I Gave Up My Career to Raise My Kid (And I'm So Happy I Did!)

I Gave Up My Career to Raise My Kid (And I'm So Happy I Did!)

Why one mom is thrilled she gave up her hard-earned career to care for her child.


By: Lorraine Allen

I made the decision to give up my 10-year career to become a stay-at-home mom after several events fell into my life in almost a domino effect, and, at first, I was not thrilled about it. It started with the surprise pregnancy. We had just gotten married and lived in a minuscule studio apartment, and I was only a few years into the first job I had ever loved. I was elated about becoming a mom, but like my own mom, I was a hardworking breadwinner with a solid career ahead of me, and I was sure I could have it all. A family and a rewarding job, too.

Enter then my very surprising, very special child, her significant sleep and feeding issues, and the eventual diagnosis of her life-threatening disease. Down went a bunch more dominos. My 12-hour-a-day, non-profit job did not pay well and afforded only six weeks of maternity leave. We had no family nearby to help, the cost of child care in our city was very high, and the list went on. And more dominos fell.

For the first six weeks, I tried to do my job while caring for our child. I replied to each urgent email between doctors and diapers, and I took conference calls in hushed tones from my studio bathtub. But my daughter was a high-needs infant, and my job was a high-needs job, and the two could not be fulfilled at once, by one person. The time came for me to return to work officially, and with dread and sadness, I resigned. In the end, my baby needed me more than we needed the few extra dollars I would make by working and paying for child care.

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Time passed and our baby grew, and though I often missed my job, being a full-time mom started to feel like the most important and amazing job ever. It was challenging, but I felt so lucky to be able to enjoy each smile and each waddle and to be there to comfort and love our child, all day and night. When she started preschool, I was faced with another career decision. My job wanted me back, but the thought of being so far from her for more than 12 hours a day seemed inconceivable. I thought hard again about how to juggle our family needs, and my vanishing chances to continue my previous career. Then, it hit me. I could start a NEW career!

I had always dreamed of being a writer, and I could do it from home. I could have a career I loved, earn income, and be there for my preschooler. It’s been challenging, but I’m so happy with the results. I just wish I knew from the start that no matter what you choose to do about your career when you become a mom, it will all be OK.

How do you juggle work and motherhood?



Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 5-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/asiseeit

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