Life Changing Decision to Make

Karla_NEJanuary 31, 2002

Here is the deal. I am a working Mom with a 14 mo. old DD. I am married, and DH and I both work full-time days. DD goes to a daycare center during the day. I have been very unhappy at my job, due to mainly my job is not what the job description says, and my boss. She is so anal it is disgusting. My boss and I have had many problems, too many to list.

I used to REALLY have a hard time having DD in daycare, but I have gotten much better with it. DD seems to like it and they do lots of neat things there. The bad side is that she has tended to get sick a lot this winter, which I am sure is partly her age and a lot because of being in daycare.

DH used to be adamant that I had to keep working. He is now seriously at the point where he is "ok" with it if I want to quit my job and have DD home with me. He says he has changed his tune because he realizes that happiness is more important than money. The deal is I would still have to work part-time, probably evenings and/or weekends, to make ends meet.

I currently bring home about 50% of our income, so it would be a huge hit financially if I quit. We have done all the math a million times, and with me working and having DD in daycare, I am still bringing home a very healthy paycheck. We also want to have one more child. Even with another child in daycare, I would still be bringing home a good deal of money.

I am SO torn, and do not know what to do. If I quit we would really have to cut back on things. If I keep working, I had thought about getting a different job and I think I would be happier, but if I stay here I am guaranteed 12 weeks maternity leave. If I went to another company, I would have to be there a while to get the 12 weeks maternity leave.

To add another monkey to the wrench, we also want to buy a new house. We have lived in our house for 5 years. It is 26 years old and we have done a LOT of remodeling to it. Even so, there are still many things that will be needing repaired or replaced. If I still worked full-time, we could afford to get a new house. If I did not, that would obviously have to wait. DH and I moved and had to change schools as kids, and it had an effect on us. We both agree that we would rather buy a new house to stay in long term before DD and second child are in school.

So with all my babbling, I hope it all makes sense. I just don't know what to do. I see both pros and cons to my current situation and what things would be like if I quit working full-time. If I stay working full-time we have more money, could buy a new home, and can keep DD's college fund going and we can keep socking away money for retirement too. On the bad side, DD is in daycare, and our lives seem so hectic all the time. If I quit working full-time, we have MUCH less money, finances would be tight, and we could not buy a new house or possibly even the college and retirement funds. On the plus side, DD would not be in daycare, she would be home with Mom, she would probably not get sick as much, etc.

I am usually very good at making decisions, but this one I am so unsure what to do. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

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This is my point of view- why even have kids if they have to be in daycare all day and be raised by someone else? I know alot of moms have to work, but if you can make it without having to, DO IT! You can never replace that time with your children! They're only little for such a short time. Maybe after they get in school you could start working again with hours that match their school hours.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2002 at 11:19PM
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Am I crazy, or did you put in the post at the Parents forum that you're planning to work part time if you quit? I think I best go back and read it and if you did, ignore my last post over there :-) I was telling you the things you would be missing and the changes that would occur if you worked those part time hours on the weekends and nights.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 8:04AM
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No one can make this decision for you. And it is a hard one. I quite my job when I became pregnant because 1. I hated my job, 2. I always had said I wanted to raise my own kids. I also brought in about 50% of the household income. It was a big adjustment. I was so nervous about finances I tracked every cent for months. I was sure we would not be able to survive. Guess what! We did survive and we were able to afford to move to a bigger house out in the country just like we had always wanted even after I quit and had the baby. It is surprising how much it "costs" to work, lunches and diner out, dry cleaning, new work clothes, gas, the list is endless. It took a while to adjust to a non working life. You get used to being rushed and active all the time, not working allows you a much more relaxed pace. Once you get used to it it's great but you have to keep yourself busy doing something other than just raising your child. I say "just" raising your child, although this is a huge job you will need other stimulus for your self. I have not regreted quiting at all. You can always go back to work later, but you can't go back to when your kids are small.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 9:37AM
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With only a quick read... your post smacks me in the head with the following thought: This woman just needs to get a happier job.

Easier said than done I know. However, once you get happy somewhere from 7:30-6:45 (because commuting counts as work!) your time outside of work is not wasted with thoughts of wanting to strangle your co-workers. You don't spend hours doing math trying to figure out a way to get away from it.

Yes its important to spend as much time as you can with your kids; however, I think it doesn't have to be black or white. It doesn't have to be "Quit now or suffer forever with this lunatic while she turns me into a lunatic and I drive my family crazy because I hate this job so much."

Work on finding a full time job that doesn't make you angry so that you have some breathing room to make the hard financial choices without emotional influence. Money troubles are hard on families--sometimes you just have to work.

Change can be good too; maybe you'll find a job so close to home you can run there to move a load of laundry over lunch from the washer to the dryer or run to the grocery store and back to the office. Not the same as mothering your kids, I know, but its a small perk that can give you better time with your family during non-work hours.

I hope that boss just quits so you can have her job!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 11:21PM
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I'm on the "quality of life" kick. We only have one life to live, what then is realllllly important?

I prefer to live with little money in order to have less stress. I enjoy the freedom and easy-going lifestyle I have staying home with the kids. I especially enjoy the time, I can use it to learn new skills (been teaching myself to cook plus how to use certain computer programs), I'm reading lots of books (from the library), and am available to help others. Plus, I'm there for my kids. They (a baby and a toddler) are growing sooooooo fast and I am grateful I've spent so much time with them. I'm also "there" for my husband. He can come home and enjoy his family, instead of helping me with the chores/cooking/shopping/laundry/errands. I married him in an old fashioned "the wife is the husband's helper" role and I love being able to fulfill that role. (This is my own personal religious conviction--trying not to imply here that every one has to have this desire!)

We live well within our means, socking away as much as we can. We do cheap vacations (another topic), don't go out, buy food in bulk (I'm talking wheat berries and dried corn to grind into our own flours--very cheap!) We take the time to find our needs at garage sales before paying retail: things like an $100 expresso/coffee maker for $8.

I'm especially fortunate and this has worked for our family.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 12:31PM
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If you want to raise your daughter,and especially if you want to have another child, I think you ought to think seriously about staying home, even part time. The reasons you list for continuing to work pale in comparison to the things you gain by staying home to raise your kids.

Your house is only 26 years old- that's relatively young for a house. Even after remodeling, is it dangerous or hazardous to live in, or is it a quality of life issue? I think in 50 years, looking back, you'll be much happier if you get to look back on raising your own children, even if it was done in a house that wasn't perfect. Besides, you can move in a few years,once your second child is going into preschool or kindergarten and you're back at work.

Maybe at that point you'll be able to find a home in the district you're currently in. Or you may have to switch schools, but as long as you're in the same area, your kids will still be able to see old friends and life will go on.

Your quality of life will only be compromised for the first few years. Your husband will probably get a raise or a bonus, and in the meantime, you'll definitely find ways to save money. Eliminating fast food and eating in resturants is a very very easy way to cut down on expenses- at one point, when our son was very young and we were very tired, we found we were spending up to $600 a month just on eating in restaurants and eating lunches out.

There will always be things in life that you want, and will be out of reach unless you continue to work. a nicer car, an nicer house,etc. but your kids will only be little once.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2002 at 1:27PM
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