Friday, July 23, 2010

The Question

What to do about work. My decision needs to be finalized by the 25th. Here are the options:

1. Return to work full time. Both boys would be in full time daycare that is closer to home. Would consider keeping the one section of the online class to stay in the pool of teachers.

2. Resign. Any vacation/sick converts to leave that can be used if I return within 5 years. Ben would still go to preschool for part of the day.

3. Take a one year leave of absence from the start of maternity leave in April. I have no guarantee that my job at my specific school will be saved. An equal job somewhere in the system will be saved with expected return start of April, 2011.

I have been asked back for the fall to continue online. I have for an additional sections and have been told if enrollment is there I would be considered. When I would work on the class, as most students would be taking the class in the afternoon or at night, is a major consideration as this is prime family time.

To be honest I have been thinking about this decision since I went back after Ben's birth. I was lucky that I had almost 3 months over the summer with him as a newborn. What I returned I transferred to a closer workplace, but traded it for being on the ground floor of starting a new school. It was a very hard year in which I put back on 20 lbs, never exercised, and took an almost one year hiatus from going to therapy.

I was tired, burned out, and felt like I traded work for the little time I had with my baby. It's not a plan to repeat and when I was planning a 2nd pregnancy, I was also planning a long term work decision too.

I started by writing out goals-

1. Quality time with our family. In particular, time alone with each of the boys
2. Reduce feeling anxious and frazzled most days
3. Give myself as many options for a return to full time when circumstances are right
4. Make a serious attempt to loose weight in prep for post bypass plastic surgery. Personal goal by early 2012 to have lost 70 lbs

Making the decision based solely on money is not in the cards as without infant daycare there is only about a 5-8k difference to keep 2 sections of online + the summer session.

So my real question becomes will be a better mom to my kids if I am at home with them for more of the day? That may seem like an asinine question to ask but I know that more time is not always quality time.

This summer as a trial run has had been a mixed bag. Discipline with Ben has been rough and I willingly admit that I haven't been the parent I have have needed to be at times. Much of this due to when the going gets tough I drop out becoming detached, despondent, and isolate myself. Parenting took a direct hit with some bad decisions. Early in the summer, parenting was at my worst.

I have a serious concern that if I am at home without feeling like I have structure and direction, I am setting myself to feel trapped and without options. The last thing I want is to have made a decision that is not good for me as well as hurtful to my kids.

Bill and I have a sitter for a first night out alone since Ian arrived over the weekend. We are going out to celebrate his one year out from surgery. A whole dinner to discuss and finalize this plan as a couple as well to talk strategy with Ben. Maybe not a romantic evening, but one well needed.


Beth said...

I feel your pain with this decision. It's so hard. But you sound like you've considered everything and have given it a lot of thought. So that's the best you can do. I think one thing I realized this year is that I am the same mom whether I'm working or not. I get stressed out either way. I make both bad and good parenting decisions either way. But I think I'm actually more productive working full time than I would be staying home. I'm innately lazy, unorganized, and I procrastinate, so those traits do not combine well with staying home. But that said, I do wish part-time was an alternative. But since it's not, we're making the best of what we have to work with. Anyway, I'm blabbing now about me, and this is about you. Whatever you decide, I hope it will come as a relief and a place to move forward with some of your other goals.

Anonymous said...

If it's possible to stay home, I would. I quit a high paying job (after many years of working) to stay home with the kids. It is an adjustment for sure but honestly quantity and quality are both part of the package. Quality is hard to achieve if your day is packed with our things.

Recently my dh lost his job due to the closure of his workplace. I found work. I am happy we're not starving but I wished I could be home.

Life is short and the time you have with your kids even shorter. If possible, stay at home and enjoy your kids. (It does make discipline easier over the long run because you have the chance to consistently work through the issues. I also know, because I wasn't always rushed, I've been able to have awesome discussions with my kids, the moment it was needed, not later when I had time (okay sometimes it was later when I had time :)).

Just my thoughts.