Monday, February 07, 2011

Work

Oh my friends, can I be real and honest with you for a bit? That is what our sermon was about this morning and while I certainly don't share everything on my blog, what I do write about is true and authentic.

Right now I'm struggling with something. . . for the first time since we got married, I will not be bringing in one dime of income for our family.

Wow. I didn't know giving this up would be so hard.

The first year of our marriage, I was still in school so Andrew worked to support us, yet, I still worked a part-time job. Then I was out of work for two weeks when we moved here, and I did quit my full-time job in November '09 to be at home with the kids yet since that time I've always found it possible to help out financially in some way - whether it was insurance money, voice lesson income, or a small part-time job.

I can't really figure out why this is so hard for me. My husband wants me to do it and I realize that as a mom with three very young kids, my priority needs to be at home right now.

These are just the possible reasons for feeling so challenged by this:

  • In my generation, there is not much value placed on women who stay at home with their kids.
  • I feel like I will have nothing of my own if I don't actually make an income.
  • I will be totally dependent on another human for my needs (I know I have done this before but it's just different as an adult).
  • I won't have an excuse to "get away" once a week or so to work.
  • I feel a much bigger sense of accomplishment from completing a task for work than I do from cleaning out the dishwasher, laundry, or changing a diaper.
  • I am an incredibly short-sighted person so while I know there will be many years for me to help contribute financially to the family, it's hard for me to see when these years of little ones with big needs will end.
  • I manage the budget and know the household expenses. My husband is a very capable provider and I know he can make the extra we need to cover everything but I also want to be a help and to not place that extra burden on him.

I'm quitting to focus on my family and because I cannot put in the hours that my employer has requested. I know that is not fair to them.

Tuesday may be my last day at work. I'm not sure yet. On the bright side, I am looking forward to having my free time - a.k.a. nap time - available to do other things, like blog or clean or even relax (what a concept).

Anyway, I'd love to hear from you!

7 comments:

Melanie said...

Jaime,

I completely understand your thoughts. I too have struggled at times with not providing any income for our family, especially when it seems that so many other moms at home do something out of their home that brings in some money. But, I often have to realize that i'm comparing myself to others, which is not what I'm to do. My sister-in-law has mentioned on numerous occasions that we are nurturing eternal beings, and there's nothing more important than investing in the eternity of our children. when I look at it that way, I realize that I probably fall short on many days in training him up in the way he should go. Just thought it might help to know others know what you're feeling...and if you ever need encouragement or affirmation, call me, because I'll be at home doing things that don't earn an earthly penny :) I'll let you know you're more than okay :)

Jennifer said...

As Melanie said, you're surely not alone! I've been pretty well the same as you--for the most part bringing in some sort of extra income after I became a SAHM. But I knew after Isaac was born I wouldn't want to be spending the kind of time I had been on my other job. It was a hard decision for me, mostly because I knew it would put an extra burden on Aaron to make up that "lost" income. I think the biggest reason we feel this way is what you listed first...the world doesn't value SAHMs. Are you employed? Why yes I am...I'm a mother! :) Also, I kind of look at my job as the budgeter and grocery shopper as a job that "earns" us money-in what I can save. But I've also had to give myself a little grace in those areas the last few months. And tell myself to soak up the moments of a newborn because they pass in the blink of an eye.
I love what Melanie passed on...nurturing eternal beings. You're definitely not alone! :)

Jaime said...

Thanks for your thoughts. It does feel good to know that I'm not the only one to struggle with this decision. Right now it just seems silly that at the end of the day

1) Andrew is tired of being at work and working yet he has to come home and work more in order to support us.

2) I am tired of taking care of the kids, crying and whining (myself included), the house, etc

so . . .

why don't we switch for a little bit?

I know that with a nursing baby (who is coming in May) that is just impossible but still seems silly to me.

Jackie said...

http://proverbs31woman.com/ you have read this blog, i am sure..

you are worthy of praise for the honor God has placed you in!!!
God knows the jobs women do are priceless...no one can aford us except the Lord...He placed man in different roles of which they are worthy of..
maybe its a bigger picture that we must look at...:))) i did not see it either as a young mom...God is here with us all.

Jaime said...

Well, after a nice discussion with Andrew last night (I'm serious about that) he explained that he doesn't feel stressed by coming home and working and that he likes what he does. He also made it clear that he always has time to help me. Why don't I pick up on these things, I don't know. . . so I'm starting to feel better about it. It's just a hard thing to let go!

Liv said...

After almost 7 months of being home almost full-time with my infant, I'm actually facing the opposite problem. My husband hasn't been getting full-time hours at work the last couple of months, and the financial strain is too much to bear. Today I started looking for part-time work to better supplement his income. I am heartbroken because I have grown to love being home with our daughter. In the last 6 months, I get a couple of hours away each day to teach Yoga and Pilates, but that income is nowhere near enough to meet our needs.

I'm so glad I read your post today because I feel like I have no one in my "real life" to discuss this with. I'm afraid of the judgment I might face if I talk with family or friends- whether they're judging me for quitting my full-time job in the first place, or for not "trying harder" to stay home full-time with my baby.

I hope things are coming along for you and that you're adjusting to a new schedule. I know it can be hard. It was extremely difficult for me to give up being the breadwinner when Aspen was born. I'd always been the one to support my husband and myself since we married.

Best wishes, and thanks again for posting and letting a complete stranger (found you via BlogHer) unload!

Jaime said...

No problem. Glad you can share. I would be heartbroken too if I had to give it up all together and I'm really coming to terms with it and am excited at this point.

Can you find evening or weekend work that will bring in more income? Or perhaps just something a few days a week so you can be home the other days?