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Work Dilemma. I'd love some advice!

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September 30th, 2012, 06:39 PM
Memi's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,513
Ladies I really need some help on hearing WWYD. I'm already struggling with what to do as far as work goes with this new baby coming. Whether to go back working full time or quit and become a SAHM. I'm currently working part time but financially with two kids in day care that doesn't make any sense with how much I'd be bringing home, so it's either go back full time or quite completely. Here's my thought process:

My ultimate goal was always to be a SAHM by the time we had a second child. We don't "need" my income as we've lived off just DH's before and I know we could do it again. However we have become accustom to my income and spend it quickly and frivolously which is not how it was intended. Going back to one income will take lots of cutting back but we're really trying to start doing that now. My paycheck just hit and we immediately flipped it all to savings. I hope we can do that for the remainder months and it will stay there. So one income is doable but we will have to watch our spending a lot more.

My concern with working full time is I know I won't want all the stress that brings. Last time I put DS in daycare at 4 months and went back full time I was miserable. I wanted to be with my baby, work was very stressful and I just wan't happy at all! However my concern about being a SAHM is going stir crazy. DS is a handful, I cannot imagine simple things to get me out of the house (like grocery shopping or going to the park) and trying to manage that with two kids. Ideally I'd have a close network of other SAHMs close to me for frequent play dates and that would get me out of the house and keep me sane, but unfortunately that's just not the case. I remember just with DS as an infant there would be times that I wouldn't see outside for 3-4 days! I was getting really bored and stir crazy. Also to keep DS in any extra curricular activities like going to daycare 1-2 days a week just to get socialization and be use to it for Pre-K, or to start him in classes or tee ball, that stuff costs extra money. IDK if it's practical to do that stuff when we're having to live off one income and watch our spending more.

Also if I quite I need to decide when. My anniversary at the job is in February so I though about quiting in February or March just so I can get that extra "year" of experience down for my resume if I need it in the future, and it'd give me extra time preparing and spending one on one time with DS. But others think I should work as long as I can which I wouldn't mind I suppose. Just not sure...

I'm just not sure what the right answer is. I know DH wants me to stay home and honestly I want that too in an ideal world...but I'm not sure how everything will work out. I feel like in either scenario there's potential for me to not be happy with my choice. I feel very negative and unappreciative saying that as I know I'm lucky to have a choice, but I'm just confused. Am I being ridiculous? Someone talk me through this. WWYD?
Expecting #3 in January 2016!

Last edited by Memi; September 30th, 2012 at 06:42 PM.
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September 30th, 2012, 06:55 PM
dyeanotherday's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 1,566
I went through lot of that recently except that also i wanted to work being at home can be boring but as Landon is like 2 1/2 i have realized that being a sahm is best for us as that is when it starts getting crucial for him to learn certain things like at daycare for instance he makes a mess and he knows if he just refuses to pick it up no one there can make him . . . cause i have a stubborn child and once he makes it to nap time he wins and will go take his nap. Yet when he is home it is my goal to have him learn to pick up his messes and teach him.

Most kids aren't this stubborn but i still feel like as a mother you can raise your kids better then the people at daycare. Also i have come to learn that the time you get to spend with your kids when they are young is worth way more then extra income.

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September 30th, 2012, 07:10 PM
NewlyMrs's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,101
If it were me....I would definitely take the opportunity to stay home. Your kids are only tiny for such a short while and I wouldn't want to look back and say "I could've stayed home". Now, I am not a mother yet, but I can only imagine how stressful being a SAHM 24/7 would be. But like dyeanotherday said, I would rather raise my children all by myself than rely on someone else to do it their way.

In the end, you will do the best for you and your family. No one will judge you either way you go. I hope you get some clarity soon. Sounds like you have some time to weigh the pros and cons. I'm here for you as you sort it out
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September 30th, 2012, 10:01 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 6,913
Hi there, I worked full time until my son was born in January of 2010. Then I became a FT SAHM. I can honestly say I know it was the right decision. There of course are times too where I do go stir-crazy, and my social life is pretty sad. We have moved a LOT since DS was born so I haven't really had a chance to get connected with other moms. Plus we have one car so most of the time I didn't have transportation.
My suggestion would be, if you want to be a SAHM full time, then plan way ahead for it. Look into a local MOPS group (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers), it's where moms can get together with other moms and have support and socialization. I haven't done that myself, but I hear there is a membership fee, no idea how much.
If you're a religious person you could check and see if your church has some sort of moms thing. Or you could even check with a local WIC office (Women, Infants and Children), and see if they know anything about any groups of moms meeting locally.
Another thought is having some evening class or hobby where maybe your DH could watch the kids for a few hours, and you get out and do something fun with other people. Maybe have something like that a couple nights a week, and then the weekends to get out with DH along, and I think it would work.

So I think you could make it work, you would just need to plan ahead. Make sure that you have transportation lined up before you quit work, as in, if you have two cars and have payments or whatnot, maybe focus on paying one of them off now so you can live off your DH's paycheck and you are sure to have a car that way. Then seek out all the connections before you quit work or give birth or whatever comes first. You might even check into some counseling or therapy just in case you end up with postpartum depression (the baby blues) what with all the new responsibilities and lack of the routine of work.

The other thought I had is, and what I think I would have preferred to do if it had worked out, is to work part time, and only have your child(ren) in daycare for the days you work. Even if your income was all going to pay the daycare and gas for the drive to work, you might enjoy a couple of days a week of no-kids time and be able to feel like a productive member of society. I would love to do this if we had the option, but we can't afford a second car, and we can't afford to start up daycare prior to me getting a first paycheck. So at this point it's not feasible, but I think if we had planned ahead we could have made it work. It would be really nice to have some adult-only interaction a couple days a week, and be able to feel like I have a life too, while being able to spend the majority of the week cuddling my DS and doing all those mommy things I'd want to do.

In the end, I don't regret being a SAHM, I love being there for DS and that he is able to totally depend on me and not have to have separation anxiety or anything. I feel comfortable about it at this point.

Oh, and I think it depends on your personality too. Are you the kind of person who enjoys solitude? Or do you get your "recharge" time by spending time out on the town or with friends? Myself, I enjoy being alone, so having a lot of alone time isn't as much of a strain on me as other women who are very social and love having a busy life. I like the slower pace of being a SAHM.

Sorry so long! HTH.

Little Bud: Blooming in Heaven 1.24.12
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October 1st, 2012, 12:06 AM
Ryan and Alex's Mommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: canada
Posts: 6,104
Stay at home. The reason i stay at home is because we can't afford daycare. Even if i was to work i'd be working my butt off for someone else, getting paid crap, and then handing my check to someone else watching my kids....not to mention i'd have to use hubby's money because what i'd bring home wouldn't be enough. I honestly don't know how some people can afford daycare for 1 kid let alone 2, 3 or more. Being a stay at home mom is worth it, just remember to take time for yourself to stay saine

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October 1st, 2012, 03:28 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 1,708
First of all, you aren't being ridiculous, at all!

I've been stressing out about work, too, and I don't even have a job yet (job hunting right now).

If there is any way you *can* make being a SAHM work, that's what I would do. I'm more old fashioned, though. If you have an established career and love your job and it's part of your identity, then maybe being a SAHM isn't for you. It also comes down to money. With two kids, unless you're making a great salary (which in this economy is rare!) it probably makes more financial sense to stay at home.

My hubby is enlisted in the military (read: we're poor). This past March (I was working at a law firm in TX for about two months at the time-we had just moved there) I started having severe pelvic pain. It was blamed on my PCOS and endometriosis, but the pain was so severe I couldn't work. I was also getting sick very frequently (asthma and sinus infections). I stopped working there, and we had no idea how we were going to make it work on our one meager income...but we have. I haven't worked since then (I had two surgeries over the summer so it didn't make sense to go back to work, and we just moved back to VA) and we are fine.

Granted, we don't have much in savings and things are more stressful money wise, but you *CAN* do it. I know it's hard to cut back, but it's possible...especially if it means you get to spend more time with your kids!

I got some good ideas from this article (and there are plenty of others out there like this) to help cut things back. Going to one income can really help you evaluate your priorities, too.

Also, like other mommies said, find a SAHM mom group through a church, local organization, or meetup.com. Make sure you take a bit of time for yourself every now an then, too!

Sorry, my thoughts are all over the place (I just woke up and can't have my caffeine! ). I know you and your DH will make the best decision for your family. Have faith in your instincts!

Last edited by mamamac; October 1st, 2012 at 03:30 AM.
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October 1st, 2012, 03:50 AM
jcperez's Avatar 1 Busy Momma
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,003
It seems as though you already know what you are going to to. If you can make it staying at home than I would do it. Your husband is supporting you too which makes it even better. Im not working now but my husband wants me to get a job for the extra income. Its tough. Im not sure what Im going to do about daycare and really would prefer to stay home but I cant. This will make child #3 and although my other kids are older and not in daycare....they are still expensive : ) On the flip side, staying home is not for everyone. My sister stays home with her 3 year old and is going nuts.

Mommy to Lorenzo, Marino and Remy
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October 1st, 2012, 03:52 AM
Memi's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,513
Thanks for all of the responses ladies! I appreciate your insight.
To answer a few of your questions:
That circumstance was talking about only putting the kids in daycare PT to work PT. I'd only be bringing home an average of $250 every two weeks after day are expenses. My job is pretty stressful and seems to only be increasing with the hours that need to be out in to catch up so that isn't worth the stress to me, hence either going FT or quiting.
I am a very social person and like to be out and about. However my career is not part of my identity whatsoever. I'm not one of those people who lives to work as I've only been in the industry I'm currently in for 2 years (since I went back to work after having DS).

I will absolutely look into local groups, that's be great! However I tried doing that when I had DS and there wasn't much available I could find at the time. Hopefully that's changed?

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October 1st, 2012, 05:04 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,259
Im a stay at home mom and it is a hard adjustment to make. I was tired and lonely for a bit but once i got myself out there and socializing again it got easier. My kids are 3 and 2, my son takes a sports class and my daughter takes an art class at a YMCA and they have made alot of friends. If staying home is what you really want to do then im sure all of us can help you come up with ideas to make it a smooth transition. Good luck with making this decision. I will keep you in my prayers.
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October 1st, 2012, 05:26 AM
mrsjl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 4,917
I haven't read any responses so sorry if I repeat anyone.

I believe that if there is a chance of a parent staying home with the kids, it should be done. so you'll have to cut back on spending, sacrifice a little time away from the house, whatever. look at what you're gaining! and more importantly, look at what your kids are gaining. it isn't forever, they do grow up, and wouldn't it be nice to actually BE THERE for all of that? I just couldn't imagine paying someone else to raise my child, to be there for most of their waking hours, to have someone tell ME about MY kid! don't get me wrong, some parents need to work and that is fine, the number one thing is that you can provide for your child so if you need to work to do that then that is no problem, of course. but if you CAN be home, then why not?
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October 1st, 2012, 06:43 AM
LPNMOMMY84's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 1,566
We are in the same boat and I totally understand what you are going through. I had to give up work a couple of weeks ago and while it was stressful, I have not regretted it once. It was always out plan for me to SAH but things can get yucky for us in the winter since DH's job relies partly on better weather. We have made changes, for sure. One thing I did was sat down and made a budget to discern exactly how much my income was contributing to bills and at the end of the day, we only had to cut out 500$ in expenses a month for me to stay home. I'd rather be home with my kids than let someone else raise them. Daycare is offensively expensive and to be honest, while I LOVE the daycare providers we used, they still did things to annoy me, like they insist on starting solids at 4 months (UM NO) or refused to use my cloth diapers. At the end of the day it gives us much greater piece of mind for me to be at home with the kids. I never have to stress who will pick Abrie up from the bus or what Anna is eating for dinner or did Shawn remember to brush their teeth and are they lonely or missing me. Im still employed Per diem and like this month am picking up 2 shifts, but day shifts rather than the stupid 3-11. It sounds like with some financial figuring you guys could totally do it and its SO worth it.
Torre, mom to my 3 beauties, full time working nurse, and wife to Shawn.
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October 1st, 2012, 07:09 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,797
Welcome to the SAHM club!

It sounds like you have already made up your mind to join one of the hardest jobs around. Being at home is hard, but is so rewarding as well. Our oldest is 12 and I've been at home with her since she was born. We have welcomed many others after her.

I am hestiant to share to much, because some of ours are religious and lots of personal beliefs as well and many people don't agree with them. But....you can do this! I understand needing "adults" to talk to as well. Start looking and you will find lots of opportunities.
Jesus loving, homeschooling, gardening lover, devoted wife to a wonderful hubby and 10 kids, ages 13 down to 12.5 months . We are expecting number 11 due January 1st, 2015.

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October 1st, 2012, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 386
If at all possible be SAHM. Things always work out some how some way. I have recently gone back to working full time, not by choice, my employers and I hate it!!! The money is nice but I tend to find myself not saving much more than before. I'm stressed and hate being gone long days. You can find ways to save money, you might have to make some lifestyle changes but it will be so worth it. With each of my kids, my husband took FMLA for 3 months and it was awesome!!!! it was tough financially but we survived. I'm hoping he can do it again, I am the primary breadwinner so to be SAHM is not an option : (but do plan to go back to part time when the baby arrives. You can't get this time back so do what makes you happy.

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October 1st, 2012, 07:36 AM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,971
As someone who had similar options, I can totally understand the dilemma. I had to make the decision before Liam. And I opted to SAH. It wasn't worth going to work the main hours of my day, to pay someone to take care of Liam, and bring home pennies.

I worried about the socialization aspect too. And I can say, sometimes it is really hard. The reality of going and doing with two kids is harder than one. There are days where I desperately seek adult conversation, about anything not related to kids. There are days where we are stir-crazy (but going out is just as unappealing). BUT, on the long and whole, I love SAH. I am here for it all, I get to do whatever I want all day (within reason) and I have become the master at free activities locally.

The key is to find like-minded mommies. And fun places to go. And then have a standing playdate and several other activities you can do during the week. I also find having "chore days" helps me feel organized. I do laundry mostly on mondays and we don't often leave the house that day. Liam does preschool on Tuesdays and then we do the mall play place. Wednesday I vacuum and clean he boys rooms (sheets, dusting, toys put back where they go) and I have moms night out that night (very important). Thursdays are our standing playdate at a local park or walking trail. I also clean the kitchen (wipe down) that day. Friday is library storytime and grocery day. Saturday is sleep-in day and vacuuming. Sunday is church and family day.

Truly, it can get tight money wise if we have to take the dogs to the vet and get haircuts the same week (we have five dogs). But it's not that bad. And there are tons of free things to do with the kids. Even Barnes and noble had a storytime a couple times a week. I function in a budget and it was amazing how frivolously we DID spend prior to having two kids and creating a working budget. It has money for fun each week and that is important because it keeps me from being trapped in the house. I can take the kids out to lunch or do the open gym gymnastics on Wednesdays. Even $20 goes a long way for socialization.

It's not a silly thing to be worried about, it is a major life choice. And something you should think about from all angles. But I don't regret the choice I made, even if some days I feel stupid and like my brain is going to mush from reading books and telling the kids to leave each other alone (yea, it starts WAY earlier than you would think!)
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October 1st, 2012, 09:23 AM
markswife's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,683
Is it possible to keep working until you have the baby and keep putting your whole paycheck into savings? I think that would be an ideal way to adjust to the reduced income while still having a chance to have that extra money if something came up. Then when you do quit, you will have some savings built up so you will have that peace of mind when you are staying home.

As far as activities, most libraries offer free children's programs most mornings. If I stayed at home, I would be going to those all the time. DD loves to read and I think the interaction with other children and moms would be great for both of us. Plus who doesn't love free stuff!!!
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October 1st, 2012, 12:06 PM
Memi's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,513
Thanks so much ladies for all of your responses. You guys have really made me think and I'm pretty sure I "know" this is what is right for me and my family. I'm not sure why it seems like such a hard decision to make since I have been a SAHM before. Perhaps that's because that was a little short-lived. But I do know the struggles of being a SAHM and it's not completely wonderful in theory since I have lived it a bit and know what hard work it can be, KWIM?

Anyways...I've been thinking since I posted this and I think the angle I really forgot to think about is how I was when I did go back to work FT when DS was an infant. I was lucky enough to SAH until he was 4 months old but once I went back I slowly became a very miserable person and that eventually overflowed to all areas of my life. I was just unhappy. I was beyond stressed out at work and couldn't leave work at work. The house was really behind all of the time. I felt stretched so so thin. I wanted to be home with my baby and as he grew I felt like he wasn't the same happy baby again. Within weeks of me switching to PT I swear he changed back into my child. I think he could just feel my stress and it was negatively affecting him as well. Remembering what a miserable person I was working FT after having a baby...I remember how I don't ever want to do that again! I think that alone has made my decision for me.

So now my big task is to do some major homework and find free local events for outings DS would enjoy and talk to some of my friends who live close and try to get at least one re-occuring play date each week going. I think having at least two things a week would help tremendously is keeping DS entertained (he gets in big trouble when he's bored! ) and getting me socialized and out of the house for some fresh air. I love some of your suggestions on this. Thank you so so much! I really do appreciate it! I didn't know it was possible bc my PR with DS is AMAZING!, but I think I'm loving you girls already Ya'll are awesome! Keep the ideas rolling if you have more
Expecting #3 in January 2016!

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October 1st, 2012, 04:08 PM
dyeanotherday's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cedar Park, TX
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We go to storytime at the library it's free and i have met lots of other moms wiith young kids there and they have let me in on other activities we are going to a pumpkin patch this week

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October 1st, 2012, 04:20 PM
MrsNHigh's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,947
If staying home works for you, then go for it. I think I could stay home with a baby. If I stayed home with my almost 4 year old son, we would both go crazy! I'm lucky to be a teacher, so I get summers off and holidays. I'm no sahm!

Last edited by MrsNHigh; October 2nd, 2012 at 09:08 AM.
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October 2nd, 2012, 06:39 AM
pressedfairie's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 922
I was in a similar situation until last spring. I was working 2 days a week teaching and staying at home the rest of the time. It was soooo stressful for me even just working those two days. It was probably the nature of teaching though, as I had to plan my classes and grade papers, etc.

My main reason for choosing to stay home is because I know that my son (and new baby) will not be this age forever. I know there are many people out there that would love the opportunity to stay home, but can't because of financial reasons. And I am so thankful that I have a choice. That said, I really miss my job/my students, and some days, being a SAHM is the hardest thing I've ever done. It takes an incredible amount of patience and yes, it can get soooo boring sometimes, which is why DS and I make it a point to play outside a lot, go to parks, etc.

This year, even though DS is 23 months, I decided to put him in a part time preschool program (2 days a week, 3 hours each day). I can honestly say that we're both happier for it! He loves going to preschool, and I like having a few hours a week to do things I can't normally do. I'm terrified of what is to come when the new baby arrives (and preschool is out for the summer), but I'm sure I'll work it out.
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October 2nd, 2012, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: CT
Posts: 418
I have had an internal debate going on in my head for years. Up until now, financially I had to work, but it is looking like I might have a choice in the not to distant future.

Pro work: I went to school and got my MBA. I have been working my whole adult life. I like the regualr schedule work forces me to keep. If I take time off and want to go back, how will that affect my "career". Daycare has taugh my son SO much that I never would have thought of. He is shy and daycare has been WONDERFUL at helping him out of his shell. Would I be bored without "adult" interaction. ALL of my female friends work. I like having money to take little trips and buy toys for my son.

Pro SAHM: With #2, I will know better what to teach him or her now that I have seen what daycare taught my son. Two kids in daycare costs more than we pay for the house. I am VERY unhappy at my current job and feel my career is going no where anyway. I struggle everyday getting to work on time, getting my son from daycare on time after work, exercising, dinner, laundry, dishes, etc. It would be nice to have time to just focus on my family.

I think there is no "right" decision. You can only do what is best for you and your family. And either way, the decision isn't permanent. If it doesn't work - you can go get a job. Or if you do decide to work, you can always quit.
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