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New Job Offer Stress, Time with My kids or Money?

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Old 02-14-2007, 07:43 AM   #1
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Default New Job Offer Stress, Time with My kids or Money?

Good Morning!

Monday after I had left for work DH got a phone call here at home. The superitendant of a school in NY (about 45 minutes from here) is lookingf or a long term SpeechTherapist sub. She heard through my BIL that I had done speech in the past. She called and asked if I would be interested in doing it part time, full time, anything. $150-$200 a day part time or $42,000 a school year full time. The per day rate is a bit less than what I make in a WEEK between teaching preschool and working in the daycare.

Now that I am not babysitting in my home anymore and only teahcing preschool 3 mornings a week and working in the daycare in the afternoons, I had been really looking forward to finally having my kids on my own, being able to spend time doing all the things that we've missed out on have 2 extra kids in the house. I wanted to work on my son's letters and numbers, counting, potty trianing. My daughter needs to get back into working on reading. I wanted to play games that we couldn't with a 1 year old in the house b/c he'd eat the Candy Land Peices.

Plus, I really like my current job. I don't really want to give that up. This speech job would run from now until the end of the 2008 school year. So it's temp. and if I leave my other job I may not be able to come back.

But the money is almost too good to pass up. I don't know what to do. It's my daughter's last year before she goes to school. I HATED doing speech before, I am not sure I am up to handle some of teh children taht are on the case load as they may be beyond my scope. I didn't ahve to work with severely autistic children before. I am not sure i know how to best serve their needs.

But I think if I sacrifice one year we could get so far ahead. DH's job is not super stable. He is pretty sure things will be ok during the time that I would do this job. But that kind of money would pay off all of our credit card debt, plus my student loan. Plus we'd still have a large chunk left over to put into savings or to make improvments on the house.

I am so stressed out. I probably could continue with my preschool job and do 2 days a week of speech at this school. But I'd lose my two days a week with my kids. It's a school so the hours would be 7:30-3:00 or something. If I had to be there by 7:30 I'd have to leave my house by 6:15, which means I'd have to get the kids up at 5:45 am. Part of me wants to quit the preschool and give the speech job three days a week, leaving me with two days a week to be with my kids. But after this gig is up I may not be able to go back to doing preschool, which I love, b/c they will of had to hire someone else. Plus next year I'll have my son in preschool with me if I stay.

I think I am stupid to give up that kind of money and stupid to give up the time with my kids, time I will never get back. Both of my good friends with small kids that have had to work full time since having kids told me that the money is good and it's kind of dumb to turn it down, but not to forget the value of being with your kids. Both at first said, "Tell me you are going to do it", but the weren't so addament after I explained my reservations.

I have never had to juggle full time work and my kids. I babysat 5 days a week but I had my kids with me. I don't know if I could handle 5 days a week, plus all the house cleaning, laundry ect that I do now, plus feel like I was giving my kids the best I had to offer.

But $42,000. Part of me wants to say so long preschool hello big pay check! DH won't say I think you should or I think you shouldn't, actually nobody I have talked would say I think you should or I think you shouldn't except my sister and she doesn't have kids so she said I should.

Maybe I will finish my school year with preschool, and do the speech 2 days a week on my days off. If I can handle it give up the preschool next year and if I hate it maybe keep doing the two days a week as long as they need me.

I guess I am pretty blessed to be able to even consider not doing and to have the opportunity to pick and choose, I have had 4 years at home with my kids and though financially it has been a struggle it's been worth it. But maybe now is the time to take charge of our finances and get ahead for once isntead of always playing catch up.

What do you guys think?
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:17 AM   #2
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Wow, what a decision. For me it was a no brainer, I had to go back to work, we were so far in debt we would have had to declare bankruptcy otherwise. It is a rough choice because on one hand you are never going to get this time back with your children. They are never going to be this age again. In that respect almost right away you want to turn down the job. But from my perspective I think daycare did my son a world of good. I talk to other moms who had their kids at home and my son has developed better in someways because of daycare. Now his daycare was more like a preschool because all the staff were ECE grads and did all the same learning that they would do in preschool. He learned things and did things there that I doubt I could have done at home. My SIL has her almost 4 year old in a preschool and it has done wonders for him. So when you look at that perspective it will not hurt the kids at all to be in a daycare/preschool situation while you are work, in fact it will be beneficial to them. Finally think about yourself. I'll be in a lot of ways you would love to go back to work, to be around adults and have real conversations, to feel productive in ways that only having a full-time job give. The money is also a huge consideration. I know how badly you feel about spending money that you don't feel is yours, now at least you would have more control over the families finances. It is hard to juggle everything, I know this, of course I work shifts so I have times during the week when my son is in school that I have to do grocery shopping etc. Your husband is probably going to have to step up to the plate and do more stuff around the house. You should put it to him like that, if you take the job he is going to have to do more around the house, more stuff with the kids or housework, laundry, grocery shopping is never going to get done and you are going to be one big nagging wreck.

So that's my 2 cents. I think it is a good oppurtunity. You guys need the money and it won't hurt the kids to be in daycare/preschool full time, it might even be better for them. My experience is that kids will do more for their teachers (for want of a better word) than they will for their mom or day. They seem to be more open to trying and doing new things. Why do you have to get the kids up to go to daycare/preschool so early in the morning? Can your husband do that sometimes? This is what I am refering to before. This is going to be a big change for him as well. It has to be because you can't do everything yourself. He's got to help out more than what he has, there's no 2 ways about it. I think that would be a good thing also because from previous posts it sounds like he does the minimum and not usually very willingly. I may be wrong about that but just from your posts that's what it sounds like. It wouldn't hurt him to do more around the house, they are his kids as well. I speak from experience because my husband just about had a cow when I started working dayshifts and he had to do more. Just as well that days didn't work out for me and I took a new job. And I wasn't asking him to do all that much, you are probably going to need your husband to do a lot.

I think rereading my post here I am focusing more on your husband than on the kids. I honestly believe that being in daycare/preschool is good for them basing on my own experience. You will probably feel it more than they will ie that you aren't a good mom, missing out on stuff etc. Likely they will thrive and you'll feel guilty because someone else is raising your kids (also speaking from experience). Kids adapt so much better to change and seeing as they are already used to being there 3 days a week, going 5 days won't be that much different. I think your husband is going to be harder to adapt to the change than they are.

I guess overall I think taking the job would be beneficial to everyone but only if your husband is going to help out more. I think you should have a big talk with him and tell him what your expectations are and what he is going to have to do to make this all work.
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:28 AM   #3
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Jen-Thanks I totally agree DH will have to step up. I can't do all teh alundry, dishes, cleaning, lunch packing ect. by myself if I am out of teh hosue 5 days a week.

But I don't want my kids in the daycare where I work. I think the curriculum is weak to non existant, they are unorganized and the kids spend too much time watching tv, and tearing the place apart. We have an infant room, a toddler room (15-mopnths-2 years), a 2 year old room, 3 year old room, 4-5 year old room and an afterschool program (which there are now only 3 kids there every day and one 3 days a week). But, most of the day on Monday and Friday the 15 month olds-the 5 year olds all are together in one big room haveing a free for all. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday they have a GREAT 2 year old teacher and she takes that class, but the rest are all together. DS would be with teh two year olds, however they just moved a bunch of kids up so he would be the oldest in his class. So now he'll be in class with kids who are almost a year younger.

The daycare has pruchased a very expensive curriculum, but they use it very little and i am not sure how much acedemic stuff it is and how much reliegous stuff it is. It's in a church so they do a daily "chapel" lesson which is like 15 minutes. But there is no circle time, no story time, infrequently they do a craft, no lesson time, no centers (small group stuff). Most of the toys are things like Rescue heroes, barbies, kitchen, cars and trucks. All good, but I would like to see more stuff like puzzles, learning games, sorting toys ect. They leave all of that up to the preschool. Most of the day is free play, snacks, lunch, nap. They can color, but cutting pasting ect are limited. But they watch at least one full length movie everyday, if not more.

DD goes to preschool, but DS doesn't get the "education" that I want.
Plus, the daycare is in the opposite direction of where I work. If DH took them he'd have to do it all the time. Also, it will cost me like $800 a month PLUS preschool which is $75 a month to have them at daycare, plus I still have to pack lunches everyday as they are not provided.

So if I did the speech job I would probably have them go to my SIL, who lives half way between where I live and where I would work. She stays home with her kids for now as she can't find good child care in her area. She would like to babysit like I did and this would be good for her. She could get the federal food program to pay for the kids' food, and I could pay her $600 a month, or $30 a day.

But frankly I think her kids watch a TON of tv and I don't know how much she would teach them. My son can spell his name, her son who is the smae age can barely make a sentence. I am a teacher so even when I stayed home we did circle time, craft time, lesson time ect. I guess nobody will ever teach my kids as well as I think I would

My other thing is the speech job is only for one and half school years. Then it's done. I love my preschool job. I love having my own class, I love the kids and the teaching, I love decorating my room. I am happy...with my job. I am unhappy with finances, I am unhappy with how much work I do and how little DH does, I am unhappy with our debt.

I guess I'm leaning towards doing the speech two days a week and seeing how I feel then. I hate to give up a job I like for a year, and then maybe not be able to get it back you know? Also, in order to get recertified I amy have to take college classes, which who is going to pay for those? ANd will I have time for that? It's alot all at once, maybe I am just getting ahead of myself.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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Oh forgot to add if I do the job full time, Preschool may be out of the question for DS next year b/c my kids will probably be at the sitter in NY and we live in PA. Unless we spilt the kids up, one goes here this day and one goes there that day ect. MY MIL would probably take them both except with the recent passing of her dad her mom ahs moved in.

Maybe I am making it more complicated than it is?
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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You'll never get this time back with your kids. Just sticking my nose in!
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:41 PM   #6
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Well I think I have to rethink my position because I thought your daycare/preschool was more structured. The daycare my son went to was more like a preschool, they rarely watched tv and they had a definate schedule of activities. They had free play of course but it was limited and not a free for all.

Is it possible for you to talk to your SIL about activities during the day? Like you could say your children are at certain learning levels and you want to keep them going. I'm sure your SIL could keep teaching them, just a matter of getting her on the right path.

Have you talked to anyone at work about this oppurtunity? Sometimes it is helpful to get other opinions from professionals that you work with.

I guess I would be leaning toward staying with your present job as well. My son's daycare was unbelievable, it was so good, I know they did a better job at a lot of things teaching him then I could have myself. We were very lucky to get him into that program. I guess the standards of daycares and licensing between here and the US is different. Like we don't have to provide them lunch, that is all included as well as snacks. Also it has to be structured in a certain way, there are tons of regulations that they have to go by.

Anyway I think your gut is telling you to stay where you are and even though the money would be nice it isn't the end of the world if you don't take the job.
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:43 PM   #7
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Yeah our daycare has laws like that but without getting into too many details they ignore them. They try and I think at one point in time the program was better but they have had several director changes and staff is short. The daycare I worked at in Rochester, NY was awesome our programming was BETTER than the preschool that was run by the same church that ran the daycare. But where I work they look at it more like babysitting than a program. When I expressed my concerns about this DH yelled at me and told me I am snob and that this is a daycare not a preschool and it's my job as a preschool program to provide "curriculum" and daycare's job is to just watch the kids. I said I had been in many more daycares than he had and I thought he was wrong, and we went around for DAYS when I first started.

There are really no quality programs eitehr here or in NY where I would work. But I just figured out that if I worked full time at that job I could have all of our debt paid off in 6th months! SO I just don't know.

i'll ahev to talk to my SIL, perhaps if I bought some curriculum stuff she would work on it and gave her some of my materials. I also hate giving up a job that will be flexible for school trips, sick days, ect when my kids are in school.

But I am glad to see taht otehr sunderstand why I would give up teh money for the situation with my kids.
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:31 AM   #8
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Oh definately I understand. If I could be at home 24/7 with my son I would be without hesitation. Sadly it just isn't possible and it isn't even a matter of having 2 incomes so we can keep up with the Jones kind of thing. We got into a lot of debt (another long story) and I have to keep this job I hate for at least 3 1/2 more years til the loan we had to take out when we got our new mortgage. If someone told me I could be out of debt in 6 months I would probably jump at the chance no matter what. The thing with debt, it seems to me, that the longer it goes on the bigger it gets. Like we have had trouble with money for years and years. I cannot remember a time when we weren't in debt. I don't mean stuff like mortgage, car loans or student loans. I mean stupid credit card debt that was just spend on useless junk.

I don't know Misty. If you can get your SIL on board with the teaching then you know they are in good hands during the day. Also dh is going to have to do more as well. I guess I would still be leaning towards taking the job, it is a very hard decision because getting out of debt is very tempting and yes you'll be away from the kids but maybe being with your SIL and your husband doing more around the house will be beneficial in the long run.

I don't agree with your husband about the daycares just being babysitters. They still need to provided a structured day for the kids, they shouldn't be allowed to just roam around and have free play or be sat in front of the tv all day. The place where my son was for 3 years was a daycare but structured like a preschool. Where he is now is also a daycare but structured like a preschool.
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:08 AM   #9
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Good Morning!

I am trying to get all my ducks in a row to at least start the job on Tues. and Thurs. But b/c my teaching cert. expired in 2004 I have to send my transcripts to some lady for review. Then I amnot sure hwat the next step is. Maybe I'm stressing over nothing and I won't be able to take the job. The superintendant that I spoke to didn't seem to think my lack of certification was a problem, but the otehr lady seems to think it is. So I don't know.

Both kids are sick today, fever, coughing, throwing up all night. I am going to go in and teach preschool then come home so DH cango to work.

Have a great day!
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:26 AM   #10
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Money rarely compensates for stress. A high stress job nearly killed me, even without children. Also, you need to figure in what the higher paying job would cost you personally, but also monetarily. For example sometimes a pay raise actually becomes a pay cut when you factor in day care and eating out more often because you have less time... things like that.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:01 AM   #11
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I am a stay at home mother of two boys ages 4 & 2. We are broke. I would not trade it. No one can teach my children and love them like I can. They do not learn more from other people. My two year old knows all upper case letters by sight, numbers 1-10 by sight. He is working on the lower and knows a lot of the sounds. My 4 year old can read. I have my 4 year old in preschool for the social aspects and the teachers often tell me that they wish more parents were involved.

I am in college in the evenings. My husband picks up a lot of slack. If your sinking because of debt I can understand. I just wish more people would look at how they got the debt. Do they have new cars? Huge home? All designer clothing? I wish people would not think that they have to have a two income family and start thinking that they need a new budget. I understand that people often have college loans to pay off. I understand that people have worked hard to have a career. Do people work just as hard to have kids? Is the double income really for the kids?

If its just one more year then all the things you listed that you wanted to do with your children are worth staying home for. There are a lot of wonderful stay at home fathers too!
Sorry if this sounds harsh for some.
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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Morning all.

Some good points raised here. And no Jodi you don't sound harsh IMHO. There are a lot of people who want to have it all, the career, the 2 cars, the kids, the big house and in the long run it is the kids who suffer. Misty hasn't gotten into debt because she is trying to keep up with the Jones. And I agree with Colleen that a high stress job isn't worth the money. I have one of those right now BUT I can't give it up right now because if I quit to take a lower paying but less stress job we would have to declare bankruptcy because we are in debt up to our eyeballs because of some stupid mistakes we made (not about keeping up with the Jones either). Debt also causes a lot of stress. I think Misty would like to get out of debt since she has this opportunity so that in a year she can go back to being a SAHM without debt that she is worrying about.

It's a tough decision. I think there are some benefits that maybe don't seem very evident right now. As a parent having a child in daycare since he was a year old, I think there are a lot of benefits in having my son being taught by someone other than myself. The staff at his daycare are all Early Childhood Educators and are marvellous teachers. I do as much as I can at home though I am not a natural teacher. They tell me he is quite advanced for his age. His speech is better than most of his peers as is his writing and reading. They gave him the equivalent of a preschool IQ test at daycare and he was the first child to get every answer right. The teacher had to call me at home because she was so thrilled at how well he did. She has been in this business for 11 years so I think she knows what she is talking about. She also told me once that she wouldn't be surprised if my son ended up skipping grade 2 or 3. Not that is something I would want, it will depend a lot on what is going on but it just goes to show that he has had an excellent education at daycare. I work with him a lot at home but there is no doubt in my mind that I owe a lot of it to the work they have done at daycare. So I think that if Misty gets her SIL on board with the education she has started then they would keep up with the level Misty wants for them.

Also there are a lot of benefits from getting out of the SAH model and into working life. I know from what Misty has said that she wants to have money of her own and this would be a good way to achieve that. Then when she goes back to being SAHM or working part-time she will be out of debt and not feeling like she is taking her husband's money when she wants something for herself.

This is a really complex issue because there is so much going on. It is too easy to say you'll never get this time back with your kids. It is true of course but then again Misty may never get this opportunity to get them out of debt and ease that particular burden. Sometimes you have to weigh things against each other and how certain actions will affect the future. Will Misty taking a year off to work full-time and have her kids looked after by her SIL severely handicap them in some way? No of course not. There may be benefits to having them away from her and being looked after by SIL and having dh pick up some slack around the house. On the other hand will continuing being in debt be the end of the world? Lots of people go through life in debt and poverty and being broke. The thing is that it is a vicious cycle because debt doesn't stay stagnant, it usually grows because of a lovely thing called interest. For example by the time dh and I get our one loan paid off we could have bought a new car with the interest we paid.

So there you go, there is my 2 cents on what is going on with this.
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:10 PM   #13
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[It is too easy to say you'll never get this time back with your kids.]


Jen, I am concerned that this might have been directed at my initial comment. I can assure you that I am intimately familiar with debt, hard choices, pressure of family and work, and the temptation to work more or differently to make more money. There is nothing easy about any of this, and I am concerned that my response may be considered "easy".

I am sorry to Misty if my comment appeared flippant or judgemental in any way. I can assure you it was not meant to be. It is based on my experiences of having children in a wide range of ages and having piece-mealed school and income in many ways from my first pregnancy through now.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:27 PM   #14
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Hi all!

I don't think ANY of the comments were flippant or harsh. In fact I greatly welcome everyone's opinion. DH won't give me his opinion one way or another. He knows how happy I am working this job at the preschool. He also knows how that money would help us. So he won't say, he wants me to choose. So hearing the perspective other other women and mothers is great!!! I appreciate everyone taking the time to express thier thoughts.

You are right, I will not get this time back. From the day they were born I have felt as if the sand in the hourglass was flying away and I had only so much time before I lost them.

If you look at the debt we're in it's not 10's of thousands. I do drive a very nice brand new van, so if you add that in it's a chunk of money. But when I am talking debt I am talking creditcards and a small student loan. Things are tight for us, we don't buy clothes for ourselves, most of my kids' clothes are gifts or from yard sales. The credit card debt is stuff like groceries on weeks when things got tight, a few car repairs, Chirstmas (which was my fault), a new furnace (which is divided between a CC and a loan) which cut our gas bill from $800 a month to around $100 and new bedroom furniture. I wish we had not bought the furniture. It is the first time in 6 years of marriage we have done something like this, everything else we have bought we have bought with cash. We needed a mattress ours had springs poking out, we found a good deal and over extended ourselves. Stupid. But when compared to ALOT of people we know our debt is minimal. It's the first time I have really had anything nice for my home other than a fridge and a washer and dryer and those we had to have b/c ours died. We're not ones to try to keep up with the Jones' like Jen said. We don't have big tv's, fancy couches, new carpet. My livingroom carpet is 40 years old!

I live in a 150-200 year old farm house. It's a dump, livable, but not pretty. But, it is all but free as my father in law owns it. So we don't live in a $250,000 McMansion is a subdivision paying a mortgage we can't afford (no offense to anyone who does ).

I love haveing my kids at school with me all day, exchanging hugs with my son as he trots down the hall with his little friends for some time in the sunroom (big room like a gym where they can run). I love when my daughter and i can do puzzles in the afternoon with the school kids and I can see how on many levels she's equal with those kindergarteners. I also love my job and my "kids" at school.

For the first time in 6 YEARS I have adults at work that I can talk to, relate to and be friends with. My last speech job (before kids) was itinerant I travled all day and had ZERO friends. I was depressed. Then I had kids. I stayed home (giving up my last year of teaching elegability on my provisional cert. and a nice paycheck). Since then I have had few friends I can talk to. Jen has been a great friend to me these last couple of years!

Part of me feels like I can't afford not to take the job. Paying off all of our debt and being able to get a nice savings in the bank would be so nice. Plus, DH's job is rather unsecure right now (he could have a week or he could have two years). If thinsg went south there if I were workingf ull time, or if I had tucked away some savings I know we'd be ok.

Part of me feels really lazy. So many people HAVE to work, I get that. I am lucky to get a choice. So I feel lazy thinking that I don't want to work 5 days a week. I grew up in a family that worked hard and had little. My parents can't comprehend why I would turn down a job with that salary. And Part of me still has that thinking.

I babysat in my home and at my neighbor's the last two years. It was money that I could use to buy the kids a treat, or spend on gas to visit my friend. Liek Jen said I hate feeling like I am using my husband's money. I have worked since I was 14 in some capacity, I was taught to never rely on a man, and I found myself having to do that and I panicked. I wanted that extra money so I could choose how to spend it.

Alot has to be said for a great daycare program. I worked in one in Rochester. You couldn't ask to have your kids in a more loving and nurturing place. I think Jen had such a program. If you aren't a natural teacher it's nice to have a place like that. My best friend is like that, she adores her daughter, but she's just not a natural teacher. She has a stay at home mom watch her daughter and she is a teacher and decided to stay home. She's awesome! I would want my kids to get that kind of attention.

So I don't know. I think my kids would benefit from more money. I could be debt free so if DH lost his job we'd be ok, I could set up savings accounts for them, we could doa few improvements on the house to make it a safer healthier place for them to live. In some ways I wonder if staying home is more for me or for them. I have a hard time letting go. I cry when I put their outgrown clothes away. Maybe they would be ok and I would not. I think maybe I am selfish. I want to be the one who teaches my daughter to read. I want to be the one who reads to them and plays candy land. I like having two days a week to hang out at home, do laundry, and clean. No rushing, just enjoying the day together. But I also want to have some money at the end of the weeka nd not worry about buying a loaf of bread until Friday b/c we only have $1.25 in the bank.

In the end like I said maybe I am worrying for no cause. maybe I won't end up withteh job anyway b/c the lady from the certification place might not be able to get me recertified.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:55 AM   #15
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You have some tough choices. I also cry when I put my boys clothes away after they have outgrown them.

It is great to worry about your families financial security. Budget your money wisely. Don't worry about the what ifs. My husband lost his job the day after we found out we were pregnant. His company was bought out and they let go operation managers all over the US. Unfortunately, they moved us to Chicago and I had a job at the time but we had not been in IL long enough to fall under the family medical leave act so when I was pregnant I lost my job. I was in the hospital when I lost my job. I had to be on bed rest for 5 mo. So you see anything can happen. He could lose his job. You could too. Do what is right for you family now. If that means you need to work to get out of debt then you need to. Just dont worry about what ifs. Everyone should try to be prepared and set up an emergency fund. Anything that can happen in this world. Try making a list for both sides. Sit down with DH and go over the list. Your heart will tell you if you listen. If you think it is best to get out of debt and try to get ahead then come up with a family schedule to ensure quality time with each child. We have read Dr. Phil's family first and it had some great ideas. I will put you in my prayers to let right decision come to you without guilt no matter what the choice. You are worried about the right choice and I think that means you will make the right one for your family.

Oh, it turned out that the both of us losing our jobs was the greatest gift. I got to be a stay at home mother and I was not planning on that. He now works for the federal gov. He works with American Vets and has the most rewarding job. He now has more vacation. He now is home at night and on the weekends. If we would have stayed where we were at none of that would be happening.
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