Oct 4, 2012

Chapter 8: To Work or Not to Work...

That is the question!

There are definitely pros and cons to both. But for me, I knew what I wanted to do from the beginning. But first I had to look at our situation and as a family we had to figure out what was the best thing for our family. Could we afford for me not to work? Would I like staying at home or would I be bored? Would not going to a daycare/preschool center be a benefit for Addison or not so much so? If we did put her in daycare, where and how much would it cost? Would we be able to find a center for her or have to do a home daycare? Part time daycare is hard to find and expensive, so should we put her in a full-time daycare and then should I find a full-time job to pay for it?

Apparently to work or not to work was not the question. And it definitely wasn't the only question. So how do we answer these questions? How does anyone answer these questions? When it comes to your child's care, these aren't and shouldn't be easy questions to answer. It's probably easy to guess where we landed on all of these questions and what we decided to do.

I do want to take this opportunity to say that I respect those who decide to work just as much as those who stay home. There's definitely pros and cons to both. But for those women who are facing this big question, it's a matter of figuring out what is important to you and what is best for your family. And for each family, the answers are different.

Of course the big pro to working after is that you are still earning money. Some families don't have a choice. Anymore, it is harder and harder for families to live on a single income, but it can be done. Sometimes it's just a matter of giving up some things. And sometimes it just isn't an option and that second income is essential. Another pro to work after is that you get that adult interaction each day that you may not get when staying at home. Sometimes you just need that adult communication.

On the flip side of that, you have the cons of working. You often times miss out on the big moments, like first word or first step. Those moments you can never get back. You also have those situations when your kid is sick and taking off work can be difficult, or if he/she just has the sniffles then there's not always the option to stay home and cuddle instead of having to go to work and daycare.

There are two sides to the story, of course. Like not working = only one income which can equal cutbacks in the family budget or being able to go out and do things. But you are home and not missing those big moments and you can cuddle and just be home when she isn't feeling well. But sometimes you lose that adult interaction unless you find  a way to get plugged into a group or find some other way to get out and bout on a daily basis.

Like I said before, I knew what I wanted to do from the beginning. I knew that I wanted to stay at home. But it was just a matter of figuring out if that was something we could fit into our reality (and afford). Luckily, my husband has an amazing job that will allow me to actually stay at home, so starting in mid-October (I'm taking a little bit of time off before she is born) I will become a stay-at-home mom. And I couldn't be more excited about it.

From the beginning I knew I wanted to stay at home when I had kids because I wanted to be around for those big moments and to not have to just look at pictures to see the first time my kid smiles or walks or whatever the moment is. I wanted to be the one there, cheering, and snapping pictures. So when I got pregnant, we had to start looking at our situation to see if that was even a reality for us.

I work a part-time job and when I first got pregnant, we considered having me continue to work, so I could get out of the house for at least part of the time and Addison could get some interaction with other kids. But when we started looking at costs of part time daycare, we quickly decide that it wasn't worth it. It was expensive and by the time I got a paycheck, I wouldn't be making any money. So that quickly was ruled out. The next question was do I find a full-time job [or at least try to] and put her in daycare full time so at least I'm making some money or do I just quit my part-time gig and stay home. But let's be honest, my first choice was to quit and stay home (no surprise there).

So after looking at our situation and money, we decided that it was within our means and me staying home was within our reality. So I am joining the ranks of those women who stay at home with their children. I have complete respect for those women who have a full-time career and are also full-time moms (aren't all moms full-time moms though?), but I'm extremely excited about just being a full-time mom. I'm ready to embrace that world.

So see ya later working world.

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