Big Decisions

I haven’t written a lot of substantial posts lately because let’s face it: my life is pretty stable right now. With the kids at manageable ages and the running and both Ash and I at least having jobs, we’re doing alright by today’s standards. This is desirable, of course. I remember days past where I wasn’t sure I could make that month’s bills and/or where I’d be working come summer, etc. We’ve gotten ourselves to a plateau and we’re happy just coasting. Sometimes it can be dull. Sometimes I get to feeling that old ennui…

But sometimes, when I am reading other mommy blogs, I start to think if I should reexamine my life and the choices I have made. Though I love my job, sometimes I feel really frustrated by the amount of effort I put in versus the amount of money they pay me. I’m not surprised by it; academia has a way of severely underpaying people who work hard and overpaying idiot sacks of shit like a few of the people who work a couple floors above me. I wish it were fair but as my parents told me repeatedly as a child, “Life isn’t fair. Get used to it.” I get on job boards maybe once a month and scour the listings to see what I could possibly apply for that would pay even a fraction more than I make now. The thing is, I only need about 200 more a month.

Ash used to urge me to stay home with the kids because what we pay in daycare alone equals roughly one of my paychecks. Think about that then all the other bills a family of four (and three dogs) has. It’s slightly ridiculous. I am of the belief that daycare/preschool is integral to a child’s development. Elliot has seriously benefited from it; he has always been a sharp kid but his social skills have improved and he just knows how to be an all around better person. He’s more balanced because of it. I see nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom but I always said it wasn’t for me…

… and it still isn’t. I just realized today, however, that if I could secure some side job type things, then I might be willing to give it a go. The main things holding me back before were the a.) loyalty I have to this job and the people and b.) the lack of social interaction with adults. I could handle the latter; just make sure I plan activities and do things with friends when I can. The former, well, I think it became apparent to me about six months ago that I could quit and still be happy. You gotta do what you gotta do.

The one thing I think I will dislike about it most is that if I am only bringing in a small amount of money, I will feel bad about spending it on extra stuff. Can I justify that pedicure if I am bringing in less money? I have always had an issue justifying spending anyway; this would just make it even more mentally anguishing.

I haven’t mentioned my change in thought to Ash yet, though I know he’ll support me in whatever I choose. There’s a lot of things that would need to be secured before any of this goes down but I have to say, with this prospect out on the table, I am feeling energized and revived in a way. This is a very good thing.

5 thoughts on “Big Decisions

  1. Interesting post! I can relate. I work outside the home and I’d love the luxury of staying at home with our child. Unfortunately, it isn’t financially feasible at this time. I do think I’d struggle with staying at home, though. I am the type of personal who needs to get out of the house to get things done. Otherwise I tend to laze around and let things slide. I worry about my son’s socialization as well.

  2. So I take it you two don’t have the “our money” approach. We find it smooths over the difference in incomes and makes us work together better. I’m making money for both of us and he is too, so if he wants something the money is there and visa versa. It has nothing to do with what we make as individuals but what we have collectively (which is usually not all that much). That way neither of us feels weird about getting things we want individually or together.

    I would suggest making sure a system like that is in place before you try out the stay at home mom stuff because you don’t want to feel secluded from the world with money restrictions on top of it. Seems like that would make me feel trapped…

    Good luck with it though! Make sure you do what’s right for you, especially since what is going on right now works so well already.

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