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trying to make a decision on staying home

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

you all probably get this type of post every day but here's my situation. I just had my thrid 2 months ago. In early fall my company told me I'd be laid off as of Dec 31st after I returned from mat. leave (nice of them to keep me on, honestly). But right before I left, they said they might be able to keep me on. At first I thought "cool"! Then I thought "bummer, I was looking forward to some time off w/ baby". I've never gotten a real long mat leave..14 weeks w/ my first and a mere 6 week my second. Now at 8 weeks pp, I'm just now feeling like I can enjoy my toddler and baby but its almost time to return IF i return. I'm so tired of feeling like I have to hurry to get in a mommy experience before a leave is over (you know, a crazy thing like taking your child to the zoo during the day/not on a weekend when you are juggling 50 other things that need to get done by sunday PM).

 

I can choose to be laid off and get unemployment for how ever long it lasts (6 months-1 yr). I can choose to return and work the first three months at 25hr/week then full time. I can choose to be laid off then take on a consulting role for some unspecified time (probably 6 months).

 

I really WANT to try to stay home but when unemployment runs out I have to find a way to pull in 2K/month. I'm thinking online teaching/tutoring and/or just tutoring at the local college libaries (think I can charge ~40-50/hr b/c its science). It would mean ALOT of tutoring in the evenings (hubby would have to get all three to bed) but it'd mean I'd have time in the day w/ the littles and would get to volunteer at my oldest's kindergarten class when I want. Grandma lives w/ us, affording me some flexiblity here (no day care costs if I do something for my oldest or for "work").

 

I just can't decide if the stress of having to find that much income is worth it? That 2 K still means we are just breaking even, still a lot of not buying things we might "want", no trips, prayers for no house improvement or car expenses, etc, no nights out, etc.

 

I could ofcourse just find a job after unemployment runs out but my current job is only 15-20 min from home (a great situation where we live) and I liked it..had "just" gotten to where I wanted to be/doing what I wanted. It would  probably take 6-9 months to find a similar job so I'd have to start looking pretty soon after unemployment starts (sorta silly to do that).  So..if I take the lay-off, I feel like I'm committing to finding a way to make income some other way. When I look big picture, I might need to anyway b/c the afterschool programs in our district are mostly off site, needing parent drivers, etc.  working as a consultant for my current company works for awhile but I don't feel I have enough yrs of experience to make a good living as a consultant for companies that don't know me already.  

post #2 of 6

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Edited by stellercrys - 10/11/13 at 5:04pm
post #3 of 6

I guess you asked for a personnal opinion; so I'll give you mine: Your babies won't stay babies forever! The point you pulled out, doing stuff on weekdays, is just one of the advantage of staying home:  Being the one there to educate your children is priceless, the bonding and sense of accomplishement just to name a couple.

 

Have you done a budget considering all your options? It there things you can let go? (cable, the second car if you have one, downsizing your house, etc) I know those are big changes, but they can be worth it!

post #4 of 6
if i needed 2k a month to break even, then no, i wouldn't stay at home full time. if getting more time off were important to me (and it sounds important to you) then maybe you can work that, but it's ill-advised in this economic climate to SAH when you're stretching yourself financially.

you could look at your expenses as well, but cutting everything to the bone might be more taxing than it's worth. that's a personal decision.
post #5 of 6

Check out the Frugality & Finances section, under the Mindful Home area of MDC.  Maybe post there and lay out some more details. Those folks over there seem to ask good questions to help you figure stuff out, and to give good personal stories that might be relevant to you from a financial point of view.
 

post #6 of 6
One thing I want to mention is, in my state at least, and probably in others, there is a work search requirement while you're receiving unemployment. You need to be actively searching for a job & keep a weekly log of jobs you've applied for (at least 3 a week here) and you may need to attend periodic state-run workshops regarding resumes, job searching, etc. So you cannot just sit home & play with baby & collect with little or no effort, although obviously some people lie, make false logs, etc. and get away with it...

Anyway. If you will be $2K short just to meet bare-bones expenses... that doesn't sound very workable. Tutoring could be great but keep in mind that if UE runs out in 6 months it will be summer & you'll have a few more months to wait before school starts again. Can you return to work part-time indefinitely, or would you have to transition to full-time in 3 months? Would you make enough to make it worth it after you pay for daycare etc.? Could you consider going back for 25 hours/week for a while & see how it feels, save up some extra money, & make a decision after a few months of that? Part-time could give you a lot of leeway to spend more time with your kids during the week but still give you the financial breathing room you seem to need.

Is there room in your budget to cut back? Do you have savings? How is the local economy, is it realistic that you would find a new job within a year? (Around here it is likely to take more than a year &/or you would likely need to take a significant pay cut.) There's a difference between falling short a bit each month while you still have cable & eat out once or twice a week & have all the kids in expensive lessons & take vacations every year & buy your kids new, quality clothes and whatever toys your kids want... and falling short when you don't do any of those things. The first means a difficult but manageable change in lifestyle & the second scenario means you can't buy food or pay your rent or medical bills. I don't know which scenario you'd consider yourself to fall in but from my own experience I would certainly not recommend voluntarily putting yourself in the second scenario. smile.gif Although it could work out I guess if you end up qualifying for food stamps/WIC/medical assistance/etc. so definitely consider all possible outcomes!
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