Is it totally wrong that a person decides to take time off work? I left my job in June after much discussion with B. We both felt it was for the best. My job required I live on-campus (I worked at a university as a Resident Director), which wasn't feasible for us anymore obviously, because we wanted to buy a house, but mostly because I was incredibly unhappy in my job. I was overly-stressed and was no longer passionate about the work. It was taking a toll on me that anyone could have told you was visibly unhealthy.
What gets me though, is you would think that me not having a job is the end of the world. When I first told people that I was quitting and didn't have another job lined up, I couldn't believe the reaction. People who knew me or barely knew me - the same thing. They couldn't hide the fact it was obvious they felt I was DUMB. I could hear the questions they were asking and see the underlying meaning behind the comments they would make to me. Who doesn't work nowadays? She'll never make it. She must have money. Does she?
I experienced this again and again. And again today 2.5 months later. I had to attend a training today for a class I am teaching (see, I'm doing something), and of course, we had to do the required introductions. Well, in order to be introduced this time, we had to pair up and our partner got to introduce us. My partner proceeded to ask me what position I held at the university. I told him, "Well, I used to work in ResLife, but I quit this past year. Bought a house and getting married and I couldn't really live in anymore...". Blank stare. "Oh," partner says. "So, what title am I supposed to say for you?"
Uh, duh. How about...Wolf recently left her job in ResLife and is quite alright with that? Anyway, to make HIS life easier, I told him that I was thinking of going back to school, and would be substituting during the coming year once all my paperwork was through. He proceeds to tell everyone that I AM going back to school and that I retired from my previous position in order to go back to school. Ugh.
Even my mom and family, when I've told them I'm not totally sure what I am going to do (and I am job-searching and have a plan - it's just not something I stress over): "But, Wolf, how are you going to afford the house and bills?" When I first decided to quit, my mom asked me every single time we talked whether I had any job offers. I kid you not. "No, Mom." I'd say, getting more and more frustrated every time... Why do I have to continually reassure you that I am fine. I've been on my own for a very long time and know more about my financial situation then you. Trust me. For once. How many times did I have to tell her, and others that I wasn't worried, so why were they? Apparently, they were seeing something I was not, or just thinking I was competent enough to make my own decision?
What's so interesting is:
1) I'm 26. Don't you think I'm smart enough to think about bills and other issues that will come with not having two incomes? Don't you think B and I went over bills, etc.? Come ON!
2) Should I have staying in a job that was causing undo stress in my life - where I wasn't happy - that would have made B and I live a part, just for a small paycheck? I was always very open with the fact I would be substituting if nothing else came up, and that would provide us with tmore then enough money to have some to spare.
Probably what got me the most was when I went to the Doctor. My female Doctor. She asked me how my job was going and I told her that I had left because I felt it was best. She asked me what I was doing sinice I had left. I told her I didn't know. I wanted to take some time to rediscover my passions and figure out what was going to make me happy. I was taking time of - and eventually hoped if B and I had kids, that I would be a stay at home mom. "Well," she said. "That's not a very good idea. You will cause great problems in your marriage because your husband will become resentful that you aren't making money - but are spending it." Oh, I thought. Well...it isn't like B and I didn't talk about it. I trust he'd tell me in one way or another if this was a problem (by either flat out telling me or just being a pain in the behind about the fact I wasn't doing enough until I got it :P. And we talked about it after this interaction again, and he again reassured me that he was ok with what we decided). She continued to tell me that really, unless I had 3 kids, it didn't look good to be a stay at home mom. People didn't understand it. I felt like saying EXCUSE ME? Who are you to say that I have to have 3 kids to stay at home? I was really quite unhappy with this interaction - with my doctor of all people - who only knows anything about me because she looks at my chart. Half the time she can't remember if I'm married!
I sometiems think that even though women have made great progress over the years in terms of not staying home and being able to work, we are now looked down upon when we shoose not to work. Let everyone make the decision that they feel is best for themselves and their family. Only they know what is best really, as they are the ones living that life. They certainly aren't trying to make the feminist movement take steps backwards...
I am teaching a class and advising students from that class. I also plan to substitute teach. I like this plan because it offers flexibility that has been needed as we have moved into the farm and been working with the animals. Am I still looking for and applying for jobs? Yes - as I find ones I am interested in. And I am very greatful to be able to be so laid back in this search and not have to worry. I know that not many people have that leisure or ability.
So get off my back! And remember when someone tells you they aren't working, that it is their life choice. Don't judge them!