So this has been a highly requested blog topic for quite some time now and I guess I kind of put it off for as long as I could because I felt unsure as to whether I should even talk about it and what to write if I did.
But here I am answering your question on why I decided to not return to flying.
So a quick back story, although I’m sure most of you already know …
Immediately out of high school I applied for Virgin Australia as Cabin Crew and flew with them for a total of three years before then applying for Emirates and then I was with Emirates for almost six years.
So it goes without saying that flying has been a HUGE part of my life and pretty much the only career I have ever come to know in my adult life, and so leaving it behind was extremely difficult to accept and to be honest still is sometimes.
I mean flying was my passion.
That feeling of walking through airports in a foreign country and looking out the airplane window to the majestic sky and fluffy clouds was something that I looked forward to every single day.
Initially when I first fell pregnant the plan was to hire a nanny here in Dubai to live with us and to look after our baby when we were flying. Now my husband also flies for Emirates, ( that is how we actually met ), and so it soon became clear to me that there will inevitably be times where both my husband and I would be flying and our baby would be at home with just the nanny.
Now I am aware that there are many families here in Dubai who have wonderful nannies who are part of their family now, and I am in no way judging them for their decisions to continue flying or not, however personally I just couldn’t fathom the idea of leaving my baby with someone and not being able to contact them for certain periods of time due to my work schedule.
I found myself dreading the ‘Return to work Day’ that Emirates had scheduled me in June of 2019 and it literally made me feel sick to the stomach every time I thought about it because I was torn.
Half of me wanted to suppress my emotions and just continue flying and hope that I would one day get used to the idea of leaving my baby at home and missing a huge chunk of his growing up and then the other half of me was simply like, ‘ But he’s your son and you’ll never get this time back again with him.’
So I kept putting it off until a month before I was due to start training again and even then I kept changing my mind.
Thankfully my husband was incredibly supportive and could see how much of an impact the decision had on me and so he gave me all the time I needed and let me come to a final decision on my own.
Now if you have been following me since before I fell pregnant then you will know that 90 percent of all my layovers I would go out and explore the city in which I was in. And it was something that I always committed to no matter how exhausted I was because it was my ‘freedom’ time.
That feeling of wandering around in a city that isn’t yours for a limited time was exhilarating and exciting and for me that was the main reason why I had stayed with Emirates for that long, because lets face it the job itself onboard can be extremely difficult 99 percent of the time.
So I started to think that if I did decide to return to work, ‘Would I still have time to go out and explore the city? ‘Would I even want to go out and explore or would I just be cooped up in my room all day pumping breastmilk and skyping the nanny because of how much I missed my baby?
All these questions flooded my mind and many people were telling me to just formula feed my son so then I wouldn’t have to stress about pumping on layovers, but breastfeeding my son is something that I was and still am really passionate about and so it was not an option for me to sacrifice breastfeeding for my own pleasure of flying.
As my baby developed from a newborn to a small baby I began to feel more and more emotionally attached to him and the idea of leaving him for days at a time just killed me and I found myself in tears with the mere thought of it.
Now ultimately what led me to make the final decision to be a SAHM was the cost of hiring a live in nanny here in Dubai, and the fact that we would also have to move into a two bedroom apartment to facilitate such a thing.
I would like to think that if we could have afforded such a decision comfortably that I would have returned to flying but to be honest with you I don’t think I would have.
And it’s crazy to think that actually, because I had so much pressure to return to work and I was so in love with the lifestyle myself.
I guess everyone just expected it from me, especially my parents … they had a very strong opinion on me returning to work and when they found out that I had decided not to they were very unhappy about it for a while.
Looking back on it all now I wish that I had just been stronger and based my decision entirely on what I wanted and not let others impact how I felt, because those months leading up to my return to work date I was in tears majority of the time and felt emotionally torn throughout a lot of my sons newborn stage when I should have been soaking in the magic of my sons growth and life as a newborn.
Do I miss flying?
More than you know.
But would I change my decision?
Not a chance.
Being a SAHM is my new passion in life and although that stage of flying is no longer a part of my life, my son is.
And his smile is one of the many things that makes me sure that I made the right decision for my life and for him.
Don’t you agree?
Sending you all so much love,
Hi Jessica, you did the right decision my love. It must really have been hard for you to give up cabin crew but I am sure that being a full time wife and stay at home mom is the hardest but greatest job of all. It’s joy for me that you have found your calling! I always rooting for you <3