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One foot in WOH and one in SAH... having an identity crisis

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, I would really value some perspectives with my WOH/SAH dilemma.

 

I have a 2 year old DD and for the first 18 months of her life I WOH part time (and hated it). I desperately wanted to be with her full time. When she was 18 months old I got really sick with an acute illness and I had to take 6 months off because I was so unwell. Even though I had multiple hospital visits, specialists to see, tests etc etc, the illness was a blessing because I finally got to be at home with my daughter full time.

 

Towards the end of 2011 DH and I conceded that his income (he's self-employed) was getting critically low and I would have to go back to some part time work. So I did, putting DD in 2 days of family day care and 1 day with my parents. While she seems happy enough in other people's care (she still gets upset at saying goodbye but otherwise has a good time).. it's me who is struggling so much with it. I hate being a working Mum. I miss our simple routines. I hate that my time is now so stretched that the house is so much harder to keep in order. I hate that my own self-nourishment (time out to walk, journal, breathe, be creative, sew, etc) has to go from the daily schedule because there just isn't the time to fit it all in. I hate that I still hold responsibility for 99% of the household work even though I'm also WOH and caring for her. And mostly, I just miss my daughter. I don't feel ready to be apart from her for 3 long days each week. 

 

I chose to return to work to cope with the escalating financial pressure we were under a few months ago. And it is good to have a little extra money. But right now I feel that it's costing me so much in terms of my wellbeing. I have no idea how I'm going to continue to cope when this is how I feel 2 months in, trying to do both. So I guess you could say I feel really stuck. I've tried hard to try and view this differently in my mind and accept the situation, but so far I'm not getting anywhere with that. 

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Debbie x

 

post #2 of 4

I have been back and forth with this a few times over the years though I usually have WOH part time, alternating with times when I was SAH and times when I worked longer hours. 

 

We homeschool older children, we own a B&M retail business we run together, and I WAH as well in another business I barely have time for now during tax season, plus we have a crazy tight income since DH left his job to run our business with me.  I am always scrambling and it makes me so sad to not have more flexible time with my dc. 

 

Like you, I find it's hard on my well being and makes it hard to feel centered and responsive.  I feel really stuck too, though I count my blessings all of the time and it really helps me to remember how much I have to be grateful for.  The list is so long and I go over it all in my mind almost every day.  It really does improve my outlook when I do this.

 

Can your dh do another PT job instead, or can you consider offering child care for some income you can earn with your daughter staying with you?

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks littlest birds.. your reply means a lot. You're so right about counting blessings.. I think I have to go back to doing that as a daily practice and it might put me in a better space emotionally with it all.

 

I have scratched my head so many times to think about what I do work-wise so that I could WAH instead of WOH. So far I haven't come up with much. I hadn't thought about the childcare income but maybe I should. Where I live it's pretty regulated I think (eg, if you offer family day care) but maybe there are other options I haven't considered. Funnily enough I looked at a B&M business but the cost to buy into it was massive and it would have taken us years to earn back the investment let alone an income. It is doing my head in. As far as what I've got to offer: I'm a really crafty person, I can type fast, I can write, and I'm qualified as a counsellor (I've been offering my services by phone and a few people have been happy to take this up, which helps) and I've run my own business before, so I can do website design, admin stuff, etc etc. Despite all of that I haven't come up with what I could offer to make money from home. I think I'm missing something somewhere, as though the answer must be right in front of me but I can't see it. I will keep thinking though.

 

Again, thank you. 

post #4 of 4

It is really hard.  That is a tough situation to be in.

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