This month marks the three-year anniversary of my last day in the corporate world. It seems like longer than that, to be honest. I did it for so long and yet now it seems so foreign to me to go to an office every day.
Three years ago, I did not know that behind the scenes, my company was restructuring my department. I did not know that I was on my way out. I did not have any idea the end was near.
When they laid me off, they were kind. I received a nice severance package, was able to file for unemployment, and was able to keep in touch with the contacts that I had made over seven years.
What they also gave me was the chance to stay home and watch my daughter grow up.
I’m not going to lie—I cried for a good part of that first week. I was scared and anxious and depressed. My world was turned upside down in a way that I had not seen coming and had not expected. I was speechless and stunned. My husband and I worked so hard to have our family, and part of that family was both parents working and the baby in daycare. I did not know how to not work. I did not know if I could stay home with her all day, every day. Worst of all, I did not know how in the world we were going to afford it.
Gradually, though, I found my rhythm. We joined Gymboree. We scheduled play dates. We went for long walks. My daughter and I became a team even more so than before.
I updated my resume. I interviewed at a few places. I dreaded going back to work and missing the changes that were bound to occur every day.
Then an opportunity to freelance came my way. We worked out the details and it was perfect. I could write and do marketing and be my own boss. I could also do it all on nights and weekends and during nap time.
Eventually, that position grew from a few hours a week to 20+ hours a week, and we were able to put my daughter in daycare part-time. There she gets to play with other kids, learn all sorts of things I might not even think of teaching her, and experience a life outside of us. On the off days, we are back to being a team.
Three years ago, I had a professional career. I was missing my daughter day in and day out. Now I am with her more than I ever thought I could be. We are making the kind of memories that maybe she will write about one day.
You just never know…