As I shared with you before, I waited a while to have kids. There were many reasons for that, but a big reason was money. Children cost money and from what I heard, a lot of it. Every year, you hear how much raising a child will cost. BTW...I was told Cooper and Cole will each cost $321,832 respectively.
Now along with my fear of being broke, another reason I was concerned about having kids was I liked my job. I worked hard for 15 years to reach my career goals. How would having a child affect that?
When I was pregnant with Cooper, I was the VP of Marketing & Sales and believed that my drive towards my career would not diminish after having a baby. Well, my maternity leave went way too fast and I found myself dropping off Cooper at daycare and I was miserable. What if I missed something he did...what if he forgot about me...what if he liked the daycare people better than me? Stupid right, but that's what I was thinking.
So even though I missed Cooper, I was going to make it work. I chose a daycare across from my work so I could be with him as much as possible. We were together for the hour commute to work and I visited him everyday during lunch. Then we had our hour drive home together. So based on Cooper sleeping 3-5 hours at daycare, I figured I was only missing 2-3 hours with him...right?
Well, I did this for about a year and a half, but it still did not feel right. I kept struggling with missing out on this precious time with him that I would never get back.
So I made a tough decision and quit my full-time VP position to take on a part-time job at my company. It was an incredibly hard decision for me as I was giving up a position I had worked so hard for, plus I was cutting my salary dramatically. Being someone who was afraid of being broke, I was freaked out. But I had to try this...I had to take a chance. I loved my son more than money, more that my "VP title" so I was going to find a way to make it work.
To do this, Ken and I made a lot of big changes and sacrifices in our lifestyle. We live to a strict monthly budget, buy only when things are on sale and clip coupons religiously. We also cut out many "unnecessary" expenses like our gym membership, eating out and so much more. These changes were difficult at first, and still are at times, especially now with two kids, but we continue to adjust to make it work.
Life at work changed for me as well. One week I was a VP in the company and the next week I was a peon. Some one who worked for me previously was now my boss and I had to adjust to my new role where my opinion did not matter as much anymore. Some of my co-workers supported my decision, while others thought I was "weak" for giving up on my career. It was hard transition for me (and my ego) but again, I had to try.
So did I make the right decision? It was at my first Gymboree class with Cooper about one month into my new role as part-time stay-home-mom, part-time working mom that I sat there with Cooper smiling at me and I thought YES...this is pretty cool. I realize I am very fortunate to have this opportunity with my kids and I am truly grateful!
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