Earlier last week, I read Mary’s post about “How Quitting My Job is Like Rock Climbing.” And I could relate – both to the rock climbing and the analogy of how that feels like quitting work.

Back in our dating days I tried to impress my now husband by enjoying his hobbies. And therefore I took part in two things that I really don’t enjoy that much at all – camping and rock climbing.

It worked. We’ve been married eleven years now. Of course, at times my husband wonders where that girl went!

I remember the feelings that Mary talked about with the rock climbing analogy – you have to let go of one thing in order to grab another. I remember clinging to a rock, scared to death, yet knowing that I had to go either up or down. But either way I’d have to actually let go in order to make any headway in either direction! It’s frightening!

When my first child was nine months old, I remember how torn I was and how difficult a decision it was to leave a job that I really enjoyed and was very comfortable with to step into the world of a stay-at-home mom that I was completely unfamiliar with and rather honestly frightened with.

While reading Mary’s post I had one other very specific (and very painful) memory of rock climbing: the shoes.

You see, in rock climbing you wear a pair of absolutely horrible shoes that feel as if they are about two sizes too small. They are worse than any pair of stiletto heels! They curl your feet like ballerina shoes yet the material is hard and stiff. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. Actually – it’s painfully uncomfortable!!

However you have to wear these shoes. You have to slip into (actually push, pull & pry) into shoes that are not comfortable at all. That are very unfamiliar. That leave you feeling completely out of place and as if you’re doing something very foreign and very different in a stranger’s pair of shoes.

But do you get used to it?

Yes!

Do you even start to like them?

Surprisingly, yes! Sometimes it’s a love/hate relationship, but you know you need those shoes for that specific task. That specific season of life.

Do you ever want to take those shoes off and slip into something more comfortable?

Yes! Some days you just don’t feel like rock climbing!

Those rock climbing shoes remind me so much of my feelings of becoming a stay-at-home mom. Some days I feel very uncomfortable and as if I’m in someone else’ shoes.

My son is now five years old. There have been days that I have wanted to slip back into my old “work shoes.”

And in fact, I have. I’ve been back to work part-time and I’ve been back to work from home (both with the same company that I left). I’m now at home full-time with two children, but I still try to find ways to slip my mind back into that comfortable place.

I volunteer my time on a non-profit board, I help with marketing a local small business, and I try to treat blogging like a little mini stay-at-home job. Together, they all help me fit back into a pair of comfortable shoes.

The only difference? I’m actually starting to like my “stay-at-home mom shoes” better (on most days anyways)!

Mandi is the author of “it’s come 2 this …” – A life blog detailing her personal story from double dates to play dates, business meetings to potty training. Along the way she realized she used to be a really good Mother before she had kids! Now, she’s trying to eat healthier, exercise more, save more & drop her desire for perfection! Because 2 kids later … it’s come 2 this!

Images by xJasonRogersx and Mariachily.

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