sharing! God bless!

  4. Good for you! I am so excited for this next step for you.:)

    Though staying at home isn't the right choice for everyone, I know that for myself it was. I'm glad you listened to your heart and went for it. I'm excited to keep reading about this next chapter in your life!!

    Cate @wildruffle

  5. Wow, Susan. This is such a huge step and leap of faith. Good for you for trusting your instincts. There are days when I dream of returning to work, but I know that these years at home with my kids will never be replaced. I am thrilled that you are doing what is best for you and your family.

  6. As a working mama, this post touched me. I'm so grateful for a flexible job where I'm not away for the entire day and miss seeing her for a good chunk of each day. Every mama has to follow her heart.

  7. Aw, this is so awesome and heart-warming! I have nothing but respect for moms who work outside of the home, but I always imagine that it must be so hard! I am so glad God called you to be a full time, stay at home mommy. Ava all day, every day! Yay!!

  8. I'm soooo happy for you , they grow so fast , You've made the right decision...

    xoxoxo from Europe , B.

  9. What a hard descision to make! I'm so glad you found peace with it. I remember crying, (just what all the articles said not to do) when I told my boss that I would not be comming back to work after I had my baby. That was 13 years ago. I think it is always a hard decision to make, but I have to say that I too thought about the fact that I could always go back to the workforce, my children would only by with me for a short time. Thanks for a great post!!

  10. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was to read this!!!! Your daughter ( & other kiddos) will benefit from this greatly...I mean who is better qualified to take care of them than mama :)

  11. Yes! Does this mean we're back to What WE Wore Wednesdays? =) I'm so happy for you and your decision...I know you won't regret it especially if it's your heart's desire to be with your children. Good for you!

  12. I'm SO SO happy for you!! This story brought tears to my eyes!! I went through the same thing after going back to work when I had my second child. Within the first month that I went back to work, I had to go on a company trip for a week. That was it for me!! We really couldn't afford for me to not have any money coming in, so I traded in my heels, business attire, and great salary for a house FULL of kids. I opened a preschool in our house so that I could be home with mine, but still have some money coming in. Then at the beginning of this past summer, God blessed us SO much with the opportunity for me to close the preschool and be a TOTAL stay at home mama!! I absolutely LOVE it and have NEVER regretted my decisions for a second!! Good for you mama, for following your heart!!

    I had a feeling you were going to resign!
    You won't regret this decision!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE being home with my E!

  14. I made the same decision! It was right for my family and so right for me.

  15. Congratulations on your decision! It definitely sounds like the right one for you and your family. Cheers to receiving the message!

  16. Good for you....way to go! Somedays my boys drive me crazy and my frustration level goes through the roof but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being able to stay home with them. Especially at such a young age. So glad to hear you followed your heart and I am sure little Miss Ava is thrilled!

  17. I am right there with you and left my career to raise my sweet girl. She is now 13 months old and I do not regret one day . If I miss hours, or minutes away from her i miss her face. You did what was right for you and you will not regret it. Amazing, and wonderful!!

  18. Congratulations on your decision, it definitely sounds like the right one when you listen to your heart.

  19. You left me with tears in my eyes. Congratulations and wishing you all the best!

  20. Dearest Susan,
    You wrote again very sincere, from the heart!
    In 2004 I made about the same decision for breaking away from work. Not because of little kids but because of my retired husband. We worked together as a team, as international consultants. For me it meant the height of my career. My fondest country for giving Technology Transfer Seminars was Canada. Together with a Professor Doctor as my co-speaker we enjoyed doing this. Also Pieter did this together with a co-speaker from Pennstate University. As a matter of fact they asked me to join their team... I knew what that meant; being away all week and having a weekend marriage. NO, I let go because I wanted to be with my love, together walking the winter of his life... It was tough and blogging also helped me filling a little bit of that void, especially in keeping up with my seven languages without working all over the world. Did I regret it? NO and life needed to be adjusted yes, financially it makes quite a difference but one becomes inventive and when taking care of all the meals (with some exceptions where we dine out) lets you save a lot. Being frugal and creative and keeping the wardrobe current with some new accessories because of my size staying 'put' has been rewarding.
    At least we can grow old, looking back and knowing that we made the right decision. Family FIRST! Guess in our culture a lot of less stable people get pushed beyond this point and will regret it later in a bitter way. When it is far too late to make up or even impossible to mend...
    A big and tight hug to you since you are a very intelligent but above all a very loving wife, mother and friend!


I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.