To Work or Not to Work: That is the Question

     Today, a job opportunity fell into my proverbial lap. It was like someone giving you a pet monkey. It seems kind of cool but you're not quite sure what to do with it. I haven't had a full time job in 2 and a half years, and I feel a bit rusty. I quit my job when my son was born with the plan of staying home with him for as long as possible. My husband and I both knew we would have to make some major sacrifices for this to work, and we have. We moved out of our house and rented it out, and we now rent a small house owned by my in-laws, who were nice enough to let us crash here cheaply. My husband has both a full time and a part time job, and I babysit 3 days a week for extra income. However, the day is going to come when I want and need to go back to work full time. I just don't know if this is the right time!
     So, this morning, I received a  surprise phone call from my old boss. He asked if I would be interested in coming to work for him at a new company. Sounds great, right? How often does someone call you and offer you a job out of the blue? The problem is, it's causing me mental stress. I feel very torn and confused!
      What is a stay at home mom to do? I'm sure there are plenty of other moms out there who have been through this type of situation. This would be a really easy decision if I was being offered an amazing salary that would afford me a Swiss nanny who did all of my cooking and cleaning, and had dinner ready and the wine breathing when I came home. Side note: I worked with a woman who enjoyed that very lifestyle. Unlike this woman, I do not have time to let my wine relax before I drink it. Anyway, the position offered is a small base salary plus commission. My base salary would largely go to paying for a babysitter, and I would have to cross my fingers that I could bring in decent commission each month. One good thing is that It would keep me in the pool of working professional people, instead of having to explain a 4 or 5 year lapse in employment later on.
     The other issue I have is that my son is very shy and wary of adults, even ones he is familiar with. Bribery with cookies, crayons or anything else does not work. Sometimes he cries when I leave to run an errand and does not stop until I return! I can just envision him languishing on the therapist's couch in twenty years: "Well Dr., life was great until my mom went back to work when I was 2 and left me with a babysitter. Then it was all down hill after that."
     What should I do? Hold out for a better offer? Wait a couple more years? Keep buying lottery tickets? Help!

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  • OMG! Amanda, can you negotiate to work from home a couple days a week or work part time?? Good luck!

  • Shari has something. I say ask them about working from home. You already have a great relationship with them and they called you to come back. It can't hurt!

  • I will try to pitch it to them and see what they say! Thanks.

  • Wow, A! It is not my decision to make; yet, my heart aches for you. You are an amazing mother to your little boy. Kids do adapt to changes in their environment, and he will adjust to the change. He is being raised in a household with great parents, who adore him. He knows that he is loved. Sure, it will be a transition and it will take time for everyone to adjust. But your love has given him the best possible foundation and security. Your hugs and kisses each morning before work and each evening when you return will help ease his adjustment and yours, too.

  • Thank you!

  • Hi Amanda! You don't know me - I'm a cousin-in-law of Crystal's but enjoy following the Parenting without Parachute writings and posts. I'm on the 'other' side of parenting mostly with two daughters (25 and 21) and one son (18), but the difficult decision you are facing transcends many-an-era. In my generation with raising babies and small children in the 1980's and 90's, it was frowned upon in society to even 'consider' being a stay-home mom for any woman who was worth her own independent person. I was one of the rebels amongst my friends who made that decision as it was not even a consideration for me to leave my babies or toddlers with a babysitter - later, upgraded to 'nanny's' in title. My husband always worked two jobs - a professional full-time job and a part-time job on the weekends in those days. I know you will probably get much support from family and friends to jump back on the work-treadmill and seize this opportunity as a gift-horse; but from an 'older' mom looking back at having little ones, I urge you to really consider what you are giving up. This is not a guilt tactic as you do not know me or vice-a-versa...just another perspective you may not truly appreciate fully until you are 'my' age looking back at 'time' and how fast those childhood years go by. Blink..and your first-born is 25 and graduating with her Master's degree; another blink...and your 21 year old is married; one more blink..and your 18 year old (your BABY!!) is graduating from high school. As regrets go, I have none. I still believe I made the right decision on staying home with my kids; being the soccer mom; having my kids' friends also call me, 'mom' because they were over so much, enjoying friendships with other stay-home mom's met in play groups, school functions, volunteering. At one point, I even dabbled in home-schooling my son for 2 years because he was too far advanced for traditional school in his grade coming off of a Christian school. In those two years, my father's health declined and he passed away; but not before my son and I went down to FL for that winter to help care for him with my stressed mother. My son was 12 at this time so he can now close his eyes and be transported back to that time loving the time he got to spend with his grandfather; who told him war stories after their ritual daily hour watching The History Channel together every morning. My point? Somehow - finances with the sacrifices in 'stuff' that you are already making ALWAYS work out. No..you may not have all the latest trends, the newest car, the biggest house -- and if you make the decision to be a stay-home mom, you may never get those things. But maybe you will. It's not a given as it would with a second full-time income. But you are getting SOOO much more than money or a career could ever buy. You are getting time. Some women do not have a choice in having to go back to work after having a baby; but if you do have that choice -- this is just another perspective from a mom who made that decision and never looked back. There is honor and 'worth' in making that decision, too. Finances work out with some creativity and planning on one income, too. Whatever decision you make, I wish you good luck and blessings.

  • In reply to susandempsey:

    Thank you Sue! I really appreciate your reply. It was very heartfelt and insightful. I can't thank you enough for this perspective! And I have to say I agree with so many of the points you brought up. And you made me cry!!! :)

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