For most of the world, it is back to school time. (Kimberly touched on how she celebrates that here.) At our house, though, we are wrapping our minds around something else. I have been working at the same job for the last seven years and this week is my last week! It is a weird feeling. I have searched, and read, and listened to everything I can find on the best way to do this and I haven’t found much.
I have figured out how to make working a full time “day job” work for my family. But, admittedly, I have zero experience on being a stay-at-home mom.
People have been asking me lots of questions throughout this “transition”. How did you make this decision? Why are you doing this? How long are you going to stay home with your kids? (For the record, I don’t have my whole life planned out. I keep trying and it keeps not working, so I am giving up on that for now.)
I’ll try to tackle the why question here. (If you have your whole life planned out and want to give me some advice go ahead.)
Factor #1 – Money
This story started a long time ago. I started this job in the fall of 2010, at which point I was engaged. We were married in February of 2011 and my husband started a three-year graduate program in the fall of 2012. Our tentative and mostly unspoken plan was for me to stay at home after David graduated. That was in April of 2015 and we were staring down the barrel of a pretty significant student loan. I decided to keep working until we paid that off. Of course, we estimated we could pay it off a lot faster than we actually did, but it’s gone now. Of course, our income will go down now that I won’t be earning a paycheck, but my husband has a good job and with our student loan out of the way we are confident we can make it work.
Factor #2 – Babies
Our first son was born in April of 2014. It took longer than I thought it would for me to get pregnant with him, but eventually, it happened. So, I thought it might take a few months to get pregnant again, but I didn’t anticipate what would end up happening. We tried for about a year and then went to see my regular OB. We did the fertility doctor thing for a while and just about when we were feeling a little defeated by the whole thing we got our positive test. (I will attempt to avoid any crazy fertility forum abbreviations here.)
Lots of people assume that I am leaving because I am pregnant, but I told my boss I was leaving before I was pregnant. And, I think in some ways I needed to make that decision before I was ready for another baby.
Factor #3 – Time
My husband works four ten-hour shifts per week (actually three shifts one week and five shifts the next) so we have the option to do some more adventuring. Honestly, my work schedule was getting in the way. That combined with the constant list of home projects and my dirty kitchen floor finally made the decision for me.
It came down to the fact that we could live off of David's income and I wanted to be home.
I know lots of working moms that love it and I don’t judge them, but I really think this is the right move for me and the timing is really working out. Working is nice. Not just for financial reasons, but the adult interaction and satisfaction of being productive and getting things done. I am sure there are a lot of things I will miss being at home, but I will not focus on those right now.
Next week when my son is driving me crazy, remind me that I wanted this AND chose it.