Things They Can’t Say: Not Wifezilla

Like me, Jackie is a former teacher turned at-home mom. I have to admit that I never really thought about things in the way that she puts them for today’s guest post feature. She’ll make you think, too. Welcome Jackie of Not Wifezilla.


Making the decision to stay home was easy for me. However coming to terms with my new identity, that was the struggle. I never thought a conversation with my seven year old neighbor would have helped me embrace the new way I define myself.

Talking to my neighbor about school, my former teacher self always comes to the surface. As the school year comes to a close, I can’t help but ask a plethora of questions.

How did you like first grade?

Did you have a fun year?

Did you like your teacher?

Are you excited to be a second grader?

In the midst of these questions, she catches me off guard,

“Aren’t you glad school is over too?”

Of course, I am a bit confused. Why would I have an opinion on the end of the school year? I am happy for her and all the other kids on the block as summer vacation is just around the corner. I sympathize with the teachers, cooped up in their classrooms, dealing with all the end of the year paperwork that needs to be done.

But me?

Am I glad the school year is over?

“Well, yes I guess.” I respond.

“Are you sad to leave your class?”

It is then, in that question, I get it. She knew I HAD been a first grade teacher, and just assumed I was still doing it.

Quickly I clarify, “Well, J I haven’t been a teacher this year or last year. I have been home with Mo & Maeve.”

Nodding her head she continues, “So, you’ll go back next year?”

“Uh, no. I resigned.”

“Well what does that mean?”

I go through some eloquent explanation telling J that my decision to stop teaching gave me the opportunity to stay home with the girls. I explain how while I loved what I did, staying home was the right fit for our family. I go on and on.

Apparently this definition falls on deaf ears when she pauses for a moment then responds, “Oh, so you quit!”

GASP! I did no such thing. I did not quit!

I quit soccer at ten because of a sexist coach.

I quit piano because I despised practicing.

I quit field hockey in high school because frankly I sucked, but I didn’t quit a job I loved.

Resigning isn’t quitting.

Resigning keeps relationships grown over eight years intact with many families and co-workers.

Resigning demonstrates integrity.

Resigning is professional while quitting,

well, it’s not.

I am professional.

I made an informed decision to stop teaching, and with the submission of my resignation letter I terminated my tenure at my former school district.

Ask anyone.

I’m not a quitter.

But, in this moment I realize to a 7 year old, that’s exactly what I am. There is no difference between resigning and quitting in her vocabulary. To her, I’m just a quitter.

It’s all semantics anyway, right?

Like any kid, within in minutes I know that this conversation left J’s brain. Absorbed in chalk drawing or playing with her friend, her life goes on. Summer is just around the corner, and her thoughts of school will soon flee her brain for all the fun associated with the warm weather.

For me this day, this conversation is a defining moment in my life.

This, the first time I say out loud that I chose quitting my job to staying home with my kids.

I guess, now I can be called a quitter.

I’m okay with that and I only hope my kids will thank me for it someday.

Please leave Jackie some comment love here and then go follow her blog. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.


  1. says

    I think what’s really important is that we’re comfortable with our choices  whether is a career or to be a SAHM or doing both. Clearly Jackie you are comfortable with you choice to be home with the girls. That the neighbor or whoever else may not get it really doesn’t matter…. you family is comfortable with your choice and to me there is no quitting in that, momma your still working!!
    Jen recently posted..weighing the benefitsMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Jen! It took me some time to get to the point I was completely comfortable with my new role. At first I almost felt like I had to rationalize why I left, but now, it is, what it is. My kids are happy and so am I. 

  2. SuzieQ says

    I can totally relate to this. I just ‘quit’ teaching Jr. High this school year to stay at home with my baby. It has been a huge adjustment. I agree, I hope my son will thank mfor it one day. if anything, I feel like, for me, I made the right choice, but it is one I cried a lot over. Thank you for this post!

    • says

      Oh SuzieQ, those emotions that first year were so big for me. I too had my fair share of tears. I’m glad you’re in a place where you’re happy with your choice and enjoy the ride!

  3. says

    Well then I’m a quitter too. I’m okay with that label if it means I get to see my kids every day and not be so stressed out that I can’t relax and enjoy them when I stagger in the door at the end of a work day. I never thought about it that way before- as quitting instead of resigning. I’m a big believer in doing what is right for your family and not caring about the opinions of others. As long as you’re happy, your kids are happy and it’s right for your family- then good for you!
    Delilah recently posted..Little LettersMy Profile

  4. says

    I can’t imagine what it will be like when I go back. I know someday, I intend to, but right now, at this moment, ah! I hope you’ve had a great year back and found that balance. 

  5. says

    What a good point – “resigning isn’t quitting.” This was a great post because there’s so much in there – about a mom’s transition from “working girl” to “SAHM” – about how others perceive our choices, and all the gray areas of wondering whether or not we did the right thing. I’m a little biased but I bet you did the right thing, based solely on the fact that you WANTED to do it. And your kids may not get it now, but your presence in their lives at this time is a big big gift. (-:
    Ado recently posted..Gift Of The GabMy Profile

    • says

      I do feel lucky that I HAD the choice, that I WANTED to stay home. I know for some it’s a luxury not available. Thanks Ado. 

  6. says

    i feel what you’re saying- you really didn’t quit, but yes, to a 7 year old, you did. and you had a FANTASTIC reason. and i’m 100000000000000000% certain your girls will absolutely thank for it… for all you do for them.
    christina recently posted..Little bastardMy Profile

  7. says

    Great write! Bravo for you! I enjoyed the way you seamlessing integrated your perspective as a mother with her perspective as a child. Seriously. Great write!
    Bella recently posted..Gonna Miss You.My Profile

  8. says

    Sometimes “Quitting” leads us to better things.  The proverbial “one door closes so the other one can open.” Loved reading your perspective and that of the child!  
    Ilene recently posted..LoveMy Profile

    • says

      So true Ilene. With this change in path, i have had so many opportunities and made some many new relationships that I otherwise would have never had the chance. 

    • says

      I guess my own definition of “quitter” & “quitting” couldn’t help but make me have to validate myself and my choice to a SEVEN YEAR OLD! She was just making a comment. No big thing, but to me it was big. 
      I agree, it’s not to bad to be a quitter, Mamarific! 

  9. says

    Ugh, I can so relate to this feeling. Good for you for accepting it and being okay with it. I think I’m still struggling with that sometimes.
    Julia recently posted..Saving WormsMy Profile

    • says

      I would be lying if I said that I’m 100% on board with SAHM every day. As I’m more comfortable in this role, I’ve noticed the desire to change or go back has lessened. Thanks Julia and I hope you find the right balance for you. 

  10. says

    I love how black and white things are to kids! I can relate to the feeling of not wanting to be a quitter. I fear for that feeling when the time comes for me to resign from my current position. I’ll feel like a quitter after putting so much heart and soul into my job for 12+ years. 

    Glad you’re embracing your decision! 

    • says

      I totally get what you’re saying, as I felt I put so much time & energy into teaching. I didn’t want that “quitter” label attached.
      I wish you all the peace in your decision Bex when and if you decide to resign. 

  11. says

    This completely hit home for me! I was a teacher and until recently couldn’t say (and still have a hard time saying), “I quit teaching.” Can we really ever quit? Isn’t it in our blood? Once a teacher always a teacher, right? I think because I always thought I’d go back, it felt wrong to say I quit but since the birth of my two year old, the reality is that I will probably not go back. I think I’m following another path and that is okay. It’s taken two years for me to admit I quit and that it is okay. Heading over to your place now. Great writing!
    AnnMarie recently posted..ExpectationsMy Profile

    • says

      I do believe AnnMarie it took me about two and half years to really fully embrace this title. Good luck and thanks for the love. 

  12. says

    OMG this hit home!! I resigned from being a teacher after 9 years this year to be home with my son. I also opened an in-home daycare to still make money & keep him socialized. There were extra circumstances to my resigning also but mainly I am home with my son now. I have had the whole list of emotions this year including feeling like an utter failure even though I know I am not. This post fits me perfectly! It’s nice to know there are others out there that feel the same!!

    • says

      Oh Kelly, I’m so glad this spoke to you! I’m also happy to hear I’m not alone in my feelings. Best wishes and much success with your new path! 

  13. says

    Its so nice to “meet” you. I made a decision to stay at home and I am SO glad I did. I love being home with my boys all day. Sounds like you made the best decision for your family, and thats awesome!
    Jessica recently posted..AcceptingMy Profile

    • says

      Nice to meet you too Jessica! I agree, it’s all about the right decision for each family, right? Sounds like we’re both where we’re meant to be!

  14. Jessica says

    Jackie is an amazing teacher and mother. She continues her teaching journey but instead of being in a classroom full of students she demonstrates her skills at home with her own girls. I know this because I have know Jackie for about 16 years. We both entered college as education majors and have remained good friends. Jackie, you will always be an amazing teacher to your girls, your students and your friends!

    • says

      Why’d you have to go and make me cry Jess! xoxo
      (FWIW, Jess is a fantastic mother & kick ass behaviorist too boot!) 

  15. says

    I guess I’m a quitter also. I’m glad that I am, although I too had a problem saying “I quit” or calling myself a quitter. I’d tell people that I “left” my job in corporate America. To say I “quit” sounded too.. I don’t know…like I couldn’t take it any more. But quit/left/resigned – I’m glad i did it and I’m glad you are too.
    Jen {at} take2mommy recently posted..I Swore I’d Never…My Profile

    • says

      That word “quit” has such a negative connotation in my mind, and Jen it seems the same for you. I’m so happy you’re in the right position now!

  16. says

    I never looked at leaving my job as quitting. People ask me “are you quitting?” after I have this baby in November. I say yes, but I never thought about it the way you wrote it. Only we can process and understand the meaning behind our intentions. And accepting our choice and decision is the most important part. As long as we’re content and can embrace it, then it’s great being a quitter. :)
    Tiffany recently posted..PYHO: Fear of the UnknownMy Profile

  17. says

    I’m a quitter too, I guess. But one day she’ll understand and I think she’ll have a lot of respect for the difficult decision it is to leave a job you love to be home with your family that you love more. hugs
    Motherhood on the Rocks recently posted..ALOHA FRIDAYMy Profile

  18. says

    My older kids tell me all the time that they are so happy I’m home to take care of them. It’s great to know that already they appreciate what they have. They see their friends were both parents have to work and realize that they have it pretty good.
    Susi recently posted..They’re gone… and follow friday funMy Profile

  19. says

    Leave it to kids to shed light on the truth.  They often provide some of the most sage wisdom that helps clarify even the most complicated of situations!  The declaration of you “quitting” inspires us all to “quit” waiting to make big, life-changing decisions we know are going to make us happier.
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..Mom knows best? Yeah, right.My Profile

  20. says

    I love this post since it really made me think.  For the past 9 months, I have been telling myself and everyone else that I “retired”.   In a sense, I did.  I retired from the drama, corporate greed and crap that went along with my career.  On the same note, I quit some toxic relationships and habits that weren’t who I really was.  

    So I think I am okay calling myself a quitter.  Thanks for the perspective