Category Archive : SAHM

My Head Is Spinning

My head is spinning.

Firstly. I got the flu. The knock down, drag out, kick me in my ass flu. Where did I get it from? It is a mystery. Doctors won’t say it happens, but I got sick 5 days after I got my flu shot after being pretty healthy for the better part of 2012. Coincidence? I think not. Anyway it sucks. Really sucks. I cannot train for the Monster Dash given the fact I can barely walk two feet without busting out in a coughing attack. This means a lot of hard work over the last month down the drain. I am about a week out from being back up to speed. I am also singing in a wedding in 10 days. This bugger knocked me down for 8 days straight. My husband likes to think I was a total baby wuss. However, this wuss didn’t miss a day of work over it despite a body that ached from my hair to my toenails and a daily temp of 101. I’m hard core like that. Perhaps I’ll get over my issues with using PTO for sick time. I just feel like I need it for much better things like holidays and trips to Disney World (which I swear to you I’m going to blog about someday). Needless to say, after developing secondary infections (sinus & bronchitis) I got some strong antibiotics and I am slowly getting back on my feet again. Does anyone find it strange that not a soul around me got sick? Did I really keep my bubble that tight around me?

The second thing that has me in a tailspin is the fact that my always growing son is about to reach school age. There are a few things about this that have me mildly freaking out:

1) His age. He is one of those lucky kids who was born close to the age/grade cutoff. So what to do? Make the exception and send him to Kindergarten a year early? Wait a year? We feel like this one decision could be so important to the future of his education and we have no idea what the right choice is. If we send him early, will he be ready? Will he fall behind? If we send him later, will he be bored? What to do? What to do? Moms. I need you. What did you do with your late August/early September babies? Do you have any advice? Any regrets?

2) With being school age, we no longer have the comfort of him being in one place all day. Two full-time working parents have to figure out where to send their kid before and after the bell. To tell the truth, we both dislike the idea of having to do this at all. Both my husband and I were spoiled in the fact that we always had a parent waiting for us after school. Always there for that afternoon snack. Always there to remind us to get started on that homework. After feeling like I made the biggest decision ever in my career, changing jobs, changing companies… I am now re-thinking everything. I think my husband saw this coming a mile away, yet didn’t mention it. I both love and hate that he makes me figure these things out for myself. He knew I’d choose my son above all. However, this is all still a year or two down the road. My hope, and yes, this is lofty, is that my current job will either let me go part time or mostly remote. There are a number of my colleagues who this company has made concessions for and I can only hope that after a couple years of a strong performance, they will consider me an asset and do what they can to keep me. Like I said, lofty. The other option is to find freelance or part-time marketing work. The flip side of this is that my husband may go back to consulting and if he’s traveling, that will force me to be at home. There’s no way I could continue this job and these hours with him gone all the time. I wouldn’t do that to myself and I won’t do that to Jack.

3) We are also intrigued by the idea of a private education. We are impressed with our church’s K-8 school and suddenly, this option is now on the table. Is this crazy? So many of his preschool buddies are heading over to the public school. Will he even care? Will he even notice? The money isn’t a concern- it is actually less than we had been paying for these last 4 years of daycare. The classes are smaller. They teach religion. He’ll still be able to be in community league sports (if he wants). They get brand new Macs starting in 6th grade. This kind of feels like a no-brainer, right? I freaking HATED Catholic school. Now, I’m a girl though and girls are just innately evil and mean. Add rich to that and you’ve got a verifiable mean girl nightmare for a 10 year old girl. I begged my parents to send me to public school in the 6th grade and thankfully, they complied. They pulled my brother out too although, I’m not entirely sure why. Money? Perhaps. Thing is… I learned that pubic school girls can be as equally nasty as the private school ones. Ugh. Why does this matter? I’m just on the fence. We live in a wonderful school district and I’ve heard nothing but great things about the public schools. What to do? Help a mama out here.

So many things going on… so many important decisions to make. Nobody ever said that being a mom (and a professional and a wife) was easy.

A Fork In My Road

I’m sure you all thought this would be a post about food, right?

Well, I have come to a point where I have reached a fork in the road. Not the fork you might envision.

Do I continue to pursue my career or become a SAHM.

I am at a good place with my current job and company. Being at a small company, I’ve had the opportunity to really get my hands dirty and get a ton of experience doing a variety of things from design to PR to advertising. As I head towards my 5 year anniversary with this company and in this position, I struggle with opportunity. I’d be a pretty big liar if I didn’t say money was a driver and a motivator. I am currently at the top of my pay grade in my current position with zero opportunity for bonus or advancement which is one of the biggest negatives about working at a small company. My boss has been at the company for 10 years and is unlikely to leave anytime soon which leaves me to continue hitting my head against a fairly large brick wall in terms of moving up the corporate ladder. In my brief stint managing our marketing department while the boss was away on maternity leave, I absolutely LOVED it. Was invigorated by it. Most of all. I was GOOD at it. If I sit around here to wait my turn, I will be waiting a long time. A REALLY long time. No joking, like waiting upwards of 20 years. I’m willing to be patient and pay my dues, but even I have my limits when it comes to standing still or moving forward.

Then I start thinking about Jack and what it means if I start kicking up the heat in my career. It means longer hours, travel and likely some stress. But it could also mean more money and financial stability, being able to travel as a family to more exotic locations as he gets older and more money to save towards college and retirement.

My heart is always with my son. I think about what it meant for me to be able to just go home after school and hang out with my Mom who was a SAHM for many years when I was growing up and how much easier it was for her and for the family to have her there every day. I wouldn’t have to pay for him to be in an after hours program. We wouldn’t have to fight about who would stay home from work when he gets sick or how we were going to balance school days off and summer vacation. I would get more than 2 hours with him a night. I could volunteer and get back into some of the hobbies I love such as music. I would have a clean house. I could actually go to the gym every day. I could keep up with this blog! Once Jack gets into sports or activities, I would be available to cart him around. I could help other working parents in my neighborhood who struggle with knowing what to do with their kids after school or someone to get them from point A to point B.

Then I start thinking… is having an only child enough to stay home? Would I be bored? Would my career be over and would I be able to get back after what could be a 10 year hiatus? Would I miss working? Would this put too much stress on my husband to be the ultimate breadwinner and if so, how would that affect our marriage?

While I wouldn’t consider becoming a SAHM until Jack starts Kindergarten- he’s about to start Preschool at a great (a.k.a. expensive) school and I don’t want to disrupt his progress- I still have to make a decision soon. Finding the right, perfect job to fit my career goals will take time and if I’m going to do it, I need to start immediately. The time to make a decision is now and I am completely torn in two.

Working moms: Would you stay home if you had the opportunity? 

SAHM’s: What do you miss about your former job/career? How did choosing to stay home change your life for better or for worse?