The Quitter in Me

The phrases, ‘I give up’ and ‘I quit’ have been in my vocabulary for a long time. Anytime things got a little too rough or difficult, I’d be saying one of those phrases in my head. Sometimes, multiple times. However, most of the time I still see whatever project through.

The other day it occurred to me that I have quit every single job I’ve ever had. Although, I guess that sounds better than being fired.

My first job in high school was at a popcorn place. I actually loved the job and it was fairly easy. It was a job where I could sit and do my homework if I needed to as long as I was helping customers as soon as they walked in and I was also doing the things the manager had said needed to be done for that day. I also liked the hours. Monday through Friday you worked a 3 hour shift, on Saturday’s you’d get a 6 hour shift.

I only quit that job because I had to enter the ‘real world’ and get a full time job that paid more.

Eric’s dad and aunt really helped me out here. They both were working for the state and Eric’s aunt had just taken a different position, which left a receptionist job open. I interviewed and was hired as a temporary thing. Somewhere along the way it became a permanent thing.

This job was another job I really enjoyed. I answered phones, but didn’t have to really talk to anyone because our job was just to transfer the call to another person. We would help walk-ins and figure out what they needed, but walk-ins were rare. I spent most of my time doing various paperwork things.

I filed papers, prepared daycare licenses for mailing out, mailed out informational packets and towards the end I was even able to receipt the checks that we got. It was a great job and I even had my own schedule down in my head. It worked wonderfully and most days went by fairly quick.

After Tanis was born, I went back but had a slightly different job. They were also super kind to work with me and gave me a part time schedule. My mom babysat Tanis while I went to work and it seemed to work out well.

Eventually my mom decided that she needed to go back to work. They needed the extra money and I wasn’t paying her. As Eric and I looked into daycare options we quickly discovered it wasn’t worth the cost daycare would be. At the end of the day I’d only be bringing in like $20. It just made sense to stay home. Besides that, working in the daycare licensing division – I heard many horror stories and wasn’t sure I wanted to trust my baby in the care of strangers.

Thus began my stay at home days.

Shortly after Shaylyn was born I went to work at Sears. I didn’t love the job. It was okay, but I was more frustrated than anything. The lady that hired me had surgery shortly after hiring me and so the things we agreed upon in the interview, didn’t get passed on to the person who took her spot. Therefore, my schedule was constantly messed up and I was working way more Sunday’s than I should’ve been. I quit that job a few months in.

When Lex was a baby, I went back to the popcorn place during the holidays and stayed for a few months. It was nice to have the extra money for the holidays and then I didn’t mind getting out of the house a couple nights a week. The job was still easy and I kind of enjoyed it, but it was odd working with teenagers. I had a few tough days when I had to work on Saturdays and Tanis had soccer games, but that didn’t happen a lot. The only reason I had to quit this time was because we were moving. And driving an hour to and from just didn’t seem worth it. Especially because I wasn’t making that much and it would probably only pay for gas. HAHAHA.

Shortly after moving in, I got a job at Smith’s. I didn’t mind it at first, but before too long it became a JOB. I got sick more than I’d ever been sick before and it was when I was working here that I first got Strep. Within a few months I became pregnant with Nate. It seemed like a good time to quit because just looking at meat made me queasy. And being a grocery store, there was LOTS of meat.

So I spent the next 10 years trying to do a lot of MLM jobs. I was never good at any of them. Eric worked a couple part-time jobs here and there along with his full time job, but that always ended up being more of a headache for each of us than a help.

A couple months ago, we decided we wanted to be a little more proactive about paying off some debt – but it would require me finding a job.

So I applied to a couple places that I thought I would really enjoy. I got no response. NONE. I was getting frustrated and Eric seemed to be getting antsy, so I applied for a couple more places. Places I wasn’t really THRILLED to apply to, but it showed that I was trying.

I only heard back from one place, Target. So I went to the interview and got hired. I was excited for a bit, but then came the real schedules. Most days were from 4-11. While it seems like a long shift (and it can be), I felt that they do really well with breaks and lunches. So that wasn’t really a problem.

The problem was that I was working most every day. I only had a day or two off. When I interviewed, we had said that I’d only work 3 days. But I suppose they tell you whatever will get you to agree to work there.

But then came real life and real life came fast! And I felt like it was time to quit. And I felt like a failure because it had only been a month. But I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I was being ripped apart on every angle and I didn’t know what was happening in my own home anymore. I shed more tears in that month that I had in a long time.

Because it took around a half hour to get to Target, I had to leave before Ailey and Nate even got home from school. I barely had time to talk with the older kids before leaving and I got home long after they were all in bed. I didn’t know what was going on with school and homework or even what was going on with them.

I was always so tired, I spent most of my days off doing NOTHING, so my house became a disaster area. Eric and the kids tried hard most days to keep the house clean, but none of them are me and I can be a bit OCD with the way things are done. But I did realize the effort they put in most days.

I had days where I felt extremely guilty that Tanis and Shaylyn had to babysit for an hour or two with the overlap of when I left and when Eric got home.

It just became too much. I didn’t mind the job, really. I just couldn’t handle all the time I was away from home.

And because of the situations above, my anxiety and depression were getting worse. I felt like I was letting my kids down by not being home and I was letting Eric down if I quit. But there came a time, I just couldn’t do it anymore. With everything I was dealing with, I knew Eric was struggling as well.

There was one night I got home and after we talked for a bit we headed to bed. Eric started playing a game on his phone while I was reading a book. At one point I looked over and saw this:

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He was out cold. He fell asleep playing a video game. He was spent. He gets up early and works a long day. He would then have to come home and play Mom and Dad. He did laundry more consistently than I did and still made sure to feed the kids and get them to bed. And while he never really complained about it, I just felt bad. And I realized I couldn’t do it all. I was missing out on way too much.

They scheduled three weeks out and as mom that’s hard to always plan for. My kids aren’t always great at telling me what’s coming up and sometimes school information doesn’t come across my lap that soon. I had to skip out on work one day just so I could go to Parent Teacher conferences.

So once again, I became a quitter. And it’s difficult to admit that about myself. But, I feel very strongly that I need to be home. My kids still need me here. When Nate asked if I had quit, he got super excited and that told me all I needed to know.

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