Finding Personal and Familial Fulfillment One Cheerio at a Time

I was watching a little boy of about two eating some Cheerios the other day.  He started out eating them one by one.  Then, two by two.  Shortly after, he was trying to grab as many as he could in his chubby hand; when he did that, about half made it to his mouth, and half to the floor.  He started crying in frustration, all the while trying to grab more and put more in his mouth.

I watched in fascination.  He was happy eating one or two at a time, but when he tried to get more and more, he became increasingly frustrated. 

Aren’t we all like that little boy sometimes?  We start out slowly, then find a way to get a little more, then get greedy and try to get as much as we can, only to fail and get frustrated.  We take on too many responsibilities and find ourselves burned out and exhausted.

Watching that little boy, I reminded myself to slow down, take my time and enjoy life.  It goes so quickly, why rush it further?  Why work harder and longer at a less than fulfilling job to be able to buy more and more objects only to have to declutter all those objects later.  (Ask me how I know!). 

I have had some readers question my judgement about giving up my job when our budget doesn’t even balance some months without my salary.  Simply put, I have decided to start eating my Cheerios one by one again.  I am enjoying staying home with my kids and blogging and writing.  I have taken the radical choice to step back and slow down.  I am not saying this is the right decision for everyone, but for our family at this point in time, it is the right choice.


  1. Great post! That is exactly how I feel. I just took an interview for next Wednesday but I’m not sure why?! I love staying at home, working on crafts, my store, and being with my kids ALL THE TIME. I never thought I would…but this is where I’m happiest…why must I worry about 10 years from now?! Thanks for a great post and a unique perspective on life…cheerios!!!

  2. I have been really thinking about this a lot these days. I cannot justify working longer at my job just to buy stuff. I have no desire to trade time with my family for time with my unfulfilled, cranky co-workers. I have all I could ever need, and want to be content with that.

    This post was so timely.

  3. I bet you’ll learn how to make it work, though–and save your family money as well.

    I do like the Cherrios analogy–though I find Cherrios too pricey. My family would eat a whole box for breakfast! Instead, we eat oatmeal or creps or another ocoked breakfast. We can eat oatmeal for .22 for the entire family.

    It’s the little things like that that add up–and those little changes can have you making ends meet.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! We usually eat oatmeal for breakfast too. We save Cheerios for the little ones to munch on (especially our 10 month old), but I buy the cheap, unbranded imitation Cheerios. 🙂

  4. Spoken straight to my heart! I am pregnant with number two and struggling mightily with what to do after he is born. I know what I want to do but fear has me paralyzed. Thank you for the encouragement.

  5. This rings so true to my heart. I went back to work after a 3 year “maternity leave”. Being home was not leaving me feeling particularly fulfilled once both kids started preschool (at their request), and I’ve always enjoyed what I do. I’m good at my job and I feel like I make a difference at work.
    With someone else spending more time with my kids than I get to, it’s getting harder to make myself leave in the morning. My kids are with Nana all day, so I know they are being loved and treated well. But she’s not me. I’m finding myself wanting to at least only work part-time, while the kids are at school. The hard part for us is that my husband was laid off for 7 months, then took a 30% paycut when he was able to find a new job. My paycheck covers childcare and preschool tuition with a little left over. Going without it would mean an even tighter budget with no allowance for anything “fun” to do with the kids.

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, it is a hard decision to make. I was the reverse of your situtation. I had to work when my son was little because my husband was in grad school. Now, I get to stay home with my two youngest, but it was definitely a sacrifice. I might have stayed at my job if I could work part-time, but that wasn’t an option. Now I just work from home freelance writing. It still brings in money, but I get to stay home.

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