Thursday, June 2, 2011

To work or not to work? (that is the question)

This is probably the same question that all moms struggle with at some point!

I hadn't planned on being a stay-at-home mom. I worked full time until the day before I was induced (41 weeks), and the plan was for me to come back after an 8 week maternity leave. We had a spot reserved (with deposit paid!) at a great childcare facility. It was close to my work & it was close to our house. Well, as everyone knows, things don't always go according to your plans...

The week prior to me going back to work, I went in to have a meeting with my boss. I thought we were going to square away my returning hours, as well as discuss my need for pumping breaks, etc. I was laid off at that meeting instead.

Being a new mom is a HUGE change to your life, and a hard enough adjustment. But losing my job on top of all those other new mommy hormonal emotions was a lot to handle! I was angry, I was hurt, and I wondered why they chose to "get rid of" me. I'd be lying if I didn't say that it was really hard for me. At first, I resented my new "job" a little and really took for granted this gift of time with my new son. Every time we'd have a rough day, I couldn't help but think "uggghh, I could be at work right now..." Now, looking back, I really regret that. I feel so guilty for ever thinking those things because time is so precious and it goes by way too fast! :(

Fast forward...CJ is now almost 17 months. I now can honestly say that I really cherish the time that we get to spend together everyday. I now know that God's plan for our family, yet again, was perfect. Was it hard going from DINKs (dual income no kids) to a single income with a baby? Absolutely! Are there still days I miss having adult conversations? Of course! But, overall I wouldn't change a thing!

With the upcoming move, there are going to be lots of changes (understatement of the century!). And one of the things I've been wrestling with is whether or not to go back to work once we get settled. There are lots of pros and cons, and unknowns that make it a tough decision. I'm not sure yet what the future holds, but either way, I know I'll be "working"! ;)


Kendra said...

Lacy, I can TOTALLY understand how that would have been SO hard.

I always thought I wanted nothing more than to be a stay at home mom...turns out, working very part time (15 hours a week) is a perfect balance for me! It gives me a little 'break' and chance to miss my babies, which I really believe makes me a better mother.

Kim at Polka Dot Thought said...

Such a tough one for sure and the grass is always greener on the other side! :)

Being a working mom and seeing the 'other' side, I hate that I'm basically paying someone to raise my daughter--it is a guilt unlike any other and leaves me staring longingly at my work clock quite often...seeing how she is so young and her bed time is 7:00/7:30, and I get home at 6:00, that leaves me a whooping 1-1.5 hours to spend with her--but then you have to add in the fact that I get home and have to pump immediately so go ahead and take away another 20-25 minutes from that equation, and then let's add the fact that she more than likely didn't nap at daycare and is overly tired/fussy AND to top it all off the majority of that time is really her bedtime routine (cereal, bottle, bath) doesn't leave much quality time at all, which breaks my heart. I'm trusting and putting her care in someone's hands-hoping that they do all the things I WISH I could do--talk to her, play with her, read to her, teach her, tummy time...etc.

I do really hate you lost your job, and I know from past experiences the pain and financial adjustment having 1 income does to a family, but trust me when I say you may have been given a blessing in disguise :) Motherhood is tough, so I'm not by ANY means saying being SAHM is easy--mark my words, it is clearly NOT and can be trying, but also so rewarding!

It seems no matter what position you are in, working or stay at home, you will always long for something other---an adult conversation, a break, or on the other side more time to cherish the precious moments that fly by...this is seriously such a tough question. I honestly feel part-time is the best of both worlds and I would LOVE the opportunity to be part time. Here you get your adult interaction, conversation, still bringing money/food to the table, but you ALSO get the chance to be with your child and spend some time with them, watching them learn, grow and thrive.

No matter the decision you make, you are right, the time flies and with the blink of an eye before you know it you are left with a toddler/ elementary school kid/teenager and a ton of pictures/memories to hold on to! You know your CJ and JT and family and friends support you no matter what decision you make with your upcoming move!

I'll step down off my soap box now... :)

Jennifer said...

Oh girl, I could write you a novel about this one! I think that if you're in a place like we are, where I HAVE to work for us to make ends meet, working somewhere part-time is the best of both worlds. I quit my full-time job and eventually found something part time which enabled me to stay home with Tommy, but still work, which I actually enjoy doing. If you can find a way to work part-time somewhere, I think it's best all around - gives you time with your little one, brings in income and gives you some of that adult time too, which I found I needed that immensely!

I am now working full time again, though I have a very flexible boss and have a lot of freedom with my schedule. My little guy doesn't go to bed until 8:30 and I really have to purpose to be very attentive and ON for him and not vedge out or relax after work because he needs as much of me as possible. I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday completely off and I try to purpose to do as much with him as I can on those days while trying to make time for myself and my marriage too. It's really hard to balance it all sometimes!

Ultimately, you know what your family needs and when it comes to working and needing income and such, it's a hard road to navigate through sometimes. And that is speaking from experience. Whatever you decide or whatever it is that ya'll need to do work wise, just remember that time flies and is gone before we know it. Love and time are the most important things we can give to our kids. I found that working part-time enabled me to just enjoy my son more because I was doing what I needed to do for myself too.

I think I repeated myself a lot in there - but there is my two cents. HOpe you find what works for you and your family!