Monday, June 13, 2011

Big Changes Ahead

This week is the beginning of big changes in my life and that of my family.  Hopefully, after several years of what feels like constant changes, our lives will see a little more consistency for the next few years.

As some of you may know, my wife and I married in 2009.  I had been practicing law for about a year, and she was beginning her 4th year of medical school.  Our plan was for her to enter a medical residency program in the area upon her graduation which would allow me to retain my job.

Funny thing is, life got in the way of our plans.  In late January 2010, we discovered my wife was pregnant with our first child, and she was due in October of 2010.  After much reflection, prayer and discussion, my wife made the difficult decision to take a year off between graduating medical school and entering residency.  This decision turned out to be a huge blessing, and my wife has been fortunate to spend the last 8 months with our son, who was born on 10/10/10.

However, all good things must come to an end.  Beginning tomorrow, my wife will begin her residency in pediatrics.  Although this residency is not as stressful as a surgical residency, it will still require her to frequently work 60 hour weeks.  It will be an immeasurable change for her, one that she both equally desires and dreads.  Yet this was her dream all of her life, to someday to be a pediatrician, and she is now ready to finally realize that dream.

That brings me to the biggest news of all.  After much discussion regarding what daycare we would place our son into, we have decided that because of our frequently conflicting schedules and highly demanding jobs, it was best if a family member was always available.  Thus, after three years of engaging in the practice of law, I am leaving the legal field to be a stay-at-home dad (or SAHD). Tomorrow (June 14) will be my last day of work.

The decision to leave my job was not an easy one.  However, I was at a crossroads in my career.  If I did not leave now, I would be in for the long haul, too close to becoming a partner to likely ever get out.  Yet I know the legal field is not where I am meant to be long term.  With my wife's return to work, this provided me with the perfect opportunity to move forward and pursue other career options and goals.  I have enjoyed being an attorney with the education, the rush, and everything else that comes with it, but it is now time to move on.

Again, I emphasize that my decision to leave my career was not an easy one.  Had my hours or those of my wife's job been less demanding, or had I been involved with a career that I truly loved, I do not believe I would be leaving.  I highly respect any parent that chooses to place his or her kids in daycare.  That decision is also not an easy one, and one that I doubt any parent truly wants to make.  Still, it is a decision that must be made when one needs financial stability, truly enjoys his or her job, or simply knows that he or she cannot find satisfaction in spending all day with little or no adult interaction.  My wife and I are blessed that she has a good job, that I was looking for a career change, and most importantly, that I do not generally enjoy adult interaction. 

Will I go back to work?  Likely yes.  When?  Maybe after my wife finishes residency, maybe sooner, maybe later.  What type of work will I do then?  Maybe teach or something else outside the legal industry.  I do hope to go back to school at some point.

I hope to use this blog as a guide to my transition from full time attorney to full time Mr. Mom.  With any luck, I'll be able to daily post about something interesting, exciting, or simply new that I have learned that day from my experiences as a SAHD.

Now let's SAHDle Up, and get ready for the ride.

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