Skip Nav
16 Books Every Career Gal Should Read
Budget Tips
How to Get Competitive With Yourself (and Save a Ton) on "Zero-Dollar Days"
Job Search
The 5 Elements of an Utterly Irresistible Résumé

You Asked: How Do I Tell her I Quit?

Dear Sugar--

The short of the situation is that I work for a friend's very small photography company. It consists of her, three additional photographers, and me. They take the pictures, and I do the rest. Without me, the business does not run. In many ways, it is the dream job - I get paid well for what I do, the hours are mostly flexible, the atmosphere is very casual, and I am also able to bring my infant son to work with me, rather than put him in daycare, since I work from her home.

However, this season has turned out to be far more stressful than I'd imagined. Taking my son to work is very convenient as far as avoiding daycare, but trying to do what needs to be done business-wise and taking care of him is like trying to write the next great American novel and run a nuclear reactor at the same time. They are two completely different full-time jobs.

Additionally, he's five months old and only getting more mobile and aware. It's simply not fair to him to take a nap, watch TV, or sit in his bouncy chair and watch me work. And, that's really all that he can do here, especially since I am occupied with work. It's also not fair to my boss to pay me for hours of less productive work when I'm stopping in the middle of a good stride to feed the little one.

All that said, daycare is not an option. My boyfriend would prefer that I stay at home, but I have issues with independence and my own income/contribution. However, I'm working myself past all of that, and now I'm struggling with how to tell my boss that I am quitting. I would, of course, never leave her hanging or without help, and I would stick around until she finds a good replacement who can take the reigns. I'm just not sure how she is going to handle the news, and I wonder how our friendship is going to be affected by my leaving. She neither has nor wants children, so I am not sure she can understand where I am coming from as a mother who wants more/better time with her growing child.

I am totally lost with how to approach it and what to say. --- Ready to Leave Libby

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Ready to Leave Libby--

You sound extremely dedicated and I am sure your boss would be very flattered if she knew how concerned you were for the well being of the company and your friendship, but as a new mother, you need to do what you feel is best for you and your family. Many women struggle with juggling family life and their career, so you should not feel the least bit guilty for leaving your job -- as you know, sometimes you just can't do it all.

Since your boss is also a friend of yours, be honest with her. Let her know how you have been struggling with your decision to leave and how you feel like you are not able to give 100% of yourself to your craft or to your baby which made you realize you had to choose one or the other, at least for the time being. Even though she doesn't have children of her own, I am certain she will be supportive of your decision. Tell her exactly what you told me - that you will not leave her in the lurch - and hopefully you can work together to find a suitable replacement.

Feeling guilty isn't going to make the situation any better, so have faith that she will understand. If your friend doesn't understand your rationale, I hate to say it but you might want to reconsider your friendship with her altogether. I wish you luck Libby.


Join The Conversation
pinkangelmonkey pinkangelmonkey 10 years
I am with Jen 100% here. If daycare is not an option than it is not an option and you shouldn't try to force feed that to them. They wanted to know how to tell an employer, who happens to be a good friend, that they do not or can not work for them at the current time. I agree that you should tell your employer what you are thinking. Be completely honest because if they are your friend they will truly understand this even if they are your employer. I really can't say it any better than Jen did. Just be honest and tell them why you are leaving and that you feel for them, for putting them into any situation that they would be in without you. It is admirable that you are taking any issues you have with "living off your boyfriend" though I don't think that is what you will be doing. Sure you will not have income coming in, but you will be providing for yours and his child and that is (from how it sounds) a major priority of his for wanting you to stay home. I think you are lucky to be in this situation and you should take advantage of it...Jen is right your babies are only babies once and the job market is not going anywhere. Good luck in telling your boss though I am sure that it wont be as bad as you feel like it will be. You can do it girl.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
I don't understand this. The poster specifically stated daycare is not an option then asked for advice on how to tell her friend/boss that she's quitting. Why would everyone ignore that and advise her to put her baby in daycare? I beg to differ with the people who have stated fulfillment only comes from an independent source of income. Choosing to stay home with a child is a perfectly legitimate choice that is very fulfilling and should be left to the individual. My advice is to explain your situation to your employer and try to help her understand that nobody can really foresee how parenting will change their life and what choices will feel comfortable to them once they've settled into the new lifestyle. Your babies are only babies once. The job market isn't going anywhere.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
and then if you decide you want to completely quit later, your friend will already have someone that is trained for the job and the transition will be much easier for the company...
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
how about you ask your friend to hire a part-time employee to help you with your duties so that you can have some time off with your child during the week, yet still stay in the workforce and earn your own paycheck?
Seraphim Seraphim 10 years
i would talk with your co-worker/boss and address how your feeling first and foremost...she might have an idea or a suggestion that you AND your boyfiend haven't thought of... or maybe she knows how valuable you really are to the company and she'll do anything to make some kind of compromise with you and for your child. i'm 29 and have yet to have children, but i'm with you and would NOT want to put my child in daycare. i think there are more options than just %100 quiting a job that seems to have SO many perks! :) i'd tell your boyfriend to back off a little.. because i feel that if you just rely on him for your income then you arent going to feel really fufilled with your own self. good luck to you!!! let us know what happens :)
drummerchick1 drummerchick1 10 years
if you are all for quitting and are looking for another job, daycare is a great place to work. i work at a daycare and all of my co-workers bring their kids to work with them. their kids aren't in their class, but are just down the hall. i don't have kids, but it would be easy for me to bring mine to work with me. i get paid to sit on a playground and run around and get exercise (there's more to it than that, but that's about 75% of what i do all day)
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
Warning: I give tough love. Girl, he's your boyfriend, not your HUSBAND. Why does this man have a say in where you work, how much you earn, what you do with your child? Even if he's the baby's father, he's just the baby daddy: he can't dictate to you whether you stay home or not. This is not an all or nothing situation. Like others have suggested, daycare is an option, you've just ruled it out. What disturbs me is that you are so concerned with what this boyfriend wants for you and your child over what's best for you. Say you do quit and stay home like he wants. What if he breaks up with you and moves out, or worse, forces you to move? Then you are left with no job, a child, and no legal recourse. If you were married, you'd at least have the law on your side. If he's not willing to marry you, then why are you willing to give up a great job you love? Heed my words: even tho you are living together you should still be receiving some type of court ordered child support from him. Trust me girl, I've seen this happen to friends. You need to be thinking about the long haul and what's best for you, your child. If he decides to become your husband, THEN you two can talk about what he wants.
megagirl megagirl 10 years
One of my roommates in college was a babysitter/nanny and it was a perfect setup because she was very close with the child and almost like a family member in the situation, so it wasn't strange at all for her to spend days with the child while the parents worked. If you live near a college or know someone who might be good, maybe that would be an option too for some of the time. You could even take your child to work with you and have someone come and play with him there or take him to a park or something while you work. That said, I think it is absolutely fine to be a stay at home mom for a while and I am sure your friend will understand, especially since you're willing to help out until she can find a new person. Because she's a friend, you might also be in a very enviable situation with this - maybe you could even talk to her about wanting to rejoin full time when your child is old enough to be in school or part time when he starts preschool (I think most preschools are half days, but I'm not 100% sure on that). Sorry that a lot of this isn't about your actual question - so in terms of that, I would just say to her that it's turning out to be too hard to juggle working full time and being a full time mom, and you are happy to stay until she can find a replacement, but you need to take some time off to be with your son. I would make it clear that you're interested in returning if possible when he's older (assuming you are interested in that) so that she knows you're not looking at this as permanently leaving the job.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I think your boyfriend needs to be a little more understanding there is nothing wrong with your son going to daycare two or three times a week. He needs to be able to interact with other children not just adults. If your not willing to do that than your give your friend 4 weeks and help her find a replacement.
auddie auddie 10 years
Alternately, is there anyway you can work from home part of the time, which gives your child more freedom to play, and then put him in daycare part of the time, which lets you go into the office? You can have calls forwarded to a line at home and there are services set up so you can access a work computer from home.
kimsaks86 kimsaks86 10 years
I agree-put the kid in daycare. It's worse for him if he has a mother that's unfulfilled or broke. And it's bad for you if you don't have a support system of your own.
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
Sod what your boyfriend says. Put him in daycare!
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
is it possible to do part time work and part time SATM? that way when the kid is a bit older, you can go back to full-time so you can maintain your financial independence. it's very difficult to get back into the workplace after you've quite for a few years. good luck! :hug: i know this is a tough decision to make.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
My mom worked at home and we had someone come over to play with us part of the day so she could get lots of work done. It worked well. Maybe work part time and focus on the kid part time.
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i'm sure there's a reasonable compromise somewhere in this situation but it's probably really hard to see it when you're in the thick of it. if no family member is available, is there a babysitter that can watch the baby while you're working at your friend's home? good luck!
Cindeela Cindeela 10 years
Is this decision all or nothing? Can you try having a family member or close friend watch the baby for 2 or 3 days a week and then only have to take him to work 1 or 2 days? I get the impression that you love your job and want to keep it, but your boyfriend is pressuring you to quit. If it is not what you want, i would try to compromise with your boyfriend. If you are fine with quitting and your boss is your friend, she will understand your situation. Family comes first and if she doesn't understand that, she probably isn't a good friend anyway. I would tell her that you will help as much as you can to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Best Edible Massage Oil
Ways to Save a Marriage
How to Boost Sex Drive
Did I Settle in My Marriage?
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds