Sunday, May 25, 2008

The right thing???

I have a huge decision to make.

I posted before about not wanting to go back to my job, but I was sure there was no realistic way that I could quit. Well, on Wednesday, my hubby came home from work saying, "Just do it. I want you to quit your job."

You would think I would jump at the opportunity, but now I am even more stressed out. In my mind, quitting was never a real possibility for me...as many times as I said that I wanted to stay at home, it was just wishful thinking. I never thought that it could actually happen.

We looked at our finances, and if I did quit, would make things very, very tight around here. It's no secret that cops aren't exactly paid well! We have some money saved and we would definitely be dipping into those savings. If I leave my job, it would literally cut our household income in half. Dave says he will pick up extra security jobs a couple of nights a week, but that won't even come close to making up the difference.

We aren't discussing me being a SAHM for good...maybe a few more months, or until Brooklyn is a year old, at the longest. I don't like my job, and I would look for another one soon.

I really, really want to do the right thing for my family and especially for Brooklyn. At this point, I truly don't have a clue what the right thing is.

The pros and cons of quitting that I have been thinking about:

Pros:
1. I get to be at home with Brooklyn! I won't have to worry about missing her or missing out on her first time rolling over, first time crawling, first steps. I won't have to miss 50 hours a week of bonding time with her. When I hold her, when she smiles at me, when I gaze at her, I can't imagine leaving her. I don't want to regret passing this opportunity up...it's a one-time thing, you know? She'll never be a tiny baby again.
2. Hubby would be able to get enough sleep to function at work, and we wouldn't have to worry about me getting enough sleep to be able to work. Brooklyn has reflux and colic and doesn't sleep for more than an hour at night without being held. Because of this, we haven't been able to get our family on any kind of schedule since she was born.
3. Being able to breastfeed exclusively. Brooklyn always nurses for at least an hour at a time...sometimes two hours! She eats really slow, presumably because of her reflux. I would be able to accomodate her if I stayed at home. Breastfeeding has been such a challenge for us, and I don't want to have to give it up after all the work we've put into it.
4. Hopefully I would be less stressed. My job is very high-stress. Ugh.
5. I could look for another job, either a part-time or a full-time job, that I might actually like!

Cons:
1. $$$$$$! This stresses me out so bad. I really don't want to be taking money out of our savings just to make ends meet. We live comfortably right now...we have no debt, we can buy things that we want (within reason)...it would be a major lifestyle adjustment. I know this will probably sound selfish and materialistic, but I want to be able to buy things for Brooklyn without stressing about whether we can afford it. I want to be able to take her to get nice portraits done, I want to buy her nice clothes, I want her to be spoiled rotten on her first Christmas! I hope that doesn't make me sound like my priorities are completely out of whack, it just really is something I've been dwelling on. I hope that doesn't sound too stupid.
2. I don't want my hubby to think that taking care of Brooklyn is my job and completely my domain. I don't want him to not spend time with her or help out because it's "my job." Not that I think of him in this way, but that's how my parents were and I never thought that was right. My dad never, ever cleaned, cooked, or took care of us. He disciplined us and was around in the evenings. That's about it. I don't want that for Dave and I.
3. I am terrified of not having another job waiting for me. I hate uncertainty!!! What if I can't find another job fast enough? Or at all? What if I had to go work somewhere that didn't use my degree at all? Or that didn't require any degree? Then I would feel like I had wasted my time in college.
4. I would miss some of my coworkers.
5. I am worried about people thinking I am weak, or irresponsible, or lazy, or a quitter, or something along those lines. Something about not having a job, for whatever reason, seems so irresponsible, especially now that I have a child. I don't know why so many women are able to go back to work without it being this hard. It makes me feel like I am not as strong of a person as I should be.
6. I am worried that Dave will resent me if he has to work extra nights because I quit. I am also worried about him not being home enough or being too tired to spend time with Brooklyn and I.

I'm so scared of the unknown. I am so scared of change. I'm so scared of venturing out to a place where I haven't been before, a place where I don't know what to expect, a place where there are no guarantees.

Please help me! I don't know what to do! I seriously don't know what is the best option for us. Is it better for Brooklyn to have me at home with her or for me to be working so that we can continue to live comfortably and be able to afford things for her? Is it worse to be stressed about work or about my lack of a job and our financial problems?

I don't know. I really don't. Any input is appreciated...

13 comments:

Momma Mary said...

Do you have two vehicles? Do you need BOTH? Namely, does your husband pick up his squad car at work, or does he drive it home?

Also -- think about the work expenses you will NOT incur. Your gas costs will go WAAAY down. You will NOT have the suuuuuper expensive daycare costs.

Also -- You could get a work at home job on the internet. There are legit ones out there. That might help supplement your income just enough!

I'm pulling for you over here!! :)

Bon said...

Is there a way you can cut your job into part time? I think you should go for it if it is what you really want. Maybe just for a "trial" period if your job will let you. Make a budget.

Aunt Becky said...

I ended up quitting my (crappy) job when I was pregnant with Alex under similar circumstances, and likewise I freaked about it.

It turned out to be for the best. Honestly, it did.

I wish you luck, it's an incredibly hard step to take.

Christi said...

here via nacomleavmo...

Good Luck with your decision! I think you are off to a good start by creating pros and cons!!

seriously? said...

NaComLeavMo here!

I am married to a cop too, I know money is always tight with their salaries.

Congrats on our baby and best of luck with your decision.

Cibele said...

This is such a difficult decision... In an ideal world I would love to work part time. I had to go back to work only 4 weeks after giving birth and it has been so difficult but becaise money and visa issues I have no choice... Good luck

alison said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Ugh on the tough job decisions! I would love to just work from home. Can you look into doing something from home like that - so you would have the income, but your time would be more flexible to hang out with your daughter? Best of luck!

baby~amore' said...

hi
I'm here from NaComLeavCom

I say the pro's win - you need to decide what want more .
I hope you decide what path to take without the stress. I wish you luck too it is a hard decision to make.
My Little Drummer boys

Eliza said...

I never went back after my first one was born. Well, I went back when the third was ten months old, and it was HORRIBLE. Six months later, I quit. Couldn't take adequate care of all three of my kids' medical issues while working, and they kept getting sick OVER AND OVER...I say definitely stay home if you possibly can.

momofonefornow said...

Hi from NCLM.

I am a stay at home mom. We couldn't really afford it and there are a lot of material things that we have missed out on but I wouldn't trade it for anything. The way I see it is that it took 4 years to have a baby, I am not handing him over to anyone else until I absolutely have to.

Anyway, there is a book that I haven't read but I saw it on t.v. and it has high recommendations on several websites. It is called Million Dollar Mom: No Sweepstakes Necessary to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom. Anyway, it is supposed to be chock full of practical and simple ways to add extra money to your income.

Hope that helps.

annacyclopedia said...

Not to be bossy, but....stay home! It sounds like that's what your heart is telling you, and I always follow my heart in situations like this. I've never had to make this decision, but I know it's not easy to give up financial security. But your baby doesn't care about those things right now - she just wants you. Being able to continue breastfeeding, especially with a baby who has colic and reflux issues, is also a huge consideration in my mind. By nursing her exclusively (especially after working so hard on it up to now), you might be avoiding further digestive problems. Add to that the stress of returning to a stressful job... my heart rate is rising a little bit just thinking about it. (But that's because I have my own long personal story about stressful jobs, and therefore will do anything to avoide them!)

Anyway, that's what I would do. Money is nice to have, but the things on your pro list are way more important to me. It sounds like staying home will make you happier, and I'm sure it will make Brooklyn happier, too!

Best of luck with the decision, and of course I will still be your bloggy friend no matter what you decide!

Rachel said...

I'm staying at home. I must say even though we thought we could do it, money is tight. I love being at home though!

I ended up watching a friends daughter for $25 per day which helps ease the budget a little.

If it is what you think is best for your family, you will make it work. You can always figure out how to trim down your budget.

hopeful #1 said...

Keep your head up! Have faith! You'll figure this out!

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