Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So maybe it is time....

I am seriously considering going back to work. As much as it breaks my heart, it seems that financially I cannot be a stay at home mother anymore. This is something I have been struggling with for the last week or two. I keep going back and forth. I always said I would seriously consider going back to work once my daughter turned one. Well she will be one next month.  It just seems like it came too quickly. I though I had more time. It feels like the last year has flown by. I don't like it.  This is an extremely emotional topic for me. I have spent many moments in tears just in the consideration of this massive life decision.

I am not a perfect stay at home mom. I am not as good as I wanted to be. I am more tired that I thought I would be, I am not as patient as I thought I would be, there is so much I wanted to do with them, intended to do with them, and it just did not turn out as planned. So many crafts undone, and cookies not baked. Is going back to work admitting defeat? Have I failed them? Have I failed myself?

I know that I have made this mess. And I feel extremely guilty that my irresponsible money habits have put me and them in the position of leaving them and going off to work.  The guilt eats me up as night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep. I will miss out on countless special moments with them because of the debt that is drowning us. But they deserve more.

They deserve security...if I don't do this, how long can I keep us from plummeting into the dark abyss of bankruptcy. We could lose everything, and I can't let that happen to them.  But how to I leave them with someone else. It is like leaving your heart....

My little girl is not an easy child to take care of. She is what is politely described as a "high maintenance" baby. She cries....alot!, she is hard to calm. I worry that someone else would not be patient enough with her. I worry someone else might hurt her or worse. How do I do this....?

I also feel extreme guilt as my son had 3 1/2 yrs with me at home. Don't I owe my daughter that much as well? Am I short changing her? Will she hold this against me later? I will miss so much....how do other moms do it?  How I can I entrust the most precious things in my life to someone else? Will the thought of this ever NOT make me cry? How do I choose a childcare provider?

And then there is the issue of balance....how do you balance the job, the kids,the marriage, the housework...I worry that I won't be giving anything 100%, how can I be completely there for everything...something will suffer, something will fall to the wayside.  Especially if my children continue to sleep so poorly at night, how will I do a good job. It is one thing to suffer through your day at home with the kids while dead tired, it is another to try to succeed at the office while severely sleep deprived. How will I fit quality time into the little time left between coming home and bedtime...will I always be left wanting more?

I do think, that if I do go back to work and if we use my salary to pay for daycare and then devote all the remaining only to bills, and keep our current budget, we could probably get all of our debt, excluding our mortgage, and Federal Student loans, paid off in under two years....could we be that disciplined? It that worth the time I would lose with my children....

I just don't know...


  1. I've had you in my short list of blogs to read for a couple of weeks and just now read your latest entry (haven't read the rest yet). May I first say just how brave you are to open your heart the way you just did? I really identify with so much of what you wrote, and my first thought was that if we knew one another in person, we'd be great friends. I too have not made good financial choices, and I often let time slip by and then feel guilty for not accomplishing more (oh if intentions were money lol).

    As for being a mom, I did everything I could to be there with my daughter, and for the most part I was lucky enough to find work where I could either take my daughter or work around her schedule. Until she was 5 or 6 I worked as a nanny in other people's homes, and then I worked 2nd shift at a call center and my mom (in your case it could be your husband) would take care of her (we lived with her at the time). I then started college when she was 10 and I scheduled my classes around her school schedule. I worked on campus as well and would schedule it the same way.

    I consider myself very lucky but it was not without sacrifice as we have almost always been broke or close to it. I no longer qualify for credit cards (thank goodness) because the few that I've been granted have been left unpaid. I'd do fine for a while and then life would happen in such a way as to prevent me from paying on them. Oh well, right?

    It seems that you do need to bring money home in order to fix some things, but I believe first and foremost you have to be realistic about how much you'll actually have after paying for childcare. The younger a child is the more daycare costs. You didn't hint at what type of work you would look for, but unless you are qualified for executive level work, it might not even be worth it. You should also be realistic about the rise in costs of other things that you will have to pay for due to less "free" time. For example, if you and your husband are too tired to make dinner, what will it cost to pick up food from a restaurant? What other costlier convenience items will take the place of free or inexpensive things you once had/could do? Will you have to spend money to outfit yourself for your new job?

    If you can't get a really high paying job, you might want to consider a part-time job that you can do while your husband is not at work.

    Of course if you do have to go to work full time, I like what you said about getting everything paid off in two years. That sounds like a real plan, a real goal. Two years sounds like a long time, but it's a blip of time over the course of a lifetime. Your children are young enough that you'd be back home when they are 3 and 6 (is that correct?), and that's not bad at all. As for their safety, honey I know exactly how you feel. My ex-husband and I said we'd be poor for years before letting someone else care for our daughter because we were afraid of the same thing (that's when I discovered alternative job opportunities). One thing you could do is see about finding someone who can come to your home. Not only is it much better for the children to stay in their own home, you don't have to worry about them competing with other children for attention. This would also make it less stressful on you because you wouldn't have to pack them up or wake them up in order to leave. When I was a nanny, I did light housework each day, did a more complete cleaning every Friday, and even helped with errands and making meals from time to time. I was 21 with a 1-year-old and I didn't ask for much money because a) it would make it easier to get hired, and b) I would still have more money each week that way than if I had to put her in daycare (so I was coming out ahead). I'm sure you could find someone like this. The kids I watched loved playing with my daughter and all the families I ever worked for found it a bonus for their kids because I was bringing a playmate for them.

  2. (I went over the character count, so I'm continuing here)

    Anyway, I have no idea how long this is so I'm going to stop here. I have lots of schoolwork to do for the next few weeks but I'm going to do my best to catch up on your blog and share more thoughts. In the meantime, please hang in there ... I honestly feel exactly like you do and have off and on for many years.


  3. Thanks for reading..I wonder how many people feel like we do and are just to afraid to express it. I am still waiting to hear about the job so I will definitely let everyone know when I do.