Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Where I ask life-path advice from strangers

I’m having a really tough time right now making a big decision and since I’m stumped for an answer I thought I would open this up to all of you and hopefully get some of that wonderfully thoughtful advice I always see circulating on the blogs I read.

I’m trying to decide if I should resign from my job. Here’s the scoop…

I work part time at a public radio and TV station. My job is stress free and I feel like I make a contribution to the community through the work we all do here. I get to interact with adults and save a little money away for my eventual retirement. I started this job about 11 months ago and have had a wonderful time here. It’s a very family friendly place and I can even bring the baby to work with me when we get back from Ethiopia until I feel he/she’s ready for childcare.

What's the problems then? Well, Z-Man works full time at his job and then we also own half of a small business that keeps him hoping most of the rest of the time. He makes enough money that we don’t have to worry about finances and anything I bring in is extra minus childcare expenses. The issues arise when the kids are sick. I have very little sick leave at my work and use it up quickly. He has a ton of sick leave but really no time to stay home without falling behind at work.

I also am having trouble finding childcare for Princess over the summer. I can put her in Art Camp for the month of June, but then have nothing. With paying for camp and for Cookies preschool, I will actually be paying out more money than I bring home for their care. This will be a much bigger problem when the baby is home and ready for childcare also! Plus, I would love to get the girls into swim lessons over the summer but the class schedule conflicts with my work schedule.

It seems like a no brainer that I should stay home… but have I mentioned that I love my job? When I stayed home when Cookie was younger I went a little nuts. It was very hard for me to be home with the kids all day with minimal adult interaction. I HATE housework so staying at home and becoming 100% responsible for the cleaning makes me cringe! I’m also a very shy person and don’t make friends easily. I have a hard time getting out and socializing enough for the kids; I can never manage the play-date thing. (So, how do you get invited to those anyway?) Cookie loves her preschool and would be very sad to have to leave; something that would have to happen if I stayed home because we wouldn’t be able to afford to keep sending her. (Which also ties into the socialization issue)

So, here’s pro/con list to recap.

~ No more childcare worries (3 kids in care in the summer? $$$)
~ Always home when kids are sick/on vacation
~ Less stress on Z-Man
~ Housework done during the week so weekends could be just family time
~ Swim lessons are definitely doable
~ I love my job!
~ No preschool for Cookie
~ Crazy mommy syndrome
~ No retirement savings for me (we do save in ZM’s name but I hate not having a nest egg of my own)
~ Home study update (?)
~ Limited social interactions for the kids
~ Mucho housework for me
~ Finding things to keep us occupied that doesn’t cost $$
Ok, that’s all I can think at the moment. So, what do you think? Should I just suck it up and stay home because I’ll be easier and cheaper for all concerned, even if I don’t want to. Or should I pay through the nose and keep doing the job I love even though it causes more stress on my hubby?

Opinions? Advice? Help!


Maggie said...

Hoo boy. That's a tough one. I'm having a hard time getting past the childcare and sick day side. It may be most practical to stay home. But, it's SO important to take care of yourself, too. And it sounds like your job gives you fulfillment. I have no advice, just commiseration. Sorry I'm no help.

Elle said...

ohh, that is a tough one. I would personally say stay home, but that's because I'm a SAHM. I too have problems getting out and socializing. but we do plan on sending the boy to preschool this fall. It is the school at our church so we can afford it.

Either way, do what you think will be best for you and your family. Tough I know...

Mom-of-5 said...

Ohh- such a decision to make. Can you take a leave for the summmer ?

Tricia said...

We will have the same dilemma. I am thinking about staying at work PT (30-32 per week, if they will let me) so I have the adult interaction, and money to spend to send them to a good pre-school. (And justify my clothes & highlights!) :)

I took a leave from work last year for a few months and just HATED scrubbing the toilets knowing that I could be at work & paying someone to do it. That said, after the hour or so of cleaning... I LOVED the freedom of having daylight hours to get stuff done & weekends to be with my husband stress-free.

Tami said...

Ooooh I hate these kinds of decisions! I feel for you, I really do. I have no real advice, except to say you need to follow your heart. Do what it tells you to do.

Jill said...

Maybe you could stick with your job for now and if it gets too crazy, you could stay home.

jessie s said...

personally I have decided that I need some type of job to "stay sane." Can you work part time? Have your talked to your bosses about your dilemna? Maybe you could work from home part of the time, that way if your kiddos are sick you can have a laptop and work while they're napping. You can also do "secretary" work for your husband's part time business, and that can be seen as additional income. What a hard choice! But, you do save a lot of money on child care, etc, if you're home or at least home part of the time so you're there in case something comes up with the kids.

Debbie said...

No real advice but could you possibly work part time or 3 full days a week. That would probably depend on what you do there and if they would let you. But that sounds like the best idea to me. That way you don't go totally crazy at work. Cookie can be in the preschool she loves for the days you work. It's really the best of both.
Or maybe just for the summer they could cut your hours some. So that you could do swim lessons with the kids.