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Mum defends taking 'mid-life gap year' leaving her husband and kids at home

Claire Reid

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Mum defends taking 'mid-life gap year' leaving her husband and kids at home

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

A mum who quit her six-figure job to take a ‘mid-life gap year’ says she’s not selfish for leaving behind her husband and kids while she goes on trips with her girlfriends.

Kym Wootton, 42, handed in her notice for her job as a chief administrative officer so she could spend a year writing a novel, relaxing and being more present with her family.

You can see her talk about her life here:

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Mum-of-two Kym spent 13-years at the consultancy agency she worked before packing it in in January this year.

She says the break from work has allowed her to be more present with her two boys – Finn, 16, and Will, 13 – and husband, Mike, 49.

She has also been able to spend time investing in self-care and going on holidays with her girlfriends - while leaving her family at home.

Kym, a writer from Boulder, Colorado, US, said: “I feel amazing and the best ever.

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“I didn’t even realise how anxious I had been until I stopped working. I have this incredible lightness.

“I would have felt selfish before being away from my family. Now I can spend time reading, being lazy and restful. I'm much more able to roll with the stresses of everyday life.

Kym Wootton has taken a 'mid-life gap year'. Credit: SWNS
Kym Wootton has taken a 'mid-life gap year'. Credit: SWNS

“I used to think on a Sunday – ‘I didn’t do everything I wanted.’ Instead, now I get to be in the moment with my husband and kids.

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“I don’t want this to just be a pause and then just go back. I want to find out exactly what I want to be and do.”

Kym says her husband, Mike, was supportive from the beginning and the couple saved and budgeted for seven months before she quit her job in January 2023.

She said: “Work was a big part of my identity. Mike was really supportive. I’m so lucky – he hasn’t made me feel guilty. The boys were really excited. Before I was distracted all the time. I wasn’t being present and checking my emails.”

Kym says the move has made her more present with her family. Credit: SWNS
Kym says the move has made her more present with her family. Credit: SWNS
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Now, a typical day for Kym involves making breakfast for the boys, writing for a couple of hours, exercising and then going for coffee with friends, and she also finds time to fit in trips with her girlfriends at weekends.

Kym plans to spend at least the next year on her extended work-break and then wants to kick-start a new career.

The mum also encouraged others her age to take a gap year to help them ‘find themselves’.

She added: “A traditional gap year after school helps you find out what you want to do – adults should be able to do the same.

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“Even if you can have a gap month it will give you some perspective you didn’t even realise.

“I realise I am financially privileged. I feel really lucky.”

Topics: Life, Parenting, Travel, Money

Claire Reid
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