Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

Last month, I left my job of 10.5 years. I am grateful for the experience, the friends I made and the income.

I’m tired though.  Perhaps I was hasty, but it was time to walk away.

You may ask as others have, “So, what are you going to do now?….do you have another job?”  etc.    No, I have no job or current plan for one. All I knew was that it was time to go. I was experiencing stress headaches (whole body aches on really rough days), depression, frustration, anger and sleeplessness. No job is worth all of that.

In my new role as mom to my oldest Katie, 30 years ago

I have been working since I was 10 years old (I hit the big 6-0 in a couple of weeks).   In these 50 years of being in the workforce I have had some good experiences, and many not so good ones.   I have made lifelong friends, and been glad to be rid of several acquaintances.  I have worked a variety of jobs.

When my parents opened their dream business, a bar and restaurant, I became the hostess – seating people, handing out menus, even running the cash register. When bossy patrons felt that I didn’t give them the best table in the place, and got ugly with me, my mom would go toe to toe and let them know they weren’t welcome there.

When we had a particularly busy evening, it was “all hands on deck,” doing whatever was necessary to keep things flowing…running to the kitchen to replenish the salad bar, helping the dishwasher move the dishes and silverware through the industrial machine while we furiously dried everything as fast as we could, refilling patrons’ drinks and smiling no matter what.  I understood that being self-employed can be hard work.  I also understood that my parents had reached a major life goal, which provided generously for their retirement.

The summer I was entering high school, I asked my parents if I could get a “real job.” They were quite taken aback, and perhaps even a bit hurt. I promised I would still help when they were busy, I just wanted to see what it was like to work for someone else. They agreed, and I was able to get a job at Chuck’s 212 Bargain Center.  Since I had cash register experience, Chuck and his wife “took me on.”

Since then, I have had an array of jobs along the way and was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom while my kids were young. I so admire the moms who blog on Mumbling Mommy — they are committed to their children, yet strong enough to utilize their gifts whether they work outside the home, inside it or parent full-time.

In all the work situations I have found myself, I’ve gained wisdom.  While working for the postal service, I learned that I am NOT an early morning person…and learned how to push through fatigue of 4 a.m. mail sorting to still be gracious to customers later in the day.  Fatigue is not an excuse to be rude.

While working as a packer at a Whirlpool plant, I learned to drive a motorized contraption around a huge warehouse picking parts, etc to ship around the world.  And while actually packing the parts, admire the ability of our country to produce and distribute so many things to so many places.

When I worked as a hostess at a hamburger place in the Washington D.C. area, I met my first truly abusive boss.  “Bully” is too nice of a word to describe him.  I learned how much my new husband loved me when he grabbed my dripping wet uniform out of the basin, drove over to the restaurant and threw it at the manager saying, “My wife will not be back!”

In my role of grandma with baby Erinn

When I worked as a clerk in an emergency room, I realized that I really could handle the site of blood, because the person in front of me was in need.   I watched raw emotion in the eyes and heard the wails of families standing near during difficult life moments.  I saw a 17 year old, perfectly healthy young man lying dead on the gurney from a gunshot.   He skin was so smooth, his features childlike, and he was so still.

I had the privilege for working for a Child Advocacy agency, gaining a greater understanding of the need for support for young families. I taught parenting skill development for parents to better guard their children, keeping them healthy and safe.

And for the last 10.5 years I have had the privilege of working with teenage boys from around our state who have been committed to the Indiana Department of Corrections. I have seen young men from difficult life situations rise above their stereotype to complete high school credit and/or obtain their GED.  I have seen them cross the line between their gang affiliations to befriend someone from another affiliation.  I have seen Black, White, Hispanic and middle eastern young men realize that other cultures aren’t so bad.

I have learned that every kid just needs someone in his or her life to point out their strengths, their personal gifts, and remind them of how amazing they truly are.   I tried to do that.  I hope it helped.

So, I don’t have an answer for what I am going to do now.  But wherever I wander, I am sure there will be new lessons to learn, people to learn from, and new bits of wisdom to grasp.  It’s exciting.


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Category: Grandparents

Tags: grandchildren