Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Working Mom VS. SAHM

Ahhh, the age old debate.

I never thought for a moment that I would have any doubts about returning to work once Abbey was born. Oh, how quickly things can change.

If you've followed by blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I'm not exactly happy at my current job and that I've been looking for employment elsewhere for quite some time. Don't get me wrong, I work for an amazing college and the perks of my job are fantastic. The problem is that I just don't love what I do. That being said, I worked hard for my degree and had always felt strongly that I just wasn't cut out to be a SAHM, let alone a SAHW. I wanted to be a career woman, damnit.

After being out on maternity leave since December (a little over 2 months now), I've gotten accustomed to being home. I've actually enjoyed my clean house and the time I've had to work on projects that I've been meaning to get to for quite some time. I'm incredibly less stressed and just feel happier overall. Add in all the fun I've been having with Abbey over the past 7 weeks, and the thought of going back to work next month easily brings me to tears. I just keep thinking of all the fun activities her and I could do together once the weather breaks that I simply won't have as much time to do once I'm working again, especially since the summer months are the busiest for me at work.

I just don't know what to do. I've jokingly brought this up to Mike over the past few weeks, but I'm too afraid to discuss it openly. The truth is, I'm not certain that I want to give up work cold-turkey. I do like working in general, so maybe the answer is that I need to work part-time rather than full-time. I'm also not certain that this scenario would even be a possibility with my employer. In addition, it would mean an obvious decrease in my salary and even though I'm sure we could make it work, I really enjoy the "extras" that we currently have as a two income family.

I feel conflicted in more ways than I can describe.



As a Mother of a 15 month old I was in shoes last March. I went back to work after being home on maternity leave for 3 months. My husband stayed home 5 weeks after and we put Ian in full time care at just over 4 months old. I have worked since I was 16 and never thought of staying home when he was born. And then, I fell in love with him, with caring for him, with everything about staying home. I cried for weeks leading up to my return at work. And when I went back it was easier than I thought. We did not have the luxury of me staying home. Jason and I talked about me staying home, about him styaing home, about one of us working part time. And every scenario ended up with us not having the funds for one of us to be out of work part or full time. And, I begrudginly went back to work and cried over everynight. Ian of course was fine, we found care that was good (at that time anyway) and we were happy. And, every Sunday I feel guilty about going back to work and sending Ian off to daycare but we are all happy where we are at right now. It just took time for us (me) to get accustomed to life and what we needed to do. I needed to go back to work and I needed to see that I could part with him during the day and that he would be ok. Don't worry you can do this (whatever that may be, trust me I did it and so can you.) I never thought I would be able to do it and here I am one year later back at work doing this everyday because it is what is best for our family of three. And, I have followed your blog for a while now. Im an assistant at a Financial Planning firm...small world. :) Take Care.


it's such a hard decision and it's definitely a personal one. I won't lie and tell you that going from a two income family to a one income family is easy because that's just not true. It is such a lifestyle change. That said, I wouldn't trade my decision to SAH w/Conner for any amount of money at all. he's only this age one time and I am beyond thankful to my husband for working so hard so that I can be at home w/my baby (soon babies). That said, I know that you will make the right decision for you and your family.


Thank you both so much for your insight. I think Mike and I have a lot of discussing to do over the coming weeks. In my heart of hearts, I know it's best for me to go back to work as my salary will allow us to have much more financial freedom than we would have without it and it will really help us to provide the type of life we've always imagined giving our children. I think the most difficult part of this will be convincing myself that Abbey will be just fine without me and that life as we know it will go on.

Jenifer, small world indeed! :)


Stacey, you're right. Abbey will be fine in daycare. My teaching salary was not enough for us to justify putting him in DC for me to only bring home $800 a month. It would have taken more than half of what I made just for me to actually go to work. Just outweight the pros/cons. You'll make the right choice.

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