Monday, October 19, 2009

To work or not to work?

First off, can I please direct your attention over to the right and ask what the blue fuck happened to the ticker baby?! It's ... it's ... got fat? It looks like a tiny oompaloompa all of a sudden. I know I've been eating a lot of ice cream and pancakes, but seriously!

So how was your weekend? I slept through most of mine. No really. I slept about 12 hours on Friday night, then Adam took me out to breakfast and I came home and took a 3 hour nap. I think there were drugs in my pancakes. Sunday was busy. It went like this: wake up, Whole Foods, church, commissary for groceries, Marine Corps Exchange (like a Wal-Mart on base, except ghettoer -- that is totally a word), home to unload groceries, driving tour of neighborhood we hope to move to, gas, Navy Exchange, Costco, home again, nap, gym, shower, tv, bed. You may have noticed that we go to three different places to get our groceries (much to Adam's chagrin). It's because I am paranoid about dairy and meat products and will only buy/eat those mostly from Whole Foods. I buy eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, meats, and anything else that suits my fancy. We shop at the commissary for all the other food things we need like spices, some veggies, milk (because they have the same organic whole milk as WF for less money), and other random things I will not spend $10 on a box of crackers from WF so help me god I don't care if it's made with the Queen of Sheba's tears. Then we go to Costco to get the majority of everything else: fruit, more meats, nuts, veggies, cottage cheese, Babybel's, feta, hummus, giant 5 lb bags of carrots, booze, motor oil, etc, etc, etc. Stuff is cheap at Costco and I love shopping there but you can't buy all your groceries there unless you are shopping for a big family because there is just not room in my freezer for 15 lbs of pork loin.

Sometime over the weekend Adam and I managed to have another conversation about whether I should go back to work or not. We have discussed it ad nauseum and still have yet to come to a definite conclusion. Just when I think we are pretty much leaning towards me quitting my job, Adam up and pulls a 180 (on Saturday) telling me how much money we could save for a down payment on a house in a few years if I keep working now. Leaving me like: I thought you wanted me to quit working?! And he's like: the daddy part of me does but the economist part of me doesn't! And then we have a three hour discussion about what is going to happen to our finances if I quit working (also known as: evaluating whether I will have to stop getting pedicures and dropping $100 in Target whenever I feel like it, because really I don't want to do that).

This is such a hard decision! Also because the pro's and con's aren't easily balanced out. How do you balance the extra income against the stress of being a working mom and having to hand off mah baybeeee to some stranger to care for? You can't! You can't even compare those things.

If I keep working, a big chunk of my income is going to go to day care, but a very-not-insignificant amount of money will still be left over to save for a down payment on a house and to spend on frivolous things like going to the mall and buying a shirt if I feel like it. If I keep working I will have the satisfaction of having "something for myself" and getting to leave the house and interact with adults and do non-baby-related things. And I will keep up my skills to continue to have a lucrative career later on when the kids are in school and doing their own activities.

However, if I go back to work, I will have to hand over my tiny 3 month old baby to day care to go to a job I don't really like that much = HARD. Plus, getting myself ready in the morning AND getting a newborn ready, dropped off at daycare and getting to work on time = HARD. I can hardly get myself going in the morning. Plus, lugging around a breast pump and pumping twice a day at work = HARD. Plus, will they even give your baby breastmilk at daycare?? And cloth diapers? I'm pretty sure they won't do cloth diapers at daycare, so we will have to be buying diapers. Not even mentioning the feeling of missing out on so much baby stuff = HARD. All of that = HARD.

If I quit working all those hard things go away, but we will also be cutting our family income literally in half. Right now we put all of my paycheck into savings, and that would go away. We would probably not have to make too many cuts in our current spending levels, but we wouldn't be able to save as much. Which... that is ALSO a part of providing the best for your kids: saving money and financial stability. But is it more important than being there? To me? Because there is no answer to this question. All that matters is what matters most TO ME.

At the moment, I am leaning towards quitting my job. Right now it seems like the sacrifices we would make to lose 50% of our household income are not as bad/much as the sacrifices *I* would have to make to keep working. But I still haven't decided. And I don't think I'll ever truly, finally DECIDE. I will have to just buckle down eventually and do one thing or the other and then try to find peace with that. Either way there are going to be positives and negatives - benefits and sacrifices. But I will only have one chance to stay home when they are babies. Once they are grown, it's over. Still. This decision...


1 comment:

Jadey 0:-) said...

Hold off on making your decision until you HAVE to. If you are on leave you have a job to go back to or you can decide not to go back. If you decide now to quit your job and decide you need to go back. That's slightly more difficult.