I am struggling. There I said it. I want to be a full time Mom. But, many days I still love my job. The days I don't love it however are out numbering the days that I do. And last week I actually cried because I was feeling ineffective and worthless. Yup, worthless. Not a good feeling for an employee who feels she is doing her absolute best to get the job done. Also not a good feeling for someone who has high standards and expects herself and others to live up to them.
I have been digesting all of the reasons I went back to work, and re-thinking them. Money, personal fulfilment, boredom, pride, not wanting to be a servant to my husband and kids, I could go on and on. But, you get the idea.
Hubby and I have been actively nesting our funds away, and slowly paying off all of our debt. We have finally freed ourselves from credit cards, student loans, car payments and all other revolving debt. What we are left with is a hefty house payment and household bills (gas, electric, water, cable, phone, groceries, fuel, pet food, etc.). The awesome part of all of this is that we could make it with hubby's income only. We would have to cut out all extras however. There would be a VERY small pad, and we would have to watch our spending. We would also have to learn how to budget better and have to learn how to say NO to outings, or at least set spending limits on them.
Hubby and I are terrible at saying No and even worse at setting limits. We often feel like we 'deserve' it, so we treat ourselves. We have made a commitment over the last couple of years to reign in our spending and have obviously done a good job. But, there is that last bit of frivolousness that we still enjoy and currently can afford. We would have to look at things in a new light, and allow ourselves a fresh perspective on frugal life.
I have been trying to look at this like a challenge to myself. At work I set goals. So, why not look at staying home like a goal--I challenge myself to stop spending money on things I don't need (I shouldn't need to stay home to accomplish this...but we all need goals). I challenge myself to accept and appreciate what I already have. I challenge myself to come up with new and creative ways to re-use the items I already have; give them a second (or third!) life. I challenge myself to learn how to shop, cook, and maintain a household on a slimmer budget.
This next month we are going to give it a test run. I am going to move my paycheck over to savings, and we are going to try and live off of just hubbys income. That will give us a feel for what it will be like. I will keep you posted on the results of the trial run.
I also want to use these challenges as a way to keep my mind working at problem solving. I worry that if I quit working that I will turn into a babling idiot who can only talk about her kids and poopy diapers. I want to ensure that I am challenging myself, keeping up on current events and aware of the world around me. I dont want to turn into the SAHM at the Mom's groups that I dont like.
We also want to have another baby. We have talked about it many times over the last 10 months, and are both so happy as parents that we don't see a reason to wait. If we space them close together they can play with one another, I can reuse many of their toys and baby items, they can share a room, and the time commitment needed will be condensed into a shorter overall commitment (of course it will be multiplied three fold in level of difficulty...but who factors that in). Plus, maybe we will want more than 2 children...maybe we will want 3. Hubby so NO WAY, but you never know. So, if we were to ever consider 3 kids, we should get a move on! I dont want to be categorized as 'elderly' in maternal age (they use this term when you are pregnant and over 35-can you believe that!!!).
So, here I am again. Deliberating my future. Except this time my future is the future of my children (is this wrong?); I am not even factoring in my career goals. They just don't seem to matter to me much anymore. I want to refocus my energy on my family, and I just cant seem to allow/permit myself to be good enough at both. I need to be great at one. I want to be great at one.