Posted by: Jamie Stamm | July 18, 2008

One-week notice

It’s been a well-known fact around the office for several weeks now, but today I am giving my official notice: July 25 – next Friday – will be my last day at The Sanford Herald.

This was not an easy decision for me. The Herald gave me my first reporting job out of college and then, a year and a half later, presented me with the opportunity of my career: a promotion to lifestyles editor. Since then, I feel that I’ve not only grown professionally but personally, and I can honestly say that I love my job.

But other aspects of my life have changed. Over the course of the past 11 years, I’ve married the love of my life and given birth to two beautiful, intelligent – oh, let’s just say perfect – children. We relocated to Apex five years ago, and we love where we live. I step out my front door to a cul-de-sac of friendly, helpful neighbors; there’s a community playground within a few minutes walking distance; and my deck opens up to a backyard brimming with nature.

But beyond the comforts of home, my life has been in Sanford. I’ve become attached to my “regulars” at The Herald, and my co-workers are my second family. My kids are in day care here, and my daughter has taken gymnastics and swimming lessons through Lee County Parks and Rec.

It’s all worked up to this point, although it hasn’t always been easy. My kids – bless them – have endured a 45-minute commute each way each weekday for several years, which is much easier now that they’re no longer infants (I remember trips home when Anthony would cry for the entire ride). And we’ve at times struggled financially (lest you think journalists lead a glamorous life, we don’t make that much money) with day care costs and now with rising gas and food prices.

But now we’ve reached a milestone in our daughter’s life. At the end of this month, Cera starts kindergarten. And because she will go to school in Wake County, I am not comfortable being 45 minutes away from her. It’s just a mom thing.

So we had to weigh our options. Do we pack up and move our family to Sanford so I can keep my job? Or do we stay in a neighborhood that we truly love (not that we wouldn’t enjoy living in Lee County)?

After weeks of financial calculations and many nights of tears on my part (let’s just say my husband is a saint for putting up with his emotional wreck of a wife), we decided that what we think is best for our family is for me to stay home and try to pick up some freelance work on the side. While Cera is at school, Anthony will go from full-time day care to three-hour-a-day preschool.

To be honest, I am terrified about this life change. I went to college with the intent of working full-time for the rest of my life. But I never factored in a family. And now, my kids are more important to me than any professional accomplishments.

So, in what is most likely the worst economy of my 32 years on earth, I am walking away from a job, from my best friends, from a job that I love.

So far, I have not a single freelance prospect. But I still feel like this is the right decision for my family.

And that makes me believe that, somehow, everything will be OK.

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Responses

  1. Oh Jamie, how you will be missed. Try to enjoy closing this chapter in your life, and of course starting the next. And for Pete’s sake, keep blogging! 🙂

  2. Jamie, I don’t know you and I don’t even get the newspaper, but this made me really sad! I hope that you keep blogging! I am sure your daughter will appreciate having you close by.

  3. All things happen for a reason — something great will come of this, I am sure of it! We will miss your stories in the Herald, but hope you will keep up your blog!!!! Good luck and enjoy spending your days in your lovely back yard with Anthony while Cera is off on her school adventures – what joy that will bring you!

  4. This is a real loss for us here at The Herald. Jamie, we’ll miss you immensely and your contributions to our paper – so wonderful all these years – will also be missed. You’ve been a complete joy to work with, but your kids are fortunate to have you be with them more. We are hoping your byline will remain a part of our pages!

  5. Eep! Best wishes, Jamie. I hope the best for you and the family as you make this transition. Keep up the blogging, though. We’d like to see how you’re doing from time to time.

  6. Good riddance to bad rubbish!!!

    Just busting your chops. We will all miss the female voice of reason here so much. I had a dream the other night that I came in and your desk was cleared off and you were gone. We all sat around it and cried.

    In my four years at the Herald, no one has worked harder or done more for the paper. It is a tremendous loss for us, not only in paper quality, but in morale.

    But that’s our Jamie. The perfect woman. You are a model for all we single bachelors in the newsroom (Gordon and I) want in a mate. A woman who skipped her prom to go see a Mets-Phillies game.

    Wait, who is going to buy the cakes now? And the Rock Band parties and Jerry’s cheeseburgers? On second thought, you can’t leave, if only for my stomach’s sake.

    But we all must move on some time. I love you Jamie. The marriage offer is always on the table, so long as Jerry can come along with his cooking skills!!!

    Keep on trucking. And we expect invites to the Rock Band parties of the future. Don’t forget us.

  7. Jamie–Best, best, best wishes to you in your new adventure! You are going to be doing what a lot of moms wish they could do, and I know you see the blessing in that.
    You are leaving big shoes to fill, though! And I know Billy is going to miss having you on his team terribly.
    And I will request as everyone else has that you keep on blogging!!!

  8. Jamie — You are so often the messenger of the kindest words, and your voice in the newsroom, not to mention in the newspaper, will be sorely missed. I can say that a compliment received from you, with your level of professionalism and talent, has always been held in the highest regard. Take it from someone who walked his little girl into her first day of kindergarten today, you’re making the right choice. Best wishes and good luck.

  9. Hold on, I missed a rock band party?

  10. All the best to you – between two kids, the commute and the mountain of professional obligations, you kept your sanity and maintained a steady hand with us, suffering our idiocy with aplomb.

    I’m confident you’ll flourish in your new environment.


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