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Why can't I accept this "good fortune"?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mods - this is a WAH/SAH question, but I can't post it in either of those forums because whichever forum I post in will push me in that direction. I need to post in a forum that isn't biased one way or another, so I'm here... Hope that is ok!

If I wanted to, I would be able to SAH and not have to earn an income. My DH makes enough to support us, and is fine if I chose not to work. We have two children, DD8 and DD5. DD8 has special needs.

I normally like my work - it is very much part of my identity. But my life has gotten more and more complex with having a child with special needs. I want to be able to just stop working and focus on her and the rest of my family. I feel that they are all suffering some because I am not fully present for them. My life is torn in so many directions.

I am hating my work because it takes away from my family time and from meeting their needs and my own needs as well. But it's always been a HUGE part of my life, and made me feel useful and needed as a part of the larger society.

However, I'm really getting burned out. DH says, "You don't need to work as far as finances go, we will be fine." So, he's good with this.

I've been debating this question for about 4-5 years, and now I'm ready to just say, "Enough!" and be done working, for a while. A few years...

It sounds like I've made my decision, doesn't it?
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
It sounds like I've made my decision, doesn't it?
Yup. Now you just need to make peace with it.
post #3 of 27
yes i didn't read anything that was holding you to the job except that it's what you've always done.

when things start lining up like you described, it's time to make the life-changing decision.

you do know that you can always return to work someday, that you can always find a job.

but you only have a short time to be truly present for your children while they are still children.

it's a big step but you can do it!!

good luck and don't forget to have fun!
post #4 of 27
I am in a similar situation. I'm a work at home, stay at home mom, and at times I wish I could ONLY be a mom, ya know? It's a job in itself, and add working on top of it....so overwhelming! Sometimes, time is worth more than money. If you can quit work and just concentrate on being a mother, I think you might be happy. I know I would!
post #5 of 27
There is always volunteering if you want to feel like you're making a contribution to larger society.

As PP mentioned you can go back to work. Just because you're not working at THIS point in your life doesn't mean you never will again.
post #6 of 27
If you really love what you do and see it as an important part of your identity, could you WAH and cut back your hours?

Honestly, I had found a career I liked, loved certain things about the work, and dropped it and never looked back when DS came along. Being a mom is all I ever really wanted to be, and when he's at a point where he doesn't "need" me there all the time (in school full-time, and settled in) I'll go back to work for the money. Some women "need" to work while raising their kids b/c it's part of their identity. It wasn't part of mine, but that's a personal thing. With a kid w/ SN, I can easily see both sides (needing to do something outside the family, needing to focus solely on the family) and it's really just a matter of deciding what's best for your situation and family.

ETA: I agree with LM that volunteering is a good compromise. And it sets a great example for your kids.
post #7 of 27
I haven't read any of the PPs.

Could you take a leave of absence? I was lucky enough to be able to do that and it helped me make the first steps and it eased my mental transition (just knowing that I 'could' go back) It also helped me solidify what was best for our family (even though I knew what was best for our family, experiencing it helped me make the final decision).

Also - in my opinion, NOW is the time to do this. You won't get another chance at it, but you can always return to employment later.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post
Yup. Now you just need to make peace with it.
Yes, that is it in a nutshell.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post
If you can quit work and just concentrate on being a mother, I think you might be happy.
Yes, I would!
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post
There is always volunteering if you want to feel like you're making a contribution to larger society.

As PP mentioned you can go back to work. Just because you're not working at THIS point in your life doesn't mean you never will again.
Yes, I can volunteer at the girls' school, and I have been. Good points.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post
If you really love what you do and see it as an important part of your identity, could you WAH and cut back your hours?
I have tried this, but the stress of having my time so sub-divided is still too much.

I just want to have the following three responsibilities:

Take care of DDs and DH.
Run my home.
Volunteer at school.

I've lost touch with all my friends, too - I need to have time to reconnect with them as well. I value their support.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Three~Little~Birds View Post
Could you take a leave of absence?
I have tried this as well. But it doesn't seem to work. I have decided on a set amount of time - say, 6 months off. Then I let my clients know, and then exactly 6 months later they start calling me, "Hello! Are you working again?" They really like my work and need me, and the pressure is so great. I also really like my clients and consider some of them friends now, so it's complicated.

I think I just need to say that I'm going to stop working for now. No time frame, nothing to give my clients hope, KWIM?
post #13 of 27
One issue I see with your proposed course is that you will be devoting all your time seeing to the needs of others. One nice thing about having a job outside the home is that its usually something you do for you. I know that as a current SAHM who had a rich and rewarding career I am somewhat resentful of this. Just something to think about.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
I guess I don't really want to find a way to "make this work" - meaning, finding a way to continue working and still do all the Mom Stuff.

I have been around and around and around with this issue in both the SAH and WAH forums, and the WAH forum will encourage me to find a way to "make it work" and the SAH forum will encourage me to stop working.

I just want to do what is Right For My Family without feeling pressured one way or another, KWIM? Because the pressure from both sides is so compelling! Everyone has good points!

I've made up my mind. My current client will be my last, for an indefinite amount of time. I will still leave my business intact and up and running, but when clients call, I will just say that I'm not working right now, and I'm not sure when I'll be working again. Maybe they could call back in a year...
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
One issue I see with your proposed course is that you will be devoting all your time seeing to the needs of others. One nice thing about having a job outside the home is that its usually something you do for you. I know that as a current SAHM who had a rich and rewarding career I am somewhat resentful of this. Just something to think about.
I will have no resentment about stopping my work, I can tell you that for certain.

My work also "sees to the needs of others". I cannot bear to take on one more person to look after. My clients love me and they NEED me. It's unbearable for me now. I already have enough people to look after at this point in my own family!

I need to "take care of ME" now. I've lost touch with all of my friends because my time is so booked. I need them to talk to, hang out with, and I need their support. My special needs DD is overwhelming at times and my friends help me get through.

I don't want to spend my spare "free time" (what little there is) working and taking care of MORE people. I want to spend that time taking care of ME!

Wow... I think I just figured it all out in the last two sentences... Oh, wow - this is an awesome revelation for me.

I can't take good care of my family without taking care of me.
post #16 of 27
It's very rare in this section that problems get completely solved (or OPs solve them themselves) in 15 posts! Well done everyone, it's nice to see someone feel "done" so quickly!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I don't want to spend my spare "free time" (what little there is) working and taking care of MORE people. I want to spend that time taking care of ME!

Wow... I think I just figured it all out in the last two sentences... Oh, wow - this is an awesome revelation for me.

I can't take good care of my family without taking care of me.
I finally reached this point this summer. It took my body collapsing under the stress of trying to do it all to make it clear, but yes, you also have to take care of you.

Also, as a parent with two special; needs kids, it really IS overwhelming, and it is a different level of intensity. In order to provide that added support to them, you really do have to make it a point to keep your own cup full.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
I will have no resentment about stopping my work, I can tell you that for certain.

My work also "sees to the needs of others". I cannot bear to take on one more person to look after. My clients love me and they NEED me. It's unbearable for me now. I already have enough people to look after at this point in my own family!

I need to "take care of ME" now. I've lost touch with all of my friends because my time is so booked. I need them to talk to, hang out with, and I need their support. My special needs DD is overwhelming at times and my friends help me get through.

I don't want to spend my spare "free time" (what little there is) working and taking care of MORE people. I want to spend that time taking care of ME!

Wow... I think I just figured it all out in the last two sentences... Oh, wow - this is an awesome revelation for me.

I can't take good care of my family without taking care of me.
I completely understand. I was also in a helping field & left b/c it was too much to take care of my child AND all of those other people. It is draining. Though I miss feeling the competence and independence associated w/ work, it has been the best decision ever to take a couple of years off & just focus on family. I don't volunteer in any capacity except my child's school, and right now that's definitely enough.
post #19 of 27
for you!!!!
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wow - I never really realized until today that the work I do involves helping people so much that it is overwhelming me. I have always thought my work was a "craft", a hands-on thing. But really, what I do helps others so much. Literally, they call me and say, "Oh, I need your help! This thing is happening and I need help NOW! Can you help me? I don't know who else I would go to, if you can't help me."

Talk about pressure!

I don't need it. Just had another client (who I REALLY like) call me today and ask for help. I really do like her, so I told her yes - at least she doesn't need my help immediately - I can put her off a month or two...

This is REALLY hard for me to say "NO!" to these people. I just have to find someone else to help them - someone I can refer them to.
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