Thursday, January 7, 2010

Working mom or SAHM?

Warning: This post will be all over the place because my emotions are all over the place. So bare with me as I try to explain things and make some points (that I am sure will be all jumbled).

Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) isn't something every mother is able to do. In fact, very few are actually lucky and blessed enough to be able to. Most people would say "If you have the chance, DO IT!!" But for me, it's not that simple!

After being home with my baby for 12 weeks, I came back to work for three days the week of Christmas and those days were really tough but not HORRIBLE because I knew Addison was with her daddy. Then I had a week and a half with her but on Jan 4th, I came back to work and Addison had her first day at the in home daycare she is staying in and I've been a WRECK since! Now I realize I have only been doing this "working mom" thing for 4 days now, but I am a mess! I've cried everyday... on my way to work... on my way to the gym... after picking her up... at night in Adam's arm... lots of tears!

Here's the situation I am in. Since October Adam and I have been living off of only his salary and saving mine. We did that to see how it was without my salary so we had an idea of what it would be like if I were a SAHM. It was a HUGE change. BIG! But not completely undoable!

Let me explain what this would do to our "extracurricular activities"...
- no more shopping for me (thank goodness for my mom and our sprees she takes me on sometimes)
- maybe eating out once or twice a month at the most
- no more "fixing" up our house (would require months of planning and saving)
- no more vacations (would require planning way in advance)
- no more "extras"

We would both have to give up a lot. I don't even think it's hit me how much it would change our lives. It's hard to comprehend for me.

This decision would be BEYOND easy is Adam just said "I'm sorry honey, but you have to work. We can't make it without your salary!" I would be sad and pout a little but suck it up and get over it and figure out how to be a good wife and mother! BUT, what Adam says to me is "You have to make this decision honey. I don't want you to resent me when you want to go shopping and you can't! We can make it off of my salary but it will require a lot of cut backs!" Adam would LOVE for me to stay at home with Addison but he wants me to make the decision. We both know she is in great care at this daycare but it's not her mother's care, you know?

Let me say, I DO want to be a stay at home mom. BAD BAD BAD! But I have MAJOR anxiety over quitting my job. Let me say, I don't make TONS of money, but it's always kind of been our "extra" money. I know NOTHING can compare to being at home with my daughter! I KNOW THAT! It's the uncertainty of everything that scares me the most. This economy scares the CRAP out of me!

Let me explain something else, I have never led a life of LOTS of luxuries. I don't want you to think I will be giving up frivolous things. I mean I drive a paid for 2005 Nissan Altima. Adam's car is a company car. Adam and I bought a 1960s 3BR 2 bath house that was well within our budget! I am a big TJ Maxx shopper. Adam and I have no credit card debt, only I have student loans! Yes, there are times when I WANT something nice (like I am dying for a pair of TB Revas) but it's rare. (Of course like any woman I could make a list a mile long of luxeries I would like to have -but then reality sets in!) Usually I want to "fix" or upgrade something in our home. And now, I constantly want Addison to have the cutest clothes :) My husband does without a lot. Neither of us have an expensive hobby. We love Auburn football but we don't go to EVERY game or anything! So you see, we really do lead pretty simple (but wonderfully blessed) lives!

When I think about everything above I think, we really do live a pretty normal life! Nothing extravagant! Yet, it scares the crap out of me not to have my income contributing to our family. If I stay at work for a while then I am afraid I will "get used to" not being at home with her everyday! And I DO NOT WANT THAT!

I know there are a lot of moms out there that stay at home and a lot that are working moms. I am eager to hear your opinion on this topic and any advice you have for me!

Here are my biggest worries and scares: (this is honest and hard to make public but I want your opinions and advice so here you go)

- Will I regret the decision 6 months from now and want my job back?
- How do I know if being a SAHM is REALLY for me???
- Will I go stir crazy being at home all the time?
- Will I resent Adam and Addison one day (subconsciously)?
- How do some women do it all? How do they: attend a Bible study (or just study daily alone), be a member of Junior League or some other organization, entertain, clean, give baths, cook dinner, go to the gym, "please" their husband, play with their child AND work 40 hours a week??? That list is giving me a panic attack just typing it! Seriously, HOW???

I know I am new to all of this, but I can't fathom how I can do all of that and be the best wife and mother I can be and work 40 hour weeks! I have high anxiety and always have so you can imagine what I am feeling right now!

I am open to any and all advice! I know I might get some negative comments on this but I want to hear from all different types of mothers/women that are all in different situations.

I hope this made some kind of sense, probably not since my head it all over the place! :)

My sweet Addison is such a good baby! When I look at her when I get home, I could just cry that I had to leave her all day. I mean how could you not just kiss all over these cheeks??


Gwen said...

I promise things will get better over time. It's never easy to leave your child in the care of another but you will grow to trust others with her. I totally know where you are coming from. I made the same decision 9 years ago and I'm glad I did!! I'm still praying for you and hope your days of crying on the way to work get fewer and fewer as the time goes by. And her cheeks are too adorable!!! XOXO

Mrs. Classic said...

Sounds like your heart is saying almost entirely to stay at home. Only the fear is holding you back. I bet you would love it!!

kimert said...

First of all, Addison is just too cute! :)

I think it is just really a personal thing. I have worked since I had my first baby 6 yrs ago. I HAVE to though and that's just so we can pay our bills and afford to live very simply, too. We have no debt either, which is nice. We have to save for vacations, Christmas/bday gifts, etc. I enjoy working, even when my kids were younger (they are 6 and almost 4) I did want to be with them everyday but I get bored easily and I always liked that my kids spent the day interacting with other kids and that they were learning. Of course, had I stayed home I would have been teaching them and playing with them, spending quality time with them.

Sometimes I question how I can work 40 hours, make it to the gym 4 days a week, take care of my two kids and help at home with the normal day to day things, baths, reading books, helping with homework AND I am my daughter's Girl Scout troop leader and basketball coach! I won't lie and say that some days it doesn't all overwhelm me because it does. Yet, I look at other moms who work and probably manage to do much more than I do.

The thing to remember is don't let anyone tell you what to do and especially do not let anyone make you feel guilty about your decision. You have to do what works best for you and your family!

morewineplease said...

Oh sister... I think you need to stay home, you are practically sreaming it!
I've asked my good friend KJ to read your blog and comment.. she is a SAHM mom and doing an awesome job, she also makes money on the side, which is something you could look in to... and she is super involved with other SAHM's and the community.

Personally, I've never wanted to stay home... but its a very personal choice. Praying for your decision, HUGS!! email me if you need anything!

Sara Lang said...

I think you have to listen to your heart. Is there a way you can do freelance work to make things a bit easier financially but still stay at home? Maybe an etsy store, or some journalism, or part time work for a local charity doing home data entry? I think its clear from your post how desperately you would love to be at home, and I'm sure if you think and pray on it, that's a decision you can come to peace with. Another important thing to remember is that it's only a few short years until kindergarden. You won't believe it now, but they go by pretty quickly. At that point, the decision to go back to work (or work a modified schedule), could let your family have more financial flexibility without losing the first few valuable years.

Good luck making your choice, and remember that there is no wrong one. You're a smart, tough woman, and you will figure out what's right for you and your family.

KendraJane said...

Hello there! My friend More Wine Please directed me to your post... so here I am!
First and foremost, you've got a BIG decision to make... and I don't envy you. We did the same things you did when I was pregnant (living off one income, saving mine, seeing what cutbacks we could make, etc) And because my husband said the EXACT SAME thing to me, I, too, had to make the decision on my own!
For me, becoming a SAHM was AMAZING, and I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. My little girl is two now, and the memories we've made being home together are PRICELESS. As for going stir crazy... you will... IF you don't get out there and make a new life for yourself as a SAHM! I make a point to get out every day (to the gym, to a bible study, to a playgroup, to the zoo, etc) because we are both happier when we're on the go!
As for the cutbacks, I'm an admitted shopaholic, so that's been hard for me! I am a freelance Graphic Designer, so I've been lucky enough to do enough on the side to keep me addiction going! ;)
Best of luck with your decision, I hope my story helps!

JennyLo said...

I dont have much advice for you since I am not a mom, yet, but I have thought about this alot myself. I have a feeling I am going to be going through this very exact situation. I've heard its very tough. Personally I would love to be a sahm but I dont think thats going to be an option for me. GL on your decision!

Tracy's Porch said...

I agree with all the women that say you need to listen to what your heart is telling you! It is a very personal decision and no one should fault others for the choices they make for their family. Every family is different and every woman is different and we just need to support one another.

You know I am a SAHM. I personally LOVE being at home and feel beyond blessed to have the choice to do so. It was a tough adjustment at first dropping my income but we managed! I remember my mom saying that if you do what is best for your family, God will provide. And that advice can go either way - for working mom's and SAHM. You have to do what is best for you and your family.

As far as getting bored? For me, I stay very busy with activities and playgroups and do not find myself bored or resenting my husband or girls. I actually so thank my husband that he was always willing to make sacrifices and cutbacks in order for me to be able to stay home.

From the outside looking in and reading this post, it seems like you really want to be at home. I will be thinking about you and the hard choice you have to make!!!

And yes, those cheeks are to die for! She is such a doll!

kanishk said...

I'm still praying for you and hope your days of crying on the way to work get fewer and fewer as the time goes by.

lise charmel

Eli said...

I'm not a mom and I rarely post comments but can you try to do part-time at work or is that not feasible? I think if I were in your shoes, I would stay at home, especially since you can afford it, minus the perks (which are emotionally necessary at times if you ask me, like a nice trip). Once the kids go to school, you might be yearning to go back so maybe part-time or your own business is the way to go. I've thought of these things too, how I would handle it and I think it really is a personal choice.
I'm sure it will all work out for you. Good luck :)

Mrs. Alex P said...

It sounds like you and I were in similar situations. My son was born on October 22 and throughout my whole pregnancy we lived of my husbands salary. Same as you we made it when we cut out the "extras". I decided to stay home. It breaks my heart to even think about another person getting to see all of his first. I want to be the one at home with him, teaching him, and seeing the first time he rolls over, the first time he crawls, talks, walks, etc. It id very scary given out economy but i also have the rest of my life to work and only a small amount of time that i can be home with him before he is in school all day and before i know it all grown up.

The Shabby Princess said...

Yeah, she's pretty stinkin' cute. :)

I really want to be a SAHM, but, I realize that may never actually happen for us because I make like nothing, and since my husband hasn't been employed in ohhhh, 14 months, we are saving nothing and I always hoped we'd save, save, save and then that could help us with "extras" when we had kids and I could stay home... So, anyways, I totally understand the anxiety about things--and we don't even have children yet!

I think you'd really enjoying being at home with her and it sounds like that's really where your heart is at.

Since you said you'd always "saved" your income, maybe you could work for a few more months or so and put that money away so you have some padding or something... I don't know--I'm not a mom, but, just do what works for YOU don't worry about how other moms do it, what matters is what works for you and your family.


Rachel said...

What a tough spot to be in! I am NOT a mom, so I've never been in this situation, but like others have said, follow your heart. It sounds like you want to be at home, and if that's what you want, you and Adam will make it work. It's possible and doable. Is it possible to make any money on the side? Maybe a retail job with a few hours a week? My mom was a SAHM while I was growing up, but did retail work a few evenings a week.

I hope you come to a decision and feel at peace with it. Whatever you end up choosing, you need to feel content with. I'll say a prayer for you!

Karah said...

Saying a little prayer for you :) You have to do whats right in you heart. Either way I think you will blessed!! I hope your days of crying stop soon. Good Luck with your decision.

Megilon said...

My Granny used to say "put it on the shelf." She meant let it sit for a bit and see how you feel. Right now there are a lot of emotions running crazy. Let yourself have some time to think it through and really see where you are in a month or so. Then make the decision.

And as easy as it would be to have your husband tell you what to do he is right it is your decision. Because you are the one who has to live with it.

Good luck! You'll be in my prayers.

Patience said...

It sounds like you want to stay home, but are way too afraid of the unknowns. I have several girlfriends who have small children and they all went to part time and they are so happy. They get the best of both worlds without losing the income to do the extra things. I know right now vacations are not important, but when your baby gets older you are going to want to take her places and not have to worry about money. This is a tough decision, good luck!

chadandnikki said...

Wow...that's an awesome post. I have no advice that you haven't already been given. You're a great mom.

kb said...

Here is my opinion...and no I am not a mother.

I can tell you WANT to stay at home..but are scared.
Could you...quit your fulltime job and work elsewhere part time? You love working out...could you get certified as a fitness instructor and that way you kill two birds/one stone. Are you creative? Etsy could supplement income...Could you work part time at a store you like so you can still shop and earn money?

One day she will go to school...will you still be staying home? You could even do the TAPP program through Georgia and get certified to teach that way when she is older and going to school the two of you will be on the same schedule and you'll be earing your own income.

I hope that you make a decision that will make you happy, one that you won't regret. Good Luck!

Carennedy said...

I've been a working mom, a work from home mom, and a stay at home mom. All 3 roles had their challenges and their rewards. I will say this to you -- my memories of my kids are filled with the times when I was home. I feel like I'm missing big gaps of their lives when I was working. Not only memories but pictures and stories when I was working were way less then when I was home.

Once they were in school they were gone anyway and by this time they are independant and with their friends. The years go by fast, faster than you'll ever know until their 10th birthday party and you start wondering where those years went and where were you during those times.

The Ross Family said...

I stay home and love it! As Addison grows, each day will be filled with more fun and excitement. My guy is 8 months now, and it is so fun! Of course we still have tough moments (like him teething now); but it's worth it to me. He really cracks me up! I don't want to offend anyone, but I truly believe staying home is best for the child.

Now, with that being said, if a family cannot survive on one income, then you have to do, what you have to do. But, it sounds like you guys can. Aside from your student loan, it sounds like you guys are doing fine financially. All of the things you mentioned having to give up, are all these things we've given up to. But, I promise, after awhile, you won't even notice! And, I bet 75% of SAHM's have given up those same things. I don't know what your husband does for a living, but I do think the economy is finally starting to get better. If you survived on one income already through this economic mess, and saved; I think you guys should have you stay home!!!

Good luck, and just pray about it! Oh, and thanks for the info. about the gym nursery. I am finally going to probably take him next week. It's only been 8 months! Ha!

Carrie @ Laugh Love Eat Ice Cream said...

My first thought when I read this is what a few others have suggested - maybe you could try to find a way to work part time or work from home a few days a week?

The Browns said...

I need to read through some of your responses, b/c I have to go back to work February 16th & I'm in the same boat! It is going to KILL me to have to leave my little man. I know we can't afford for me to stay home right now. Maybe someday (wishful thinking)!

Bonnie :)

In this wonderful life... said...

Gosh! These are things I'm definitely already thinking about! My job is full time but under different circumstances because I work from my car and my parents are moving to stay with baby. Money is a scary thing...when you have it and when you don't! I haven't been in this situation and have about 8 more months until I am. I would maybe say try it out a little longer. Is part-time an option at your job? If you don't like being at home so much, would they let you come back? Are you close with your boss? I definitely think yall's lifestyle will change on it's own..without yall even noticing because of precious Addison being all consuming. I thinking making cutbacks will come easier than you think. I'm SUCH a shopper..TJ especially and since I got pregnant its like I have no desire to buy anything for myself. I think by age 2 or 3, most moms are thinking that a "mommy's day out" program would be good for their little one. So even if you stay home now, in the future, you could get a part time job or something if it became an issue. I say do what's in your heart and if it makes living impossible than just tweak it a bit! Regardless, we will support you and listen to you!

Mark and Mandi said...

Sounds like we've all struggled with this...I knew I wanted to be a SAHM and we didn't even save my salary to try it out. We just did it and that was not the brightest idea. So you have a leg up already! Financially, I should have gone back to work...simply to make ends meet and pay bills, not to keep a certain lifestyle. We don't go out, I do like to shop but nothing extravagent. It was really tough for a few months when the savings did start to trickle away and now we live paycheck to paycheck. Things are getting better for us and hopefully we'll be able to start saving again. Bottom line, I had always wanted to be a mom. And not only did I want to BE a mom, I wanted to experience all those things with her. I didn't want anyone else to see her first smile, see her walk her first steps. Call it selfish, but we're sacrificing BIG TIME so I can stay at home. And I'm sure one day I'll go back to work and she'll be in MDO soon. But for now, I wouldn't trade the last 14 months of being home with her for anything else.
It's a personal decision; good luck and know that neither option is 100% perfect. Stay at home- you're with your baby girl but have less money. Back to work- you have more money but don't see her as much. Sounds pretty simple to me- but again, it's a personal decision!

Cee said...

Great post girl! Believe it or not this is something I already worry about and I am not married nor do I have kids yet. I was raised by a SAHM and always planned to be one myself but knowing how much life costs I don't know if it will work. My bf is in law school and taking on a lot of student loans. I havn't been happy at my job so am planning on going back to school to be a teacher, that way when I do have children I can (hopefully) have the best of both worlds. It still worries me.

As others have said, what about part time or working from home?

Taylor @ Jimmy Choos and a Baby Too said...

She is so so cute! I am at sahm and I really dont think I could ever not be. We have had to for go some vacations that we use to always take and all that but its so worth it to not have missed her crawling, first steps etc! And I have to try to remind myself not to worry about the economy-since its totally out of our control!

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

I'm a SAHM to 4 and TTC #5! I love every crazy hectic...penny pinching moment of it! I can't bare the thought of someone else telling me my DD schedule...or having them watch her first of anything! Take a year off and enjoy...if after that you still miss out of the extras then I say go back to work! they only stay little for so long! :o)

Kendall said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, ut I don't know you!
I had my first child in Oct. 2008. I worked part-time for a while, and I too cried and stressed and went nuts over the decision. My husband too said the exact same thing yours did, so it was all up to me!
When I worked, I was a social worker. I talked to another social worker once who worked in hospice and her job essentially was to help people make peace ith their lies as they died. She said so many people had so many regrets. To get to the end of my life and see I did nothing with it terrifies me.
I've always remembered that and I thought about the end of my life, what did I want to look back on and what would bring me peace (outside of Christ of course). I decided I could handle regrets about money, or spending, or how stylish I was. I know though that I would regret time not spent with my children.
So, I quit my job. It was hard and I have had fleeting moments where I think "working would have been way easier!" But I have not regret my decision yet. I adjuted to the change in money. Also, by having SOO many fears about staying home I realized I was allowing my life to be ruled by fear. Fear is not from the Lord. So, it was a huge, terrifiying step, but the Lord has actually RAISED our income, by blessing my husband at work.
I have a friend who has kept working for the reasons you mentioned, and I can't say that I envy her, athough she is buying new furniture and i am not!
I'll pray for you and your decision. It's going to be OK! I promise!
P.S. I don't sit at home all day! I foudn other moms and I go out and play and talk and visit parks, friends, church, etc. I lose my mind sitting around all day.

Kendall said...

P.S. Also, I plan to go back to work when my kids are older. I also have foud no matter what my income is,I adjust. Then, after living on one income, think how much I'll appreciate income! And it won't be spoken for in the family budget, I can shop, vacation, plan for college for my kiddos, anything. I won't miss all the boots I could have bought that will already be out of style!

A Southern Accent said...

Aww you poor thing! I know you must be so confused right now. Sounds like you want to be at home and think about it like this: if you had tons of money, would you still work? Do you have a just a job, or a career? For me, I love my son more than anything in this world, but I know that he is being cared for by his preschool teachers as best as he can be - and he is very outgoing, social and friendly because he is around other kids a lot. I never wanted to be a SAHM because I wanted both career and a family - which I've been able to do. And I love my job - which helps a lot! But I do know tons of moms that stay at home and they love it - and I honestly think it's harded work than coming into the office! But the one thing I do is when I am with my son, I am 100% devoted to him - I go out very little with the girls (maybe once every two months) and my husband and I go out along maybe once every couple of months. When I am not at work, I am with him - and it works for us. I would say give it a little more time, because you are at a very emotional point right now and she's going to be just fine where she is until you think it through. If you rush, you may regret your decision - just give it some time and it may get lots better, or you may decide it's really what you want! Good luck and keep us posted whatever you do!

Crystal said...

I stay at home with my boys and have since Luke was born 3.5 years ago. I love it and am so thankful for my husband's support and God's provision. I know this must be such a hard decision for you so I'll be praying that you have a peace with whatever you choose.

To answer some of your questions, I don't think you will ever regret investing time with your child(ren). Instead of thinking, "Will I regret staying home in six months?" ask "Will I regret staying home with my baby in 6 years, 20 years, 40 years??". I think that might put a different perspective on it. I know I've heard my mom say many times that she wishes she would have stayed home with us now that she looks back on it.

As far as going stir crazy, you just have to get out. I know here there is Mommy and Me at Party Central every Monday. Spring and Summer are easy because of parks and outdoor things. Libraries always have lots of activities for toddlers/preschoolers (and believe me she will be there in a blink of an eye!). Play dates with other sahm's are both good for the children and the Mommy's!

I think you just have to do a serious evaluation of whether or not you can live without those things you mentioned. I would go into all that we live without but I don't want to depress you! Ha! Do I worry about our money? Yes. But them I'm quickly reminded that He's promised to take care of us. Things are just that, things. They are temporary. But our investment in our children will last an eternity.

Ask yourself, "Is this God's will for my life?" If yes, then there's your answer. Let Him fill in the details!

And there is always the possibility of part time work. The virtuous woman from Proverbs 31 worked from home. She made and sold clothing. The key there is that you're priorities are in order, as I know yours are.

Staying at home is a sacrifice and sometimes a struggle but the joys of seeing every smile and wiping every tear definitely make up for it!

The pictures are just precious! She is beautiful!

Nessa said...

Addison is a cutie, just look at those cheeks! ;)

Is there anyway you can do part time right now, maybe a few days a week? That way within in time you can see which way is the better option.

Brit said...

Praying you will figure it out! Pray about it and wait for God to give you a peace about your decision. It will work out and get better whichever you are led to choose!

Susannah said...

Wow, I was JUST thinking about this and I have to say I have the same exact thoughts and feelings as you do! My hubby has said the same thing too! He wants me to go back to work for one more year so we can live on just his salary and save all of his. I am like you though-scared of things like what ifs. I've read a lot of these comments and they are invaluable. Everyone is right though, we have to do what our heart tells us, and I think it means just do it, adn if it doesn't work out, go back to work. At least that is what I'm feeling now! :D
Let's pray for each other!

Ashley said...

:( This is so hard!!! Have you given any thought to working part time or on a reduced schedule? I'm not sure how flexible your company is, but I know of many companies that offer reduced schedules. I used to work for one that did that and a friend of mine started working 70%, and her salary was just adjusted by that 70%, and you could choose what percentage it was. That's one thought. You are so lucky to have a husband that says this decision is up to you! Mine just says "you have to work!" haha, and I agree fully, but it's still hard to hear that he might not be willing to make any sacrifices. Then again, our baby isn't here yet, so who knows what we will be saying in 6 months.

I understand your apprehensions too, though. It's kind of like the unknown. My whole entire life, I ALWAYS said that all I wanted to do was have babies and stay at home! And for the first time in my life, about a year and a half ago, I actually started thinking differently. Even though I am VERY unhappy in my current job, I told my husband that I'm not sure if being a SAHM would be the best decision for me. (Even though we are in agreement that it really isn't an option, I obviously still think about it!) It was really hard for me to think about, or admit, that maybe I wouldn't be completely fullfilled just being a SAHM. I mean, what kind of mother actually WANTS to be away from her babies?! Although I know that there are many people who "enjoy" that time for themselves, it was just a completely different way of thinking for me personally. Ultimately, I think what I would love is to find something that I enjoy doing and do that part time so that I could still be with my children more than if I worked full time, but still have that "outlet" of working a little.

This was kind of all over the place too, and could possibly be in the running for the longest comment ever! I HOPE that it made sense and helped even a little bit! Good luck with making this decision!

Paige said...

No one can raise your baby the way you can and you can't ever get the time back once it's gone- that's my two cents. If it is in God's plan for you to stay home, He will provide for the things you NEED!

SassyEngineer said...

Well, you know I don't have kids yet so I am no help in this category. My hubby and I already kind of talk about this and I don't know what I want yet. We are trying to position ourself so I could be a SAHM, but I'm not always sure if that is me or not! It is a tough decision, and I will keep you in my prayers :) Maybe you could do something like Pampered Chef on the side? I know somebody who did that, and she has really enjoyed it.

Amanda said...

This is my first time to comment on your blog. I have been reading for the last few months, and I think we may have actually gone to Auburn at the same time and had some classes together.

I think you have to make the best decision for you and your family. I was in a similar situation. I didn't feel like it was fair to my husband or baby for them to have to give up all the extras just so that I could be home. After being at work more and more, it got easier. And I love my child's daycare so that makes things better too.

Also, we plan on having another child in the next year and a half, so we are already planning ahead and working towards that, so that I can stay home then.

I would love to stay home NOW, but I just didn't want to put us in a bad financial situation.

Julia said...

Oh i can hear how this decision is stressing you out! And of course you are the only one that can make that decision, and only you will know what is right for you and what you can handle. some things that come to mind to me (that other people have mentioned to) is working part time or from home - also it's no harm in asking your boss to thing through this with you about what your options are, then you can make a decision with all the facts about how your job would work with you? Also doing a home business (mary kay, tupperware, etc.) could be an idea, because then that gives you something to do while you are at home and you can put as much time and effort as you want without sacrificing time with your girl! (also i know some folks that make a good amount of money that way, it could be your extra money, and though you won't depend on it, but it could help out with your hobbies, trips, etc.)

the other thing that comes to my mind is to think about how long you would actually be staying home? do you want to stay at home until she graduates high school, goes to kindergarden, or are you planning on doing for just a year or so until she's old enough to need(if you think she does) interaction with other kids? That may change your mind because you can do anything(i.e. skip the shopping trips) for a year! and if you want to do it longer, then that changes things too, because it's going to be a more permanent change. Also thinking about if and when you have other kids might be helpful. Because if you are thinking of having others staying at home could be cheaper than childcare for two/three, but expenses go up when you have other kids too, but that might also increase how long you wind up staying at home if you decide to.

i think that you should find the path that works for you, because honestly you are a good mom no matter what you pick! My mom worked more than 40 hours a week and i respect her so much for making those sacrifices for us! and being a daycare kid gave me a great social life as a child and i was really less dependent on my mom in general, which i really appreciated later in life. So don't fall into the mentality that one thing makes you a good mom and the other makes you an awful mom. I also agree with the commenter that said to wait a bit. taking some time to really think about it and not make this decision based on the emotions you are feeling right now. AND we all know that your daughter is your first priority, not how you feel, so do what is best for her(and that will be what is best for you too!)

So just my humble opinion and thoughts! You'll do great at either!

G. said...

It sounds like you are really overwhelmed and that is totally normal. My case is a little different in that I made the decision to stay home before I even got married. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. When my husband and I got engaged we were both in agreement that I would stay home when we had kids. I think raising Children is one of the most important things you will ever do, and when they are young is so important. We live in an affluent area where a lot of the mom's stay home because they can "afford to" and I hear a lot of women say to me "I wish I could afford to stay home." I always want to tell them, I don't stay home because I can afford to, I do it because I want to and I know it's what I'm supposed to do." We've made the decision that raising our kids is more important than all of the other "things" we could have if I worked. I've been home for 6 years and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. You have to look at what is best for your family...that might be working, that might not. Weigh the pros and cons and most importantly pray about it. I know you'll make the right decision. I can tell you're a great mom just by how much you care about this decision. Blessings.
(sorry so long.) :)

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

I am not in your situation but I am sure one day I will be. Mr. Guru and I already decided that once we have kids I will work PRN. However, I can do that since I am nurse. Not everyone can do that and a lot of my friends that are having babies are in the same situation you are in. They are praying over their decisions and are wondering the same thing. The only advice I can give is to pray on it and I will be praying for you girl. Whatever decision you make I will support you!

Keshka said...

I love this post! SO honest and refreshing. I don't have kids yet but have also been thinking a lot about these issues. I would second the suggestion of part time work, if available--could be the best of both worlds!

Michelle said...

I stayed home for the first 12 weeks with my son, then went back to work for 6 months, then quit to stay home full time. I would highly recommend sticking it out for 2-3 months to see if you're having an emotional response to leaving her or if you truly want to stay home. Plus, if you are going to 1 income, you need to make sure your savings are capable of sustaining you through at least 6 months of expenses. A few more months of saving would be a benefit.
For me, I love it, but I will tell you it is so much freaking harder than working ever was. Not that there aren't perks like sleeping in or going to lunch with my girlfriends. We also joined the YMCA in our area. It helps when you have other friends who stay home or you meet new moms who are in a similar situation. Otherwise it can be lonely sometimes, especially when they are too little to communicate with you.
Anywho, there are my two cents. You'll make the right decision for you and for your family. Lots of luck!

Sassy and Classy Southern Mrs. said...

Oh sister I hate that you are struggling with all of this! I totally feel ya on the crazy emotions though,I'm ready for my horomones to be back to normal. I am blessed that I don't go back to "work" until March. I own a monogram store about 20 minutes from my house and will go back and take him with me. Once he starts getting more active and crawling walking I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't imagine sending him to daycare and that's just how my husband and I feel about it. Pray about it and go with your heart feeling, I know you want to be home with your sweet baby girl! Thinking about you!

Diana said...

7 months ago I had the same debate with myself. What finally decided it for me was when my husband said "it is very possible that one day you might regret quitting your job... but you will never look back and regret spending the time with your baby that you can never have back." It is such a true statement. I chose to be a SAHM... and even though some days are tough and I get lonely... I cherish each minute with my son because he is growing so fast and changing each day... and I never want to miss a moment of it.

Hope this helps! War Eagle!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Just this past week, we've been looking at daycares for Baby Girl and I've been dealing with this. While I honestly never thought the whole SAHM thing was for me (and am still not sure it is) it broke my heart when my best friend texted me today to let me know that her daughter had rolled over for the first time. At daycare, and she missed it. I don't want to miss anything with her especially since she's probably the only one we're going to have. It would take a lot of sacrifice on us too for me to be a SAHM but it could happen. However, I'm on the fence. I really like working. I like my job. Grr.... This is no help to you because I'm completely confused to.

luckeelady said...

I totally understand where you are coming from... it is a hard decision. I stayed home with my daughter until she was already in school, other than going to college full time trying to better myself. When I finally decided to go back to work I got pregnant again and things happened and I had to quit several months before the baby was born. It's been amazing these last 3 months watching him grow up minute by minute... but unfortunately we no longer can make it cause we had to trade in both of our vehicles for 2 newly used ones so my hubby could have a reliable car for work.

Here's what my hubbys psychiatrist said, that a mother needs to stay home with their child for at least 3 years cause they learn best from their mothers and they need them most... makes sense

So if you decide to take that much needed leap and quit your job to be with your adorable baby girl then there are always options later if you decide that you need to go back to work. You may not have your current job but there may be a part time or even full time job out there that is better for you and your family... food for thought!

Charlotte said...

I say go with your gut feeling- you know what's best for you and your child. Being a working mom is a tough road, but it's very rewarding. I cut back my load some when I went back to work so you can always try a "lighter" route if you still want to get out of the house! I feel my time away from her makes me a better mom, and I just preserve the time I do have with her- but that's not always easy with everything else it takes to run a household. I say do whatever will make you the happiest mama! That's the most important aspect!

I left you something on my blog!

Mojito Maven said...

my dear sweet, sweet friend. i wish i could say something profound to you about this, but i've got nothing. sometimes i don't even feel like i have the right to even comment since this situation will never be in the cards for me.

but i want you to know that even though i can't offer any sound advice, i pray...for you, for addison, for adam, for your life, and for peace of mind.

i'm on the other side of the fence, but ALWAYS available if you want someone to talk to that is removed from this.

i love you, friend.



GamecockQueen said...

I am not a mom (and given the insane craziness of my dating life who knows when I'll even get married LOL) but I think the best advice out of all the commenters is the girl who said "put it on the shelf". I tend to get anxious and over analyze every little decision I make, but really, I think the best way to make a decision is to take time to think about it. Think about it and pray about it and you will come to the right decision for you. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, it will all work out!

Melanie said...

I am going thru the same thing right now, our children are about the same age and I struggled with that issue. For me I have to work, but I found a great home sitter that has a baby boy about the same age as mine and that made me feel so much better. I hated leaving my first child at a daycare so I knew that I would not be able to handle it with this one.. Maybe a nice home daycare is the answer. Then you know that he is being taken care of and being loved on.. :) It will get better I promise but it takes time! I think we feel guilty when there is really no reason to feel guilty.. Its just a mom thing.:)
Hugs to you!!

Stacey said...

Lyndsau, I feel like I'm butting in on a private conversation because this is my first time to land on your blog. Can I tell you my two cents?

I'm 46 and my sons are 20 and 17. I'm a teacher. We chose for me to stay home over the years as much as possible. I have gone back to work twice because believe it or not I got kind of bored. Or should I just say that it felt like the world was passing me by. Then I'd get that out of my system and come back home with renewed appreciation.

I sound like an ol' geezer saying this but time flies! I still feel like my boys should be 7 and 10. They have grown up and are both about to be away at college.

My husband always has made enough money that we had what we needed with a few extras. Vacations were mostly in conjunction with business trips...or on frequent flyer miles. :) We haven't been big shoppers although I have always been able to decorate...on a budget.

I guess the point is that things will work out if you decide to stay home. You clip coupons, work part time, find ways to have fun that are cheap, etc. Raises come with time and hard work too.

Only you can decide what is right for your family. Give yourself some time because you are in a major adjustment period here.

Oh I just read what kimert wrote. I can totally admire what she said. For me, I always felt like I couldn't be everything to everyone. My BFF from childhood continued working nonstop and has taken the world by storm! I am in awe of her but don't necessarily want to trade places. We are all different!

autumn said...

My husband and I made the decision for me to stay at home. That meant that we took a nearly 50% cutback on our income (that is already small... very small). It has been a huge change, less shopping, less going out, less girls night, less trips, less ... everything. But BUT it has been incredible to be home with my daughter. Sure, there are times I wish I could pack her up in the car and go on a shopping trip (new jeans!) at Nordstroms, but it just isn't an option anymore. For me the decision came down to her well being over my comfort. I KNOW that even with the best care (even grand parents) she is in better care with me. I am busy building a foundation in her, dedicating her to God every day, sharing time and love and affection with her for the years that are going to count the most (birth to three is when the most connections are made with children, emotional primarily ). Also, since leaving my job to be a SAHM God has blessed us (tangibly, financially) every month. We haven't had a month yet (since August) without having more than enough for our bills and extra to save and go out as a family (and even shop a little!). I think, from your post, that your heart is already home. That God is calling you to be home and that your husband wants you home- and I guarantee your little girly Addison wants her Mama home. I don't mean to be on a soap box about this, but this is one decision I don't think you would ever regret.

Krystyn said...

I get the best of both worlds, so to speak. I get a couple weeks off in the middle of the summer. And, honestly, I don't know which is better. I like being home with the girls, but I also like how much they enjoy going to their school. They learn to interact with their peers as well as other adults. Obviously, it hurts a little when they are excited to see their teachers, but that also lets me know that it's a very loving environment, too.

Good luck with your decision. It's only one that you (and Adam) can make.

Kitty Cat said...

This is a tough decision but as people say, babies are so small for such a short time...maybe staying home is worth it for a while? Then again, I sort of miss working as well, now that I'm home with my little one, so I don't know.

Kurt, Emily & Ethan said...

This is something that every woman struggles with and, unfortunately, also something that most women judge other women about quite a bit (w/ either scenario, SAHM or working Mom).
What worked for me was to find a happy middle ground. I work three days a week and am home w/ my son the other four days of the week. My husband and I always said that we didn't want someone raising our child / children more than we do but that is what works for us.
Good luck with your decision. Follow your heart and do what will make YOU happy.

Rachel said...

Ok -I did not read a single one of these comments (didn't want anyone to piss me off=)) so I hope I am not entirely repeating someone.

I have battled this so much. I work from home and it is sooooo hard! I would not give it up for anything. I had to go back to the office when Owen was a baby for a couple months and I NEVER got over it. I then searched for another stay at home job and found one. Now, there are still days that I still want to quit and just concentrate on my kids, but we just cant and have the kind of life we want. But I would take this messy house, kids half dressed, laundry up to the ceiling, CRAZY life anyday than leaving them everyday.

My advice, stay home and find something on the side. There are so many opportunities now for us to make extra money and you can do it on your own time. You could even help watch someone else's child a couple days a week. That is just my me and we can talk!!

K said...

I never really leave comments but I feel I have to comment on your SAH/WOH struggle. I have chosen to work for the 6 years since my first was born (and added a second 3 years ago)

For me it many reasons that I decided to return to work... it was much more than just day to day finances. My work helps to define me AND it provides security for the future. It enables me to save for our retirement and our kids college funds. Plus, reentering my field would be very difficult so it just "made sense" for me to continue working.

Only you can decide but I wanted to explain some of the bigger picture things to consider. Good luck to you and your family

Katie said...

If definately sounds like you want to stay at home. Things may be rough for a while, but you and your husband are both young. He will move up in his company and eventually make more money, but you will never get this time back with your sweet baby. You don't want someone else raising your child!

Jordan said...

I'm not a mom so I don't have first hand experience about this. But, I will say that when my sister and I were younger my mom worked. She didn't stay at home with us so we went to daycare. The only person that will truly, truly remember that is you. I don't remember being young and not having my mom around all the time. I have a great mom who spent (and spends) a lot of time with us.

Maybe you could try working for the next month and see how it goes? If you're still so upset maybe you should stay home.

I'll be praying for you! :)

a H.I.T. said...

My heart goes out to you. A few women I know recently ended their maternity leave and they had a really hard time leaving their little ones at home. They finally came to terms with it, but it was still a hard choice nonetheless. I think the right decision will speak to you, just open up your heart to let it in.

Chic Runner said...

So since this isn't a question in my life in the near future, I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and I know you'll make the right decision.

Addison is just adorable and you are a great mother, no matter what you decide. <3 love you lots!


shercar said...

So many of us are in the same situation. I know this is a really hard decision, but one thing to think about is this. You have the rest of your life to work and take fancy vacations, fix up the house, shop, etc. She is only a baby once. Sacrifice now and treasure this time. It flies by.