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what do you think?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm considering making some changes.

Big changes.
The kind you don't take too lightly.
I'm thinking about staying home after we bring home Maddie.
There...I said it. (I hope no one from work stumbles upon this blog)
I would really like to be a stay at home mom.
Whether it's working part-time at home or jumping completely out of the workforce doesn't matter to me. What matters is I want to be there for my kids.
But I'm too chicken to take the first step.
(Funny isn't it? I have the guts to travel half-way around the world to adopt children I barely know, but I can't get up the courage to leave my job?! :)
Of course there are all of the typical complications...
- Can we afford it?
- What will we do about health insurance?
- What will this do to my patience level? (I'm not a very patient person - who da thunk?! :) I wouldn't be doing the homeschool thing...I just don't have it in me. But I would be with them a lot more...would all of the little thing get to me?)
I don't have any questions about whether it would be worth it. I know it's what I want to do. I don't care that I would have to give up Dire*TV, high-speed internet and possibly my cell phone. It wouldn't matter that we couldn't eat at McDonald's as much and that I might have to sell my really nice mini-van.
Okay, the last one hurts a little.
But I will give up what I have to, to make it work.
So what's the holdup?
I don't know.
I gues I'm not sure where to begin.
I'd really like to be a full-time SAHM...but I don't think it's economically possible...so I've got to work at least part-time from home.
I've considered free-lance writing - which is still a possibility. I just don't know a whole lot about finding the writing jobs and writing articles can take a lot of time. I know the pay usually stinks and so it would take quite a few articles to make a dent in our budget.
I've thought about substitute teaching...which would mean I could make my own schedule...but then Maddie would have to go to daycare on those days - which
kind of defeats the purpose.
I've applied for one job already...it would be perfect. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and sending up a ton of prayers...but so far I haven't heard a peep.
Sigh.
And it's not all about Maddie.
I feel like I need to be there for the other kids too.
I'd like to be able to go on field trips without wondering if I'll be able to make up the hours so I don't have to take PTO.
I want to be able to be free to stay home with the kids when their sick without having to worry about how I'm going to be able to squeeze in at least four hours of work from home, while they're laying on the couch watching movies.
I want to be there when the kids get home...help them with their homework and make chocolate chips cookies for them for snack.
I want to have the time to make decent dinners so I don't get defensive when the kids tell me the babysitter asks them everyday 'What did you have for supper last night?' (That's a whole other post...don't worry I'll fill you in! UGH!!!)
And they'll need me.
Maddie will need me to help her adjust and grow...
And Q-ball, Punky and JacJac will need help making the transition as well.
But where do I begin?

15 salty messages:

3D August 23, 2007 at 9:09 AM  

I would love to be able to stay home. I hope it works out for you.

Keep smilin!

Old DAN AND Little ANN August 23, 2007 at 9:19 AM  

I have to be careful how I comment on this one because I am SO pro-SAHM that I might tend to come on a little strong on this subject. I will be praying that God make it clear to you what HE would have you to do. I know how much we save by me staying home and how much more I would spend on daycare, convenience food, personal upkeep (not that I let myself go now), gas, etc. if I worked. I think it is important when looking at your adjusted "mom at home budget" to take all of these factors into account. You may be surprised at how little you actually make now and feel like it is even LESS worth missing out on a moment of you children's short at home years for. The workforce will be there later - your children won't. What a securing thing to know mom is there at home keeping the home fires burning - especially in the coming ten years when those together moments come more spiradically. Hope this helps without being too hardnose! This is a subject VERY close to my heart.

Nataliya August 23, 2007 at 11:30 AM  

Hmm... It's a tough one. If you feel you can afford it, go for it! Though I shouldn't be giving you an advice as I'm working full time ...

E. August 23, 2007 at 11:38 AM  

Wow! Good luck getting it all figured out. Being a full-time SAHM myself, I totally agree that it is worth it, but "I feel your pain." I've thought about the free lance thing, too; but I also don't know exactly where you find the jobs and you are absolutely right that a good article can take a lot of time and the pay isn't necessarily equal to the effort. We just need to come up with our own schtick and start an e newsletter/website for parents and charge horrendous advertising rates and get rich that way. What do you think?

Troy and Rachel August 23, 2007 at 11:55 AM  

I, too, have been thinking about this, but can't get up the courage just yet. The first two things on your list are my biggest concerns and maybe the McDonalds!! I'm holding out until the adoption and then what?? I understand totally what you are going through (minus already having kids at home). I know you will make the right decision.

Kim August 23, 2007 at 7:46 PM  

I have been considering doing the same thing so I can stay home with the baby. Also so I can be home for my almost (in just 2 more days) teenage daughter and very active ten year old son.

Just like you it is the financial end of it that is keeping me from jumping right in to doing this.

We are looking for a way to make it work. I hope you and I both can find a way to do this for our kids and ourselves.

jessy August 23, 2007 at 9:53 PM  

Ah, the SAHM struggle. I know it well. Well, you know that I am in the home part of the cycle right now. Have been for over a year. But next year I may bust out of this joint. You never can tell.
Um...yes, the little things WILL get to you.
Buy the book "Miserly Moms, Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy." It is my Bible to staying at home.
Insurance--we use Medishare. It is a Christian medical sharing plan, not insurance, but that is what we do when we are both self-employed.
Look into getting on the USPS notification list for available mail contracts in your area. These aren't carrier positions, they are HCR (highway contract routes). Very simple way to earn an income without being away (much) from the kids. Pick up mail at point A. Deliver mail to point B. Collect 28,000. Seriously. Look in to it.
I've talked to many, many older women over the years on this topic. Here is what I've found: Some mothers worked. Some mothers didn't. Some kids gave their parents hell and turned out to be complete screwballs and some were well adjusted healthy adults. There seems to be no correlation between outcome and mom's career or lack thereof (I know that really steps on the toes of some of my Christian-homeschooling-stay-at-home-and-mind-your-husband-if-you-love-Jesus sisters, but that is what I've found). However, I've found many working moms (those with kids in both camps) that say they regret not staying home. BUT, I've never found a SAHM who wished she had gone to work. So, if you do it, do it for you!

Debbie B August 23, 2007 at 10:08 PM  

I want to be a SAHM too but have similar concerns you do of whether or not we can afford it. I just did a post on the cost of being a SAHM and it has some links in it to help you figure it out with the numbers. If you can stay home and then go to work once the kids are in school I think it's worth the sacrifice.
Here's the post.
http://russianbrown.blogspot.com/2007/08/cost-of-being-stay-at-home-mom.html

Calico Sky August 24, 2007 at 3:10 PM  

Having done it (when I fostered) my honest advise is start cutting down now, start living off one income or 1 and a half incomes - cut of McD's (there's reason to stay home alone - eek!!!). You can save so much money, we all get the things we want not what we need. I couldn't believe how much less I spent at home - healthy homemade soups and meals, so much better for the kids.
I firmly believe, unless you are single, where there is a will there is a way!
Good Luck. How exciting!!

Shelly August 24, 2007 at 5:43 PM  

I'll cast my vote with Old Dan and Little Ann...

Go for it! You may need to scale down your lifestyle a bit, but it is doable! When we brought our kids home, we "couldn't afford" to have me stay home with them either, but I did it anyway, and God just kept on providing. Eventually, He gave John a much better job. John's salary is now triple what it was. Not saying that will happen to you, but I have seen with my own eyes how God honors a decision that is unselfishly made. We knew it was best for the kids, so we did it.

I learned to shop, budget, cook, clean, organize, and just plain be content with a lot less. Big important lessons, but I see now how important they were for me to learn. And seeing how well the kids have adjusted... well, there is no question we made the right decision.

~Shelly

Is Eight Enough? August 25, 2007 at 12:18 AM  

Tami,

You are a truly gifted writer! I know that God can use that!! I will be praying for you. Staying home is a dream come true for me. We have six kids and somehow God makes our ends meet and we do quite well.

Blessings!

kate August 25, 2007 at 8:33 AM  

that's my dream job right now--but i need the clever, godly husband first. ;>

i think you can do it. i think you won't be able to do it until you DO IT. i think you just give up the frills and somehow it works. yep. i've been called pollyanna many, many times...

leap.

Anonymous,  August 27, 2007 at 12:41 PM  

JUST DO IT!! I'm with "old dan and little ann" - you'll save a lot of money by staying home, so the loss of income won't be nearly as bad as you might imagine. You'll NEVER be sorry you stayed home with the kids - never. But you WILL regret it if you don't.

I don't really know why I'm saying this, because...if you leave, I will be very upset and will miss you terribly! But, still...in the interest of you and your family, I have to say, JUST DO IT!! It will work out.

Kathy and Matt August 30, 2007 at 9:23 AM  

I'll be praying for you as make this decision. I know it's a tough one. I left my corp. job to stay home after the birth of our daughter. Since my DH is self-employed, we later decided I needed to help financially, but I've worked PT from home for the past 4 years. If you're a writer, you could definitely find contract copywriting jobs on a PT basis for companies need help with marketing materials, etc.
Maybe start out not working at all, then add back PT projects if needed.
Best of luck in the decision. It is a tough one.

Melissa E. August 30, 2007 at 3:11 PM  

(Read this knowing that my attitude is friendly and encouraging, not bossy. That kind of inflection gets so lost in print!)

Tami,
Do it! Move to a smaller house if you have to, eat cheaper food, shop at the Goodwill, sell Avon, but you can't ever get these years back! There, now I said it too!

I don't know you well, but I'll use that anonymity and be very blunt! I can't tell you how many times I have thanked God that I didn't have to be pouring my energies into money-making. Being a mom is so important and worthwhile...forever! I don't care if I could make us very rich indeed, the 'perks' could never be worth 'just being there'.

And by the way, I used to babysit for a mom who worked part time. From that vantage point, I could see even better how many hours and little moments were wasted on me, the babysitter. Don't get me wrong, I was a darn good sitter--they loved me--but I wasn't Mommy, and I won't look back when I am old and fondly remember those moments. I won't care that he thought I was awesome or hang pictures of him on my walls. It won't even matter that he was "happy" with me. He doesn't know what he missed. And neither does his mom.

But I do.

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