Hi Andib! I have a daughter named Casey, too.....although, she'll be 13 years old on February 15th. Yikes, I can't believe I almost have a teenager. Casey is such a pretty name, and I've always thought of it as a girl's name.
That aside, I have another daughter, 9 years old, and a son on the way, due April 5th. I've always had to work. Unfortunately, things are very expensive in New Jersey, and it would be an extremely hard slog if I had stayed home when my daughters were babies. "Impossible" is the word that comes to mind! My ex-husband didn't make that much money, and in fact was very cavalier about not having any and not worrying about where the $$ was going to come from. Not very comforting, to say the least.
I was remarried in June of '02, and my new husband is absolutely the best, in all ways. He's so excited about my pregnancy and the baby! As an aside, he makes a much better living than my first husband. I'm planning on taking the 6 months leave (unpaid, of course!) that my company allows. After that, I'm thinking about the possibility of staying home full-time, or at least going back to work part-time. I think that would be the ideal. It's a very tough decision. Ideally, of course, I wouldn't have to work at all, and could stay home with my new son, and be able to pick my daughters up after school, etc. However, we bought a house in May of '02, and have very large house payments. We have to start thinking about saving for college for the kids (we haven't put any money away yet), and there are a lot of other expenses. It would a burden on my DH, and things would be tight for many years. Plus, I'll have 20 years with my company this year, and just got my five weeks of vacation. I'll be 40 this year, and like it or not, I have to begin thinking towards the retirement years. So many questions, and sometimes I think it's just not fair that we moms have to make these decisions!
I give kudos to all of the work-outside-of-home and going-to-school moms here....it's a tough thing no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately, sometimes on these boards I feel like working moms get looked down upon a bit. It's nice to see a thread like this.