While the beard is big news, there's more.
Announcement #2: I quit my job.
In fact, today was my last day. I am now officially unemployed. It seems strange to even say that since I've pretty much been continuously employed since the age of 13. It seems even stranger to say that in this economy. But it is definitely by choice. We have baby number four on the way -- putting us in the crazy position of having four kids aged four and under. It was a tough decision, but in many ways it was a no-brainer. I was well paid, but we would be reaching a point where more than half of everything I earned would be going to childcare expenses. (And everything else would be going to Uncle Sam.) And, when you have that many kids with both parents working full time... your quality of life suffers, too. For our kids' sake, for our finances and for our mental health, it just makes sense for one of us to stay home. And since I'm the perfect parent, I'm the obvious choice to take on that role. OK, that might not be true. My wife and I earned about the same, so it would be a similar financial change for us no matter who stayed home. But Julie is far more important to her family business than I was to my Fortune 50 company. So I win early retirement by default.
Early retirement. Hardly. I'm well aware of the fact that this might be the hardest job I've ever taken. I consider myself patient and good with my children, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about making running our household my full time gig. There are times when my kids have tried my patience in the first ten minutes of the morning. Now they're going to be on my watch all day every day. That sounds a little scary. I think I'll do an adequate job but I know this is going to take everything I've got. Already I'm getting a new found appreciation for my mom and anyone else that has played the stay-at-home parent role.
This is it. I said goodbye to a good job with a stable company. I've worked with the same great people for over six years and today I said farewell. It's all very surreal yet exciting. I know I'm getting an opportunity (and responsibility) not many people get. I'll try not to royally screw it up.
I'll have much more to say on this topic, I'm sure, especially with all the free time I'll have now for blogging and surfing the internet. Peace out.