Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Work Or Not To Work

Work has been just awful, and I don't know what to do about it.

Physically, I can handle it, but emotionally, I'm about at the end of my ropes. All I care about in the end is that I have 2 healthy babies, and I'm beginning to worry that the stress might affect them.


I still don't know what I'm going to do afterwards.

My heart says that there is NO way I'm going to be able to return.

My brain can't figure out a way to make that work. The idea of giving up my entire income scares me half to death...I know that we would make it work, money isn't everything, but I just can't get past the whole having NO income thing.

Not to mention the giving up a 12 year career and the benefits that come with that.

Yet, I don't love my job.

That's the crazy part.

You would think that would make it easier to make a decision. I thought it would. It's almost made it worse.

I always said I was a better mom because I worked.

M. and I worked opposite schedules for years to limit her daycare hours, and we could do that again. I would miss the adult interaction, but I suppose I could find that somewhere else.

I just don't know what to do.

I really don't think I'll be able to decide until the little ones are here, and I'm forced to make a choice.


So, anyone out there a stay at home mom? A work part time mom?

How did you make the transition? How did you finally decide?

Any great tips on saving money?


  1. I went through the battle of what to do...and I had to wait and decide until after he was here. And I still think about it and Ive been home with him for over a year! Im hoping to work PT again soon--I do enjoy and miss adult interaction, but I also wouldnt trade my time with Oman since he might be our only. Again, its personal for everyone--just take it a step at a time, sweetie!

  2. No advice from me. I'm a full time working mommy. That big ass 3100 square foot house with its mortgage and our boat makes my decision for me. I miss the quality time with Mr. Miles, but our lifestyle forces it. We could give some things up, but I want him to have the best as well.

    Good luck to you in your decision!

  3. I didn't really have this exact battle, because I don't really have a job or even a career path that I am especially excited about. That said, I did put my education plans on hold, and will keep them on hold for the foreseeable future, but that's really the main economic way that this is hitting our family-- I just don't have enough money to pay tuition and child care while not bringing in any income of my own.

    It's tough to make it on one income (really, really tough at times), but the one thing that keeps coming back to me is that these years only go by once. And I don't want to miss a minute of it. Of course, ask me later when H and I are stressed to the point of breaking about money, and perhaps I'll feel differently, but for now, I don't know how I would be able to go back to working. Even if I could afford child care with my potential salary and make enough that it would still be worthwhile to work, would I even want to?

    I don't have that much outside interaction daily, so I don't know if I will miss adult conversation once the boys are here. I get most of my talking done online these days! And I know that will change with twins, that the time just won't be there, but I wonder whether having them will make me long for actual face-to-face adult time. I just don't know.

    I don't have any brilliant money-saving tips, other than cloth diapering (if you have the gumption to do so) and hoping that breast feeding works. Oh, and playing off the kindness of strangers with the whole "twin" situation (people like to buy stuff for twins, I think...). Really, if you don't have it, you can't spend it, right? That's the hard part, I think, wanting to do something and not being able to because you don't have the money for it. Granted, with twin infants, I'm betting there will be plenty of other reasons aside from money that will keep us from doing what we want to do! So maybe saving money won't be so hard because there will be very little opportunity to spend it!

    I wish you luck in making this decision. I know it's a hard one and one that doesn't always have a clear right or wrong answer.

  4. I've only been teaching for about five years, went back to school for my degree/certification after working as a teaching assistant and teaching summer camp, etc... for years. I LOVE teaching. It's part of who I am.

    Still, I was going to stay home after hearing how much it might be for daycare. But I found someone who will charge $200/wk for both girls and I changed my mind. Plus, we could barely, and I do mean BARELY afford for me to not work.

    We'll see how I feel in October when I go back.

  5. I'm a full-time SAHM. I thank my husband every day for working so I don't have to. I don't want to work to afford to pay someone else to raise my beloved children.

    Take into account the cost of working:
    more take-out and ready-made meals;
    more expensive clothing;
    more gas & car expenses;
    wear and tear on the family (let alone yourself);
    keeping in a higher tax bracket;
    not to mention, the explosive cost of childcare. With frugal living, it can be done... And that's coming from someone who lives in the SanFran area:-)

    So glad you and your babies are keeping strong!

  6. I am a stay at home Mom - it is difficult but I love it. We just make a budget, stick with it, cook at home, do get used to it.
    I really came on just to thank you for always leaving me such sweet and supportive comments on my blog. I am terrible at leaving comments for others, but I vow to do better....because every time i GET a comment its like getting a little hug. I really really appreciate it, more than I can say!
    Most of the time my advice sucks (heh) but I want you to know I am out here...rooting you on!

  7. I gave up my big time advertising career when we were trying because the stress was so bad.

    I took a part time gig at a book store and loved it but we realized I spent more than I made. Between eating out, gas, work shoes/clothes, etc. So, we decided that I wouldn't go back when/if we ever had kids.

    Coupons (which you can print off the internet), buying the sales, and places like Sam's Club or BJ's for some stuff...

    We make it work. Of course, we aren't paying off debt as fast we would like but we are still, slowly getting out of debt.

  8. I left a career in a "boys club" after 9 years of climbing a harder ladder than any man in my field had to climb just to stay at home with Cailin. We are lucky that my husband can afford to take on all of the expenses, but we also don't live an extravagant lifestyle. We decided that she would only need me 100% for such a short time in her life and that I wanted to be there for that time. My job also has long hours, so if I had gone back, I would never have seen her (up before she was and home after bedtime). It's been difficult just in the sense that I don't have a paycheck or a boss reaffirming how well I am doing my job (even though hubby is very supportive), but I think it will be worth it in the end. I still do small creative jobs for friends to remind myself that I am still a creative person, but I think the best job I have right now, is being with Cailin. I think you will know when the time is right and I think whatever decision you make will be the right one. It's such a tough choice for women. It'd be nice if we could clone ourselves. :)

  9. I'm a full time SAHM. My husband makes enough so that I don't have to work. But, I try to find random things to make/do to make a little bit of "play" money for myself. I make and sell tutus. Maybe you could do something like that with your cakes? Just a few here and there to keep some spending money in your pocket? can you restructure your finances so that you can live on your hubby's income?

    If you had said that you LOVE your job, I would've said, "go back to work!" But, seeing as how you don't really care for it, I'd say "don't." But, that's just MY style. :)

  10. I sold the shop when F was born, and I have been working PT for the new owners (4-8 hrs a week) since then. It was never a question for me whether or not I would stay home- J and I talked about it even before we were married- I am just too much of a perfectionist to do anything badly. I felt like the shop would suffer, I would suffer, my marriage... all of it, if I tried to do it all. I made about 2x J's salary, so to say it has been an adjustment is an understatement. *However*, I think when most people start analyzing what they buy and what they actually need, it is quite different.

    Here's what I do to save money... We bought a tiny deep freezer and we buy meat at Costco, then divide it into nightly portions before tossing it in. Diapers from there are also great. I download coupons from and love babycheapskate on Facebook. I check for anything we need on eBay or Craigslist before buying new (stroller, maternity clothes, clothes for F, anything...), we limit eating out to once a week, we are skipping our annual beach trip (but still did renew our pool membership)... blah blah. I will think of more clever ideas and pass them on.

    Maybe look at budgeting now, and give shopping that way a dry run? It feels responsible and oddly satisfying, actually!! :)

  11. Sorry I don't have any advice, but I hope you're able to make your decision and have peace about it.


  12. I gave up a job that I'd had for 5 years...I HATED IT! It was a terrible work environment and 1 of the bosses was absolutely miserable to work with (he would scream at you and curse you out for nothing).

    I didn't know if we could afford for me to quit, but it came down to the fact that I couldn't stand being there anymore. Yea, there are times that I start to panic because of our limited income (DH only brings home $1400 a month) and I get frustrated that I can't buy the things I want sometimes. BUT I couldn't imagine someone else taking care of DD and not being with her.

    It's a very tough decision. I hadn't decided to not go back until a month before hand, because of health insurance.

  13. If I hated my job, it would be an easy decision. As it is, I find my job challenging and sometimes even delightful. I work three days a week, and try to look at the positive aspects of it all--when I'm at work it's a little vacation from being at home, and when I'm at home it's a nice break from work.