I got my first job when I was 16 and haven't been off a company payroll for more than a month or so at a time since then.
My first two years of college, it took me a few weeks to find a job at the beginning of the quarter, and when we moved to New York, I was out of work for a little more than a month. Other then those times, I've always had a job -- or at least had one lined up to begin at the end of a college break.
So this week is bittersweet. It's my final week at my last full-time job for a while. Come Saturday, I won't be earning a steady paycheck for pretty much the first time in 15 years. (And my final week will be a short one -- the office is closed today because of Hurricane Sandy.)
It was a difficult decision to stay home after the birth of our first child, but luckily it's a correctable decision if I determine I've made the wrong one. In the meantime, I know exactly how lucky I am to be able to have the option to stay at home at all.
However, I hope I won't leave the workforce altogether. Come springtime, I would like to dip my toe back into the waters, this time as a freelance writer working from home. I'm both excited and nervous about taking this step, but I think it will be a good one for both me and the family.
I'm not worried about becoming a stereotypical housewife, mostly because I still can't cook (I'm trying to learn!) and I hate to clean. What I am worried about are the long, cold winter days in which I'll be stuck inside with little sleep and without another adult voice.
But I've thoroughly explored the pros and cons of the full-time working world. Now it's time to find out the joys and challenges on the home front.