LONG To work or not to work? Need some fresh ideas... - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-22-2009, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are stuck and not able to make a decision. Ok, I guess its more mine than his to make. Hoping for some fresh active working mama ideas/thoughts/insights to help me out.
Before DS was born almost 2 years ago now, I was an event planner/pr person for a major university. I had this position at 2 different universities over a 5 year span. I have a masters in a somewhat related field, some corporate experience, but mainly non-profits/education.
My pregnancy with DS was the best accident ever, as was its timing with finding out that DH(PhD student) had received funding for all of us to go to West Africa for 9 months for his field work. DS was born, I went back to work PT for 2 months after leave and when he was 5 months, became a SAHM when we went to Mali and have been one the past 9 months we've been back.
We are living off of DHs small teaching stipend, student loans and some investment income that, obviously shrank considerably over the past year.
The idea, when we left Mali was originally that I would go back to work, but I could stand the thought of leaving DS, so we figured out based on the investment, that we could live 3 years like we are now. It would fund my mommy time, we could have #2 and I wouldn't have to go back to work until #2 was 2. Dreamy, right?
But the economy tanked. We lost 25% of our investment $. There has been one unexpected major expense after another. DH is an amazing job candidate when he finishes in a year, but none the less, he is entering a ridiculously competitive field. Its only realistic that he could be unemployed for a bit. And all of this has obviously made us scared of #2...
As long as DH can get $2,000 in the door each month AND we have no more major unexpecteds, AND the market doesn't tank again, we have 2.5 years left of investment to live off of. But we have minimal control over those unknowns. Oh, I should add, I am 35 in 3 weeks. My clock is beginning to count down and we don't want the kids to be too far apart if we don't have to.
We both change our minds daily about having another one right now. I've been crying the past 2 days because it just feels like I need to get a job. But events work is SO not family friendly. The job market sucks in all fields. And DS isn't old enough for quality and affordable pre school. I'd need to make at least $1500 a month to make it work PT and $2500 FT(oh, thats TAKE HOME).
Ok...I'll stop the inane details. Point is, I'm just stuck. I have been for a while now and I really need a new game plan soon or I am going to go insane. I feel SO blessed to have had what I've had and for the fantastic family I have. I feel lucky to feel like I have options(maybe?). I am so sad to think about working again(I've been doing volunteer work to keep up the fulfillment piece and I LOVE it), so sad to think about not having another right now, but also stressed out about our financial situation daily. I even started smoking again for a bit(thats at least over). And its not good for anyone when I'm not feeling grounded.
Thanks for reading up to this point and TIA for anything you can offer.

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My SAHM friends, BTW have been helpful and sweet, but are all "It will work out, have a baby!" I guess I'm looking for a bit of realism here, KWIM?

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:48 AM
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Financial strains and how they affect someone is so personal and based on your own upbringing and such but here's my take.

It sounds from your explanation that everything is ok right now and you are worrying about "what ifs."
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As long as DH can get $2,000 in the door each month AND we have no more major unexpecteds, AND the market doesn't tank again, we have 2.5 years left of investment to live off of.
COMPLETELY NORMAL in this economy but even in good times we can't predict the future. You have to live with the current circumstances and trust that when the unexpected does occur you will survive the storm together. The economy could be great and something horrible could happen tomorrow - I don't say that to be pessimistic but to encourage you to not worry about tomorrow and live (responsibly) for today.

Think of the great gift you are giving your son in a sibling! Imagine the worst that could happen (welfare, bankruptcy, etc.) and do you think you would ever regret a child? No way! He/she would be worth it right? Life is always joy and goodness.

Maybe you can find some ways to make yourself feel better financially in the meantime - a little at home work? sell some stuff? cut expenses a little?

(Do you believe in God or some facsimile thereof? I would have some other thoughts but I'll keep them to myself unless you want to hear them! )
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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I would just have another. 2.5 is a long time - even 1.5 years is. Don't postpone the things that are important becuase you think there will be a perfect time. Even if he doesn't get an academic Tenure track appt right away, if he's a good candidate, he'll be able to pull a postdoc with nice benefits or even a visiting teaching position.

There's never a right time, just do it!

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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I think, in your shoes, that having a baby now makes sense. Seems like things are stable at the moment. The job market in non-profit work is hard, especially for events because everyone is cutting events. This from direct experience -- its my field too. Thankfully I do marketing as well and so am OK at the moment. At worst you have a baby and then find you need to go to work. By then, things shoud have picked up and a PT event job should be find-able. At worst you end up with a child in PT daycare/nanny whatever. Its not the end of the world and you'll still have a baby.

If you wait, you might still end up working, you might find it increasingly difficult to have that baby (BTDT too).

Absolute worst -- you have to find a temporary job while pregnant because your DH is unemployed. But that would mean he could stay with your child while you worked. While event work might be hard to come by, basic admin stuff is still pretty available, at least here.

I don't see you gaining anything by putting off a baby.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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My response is tainted by my own experience, but you can't count on planning that baby when it's convenient/ economically feasible, so that's where my priority would be. Also, although it might not be easy to find a job (if and when you need to), it's not the end of the world to be working, and have your kid(s) be in someone elses care for those hours.
Many of the mamas on this forum will attest to that, heck, some of us even enjoy it
So, maybe it's from a different perspective, but I would basically say the same as your SAHM friends..

mama to my August boys ('03 & '06)
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, thanks a LOT, mamas. Damnit...you are all right. I just need to put the fears to rest.
I have no issues with putting DS in another person's care. He does it regularly actually while I volunteer/do other things. I really am just enjoying this life right now, but I want to feel like I'm moving in a direction, always do. If thats back on the career path, cool, if its towards another kiddo, equally cool. I don't want to have to do both at the same time if I don't have to, but you're right, its not the end of the world if I have to.

Thanks, again !

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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i agree....forget the job, work on having that baby. you both wanted 2 kids for a long time.....and there will be no perfect time for that......and at 35, i wouldnt waste any time. you have enough to cover the bills....dont worry about "what ifs". if you go back now before you HAVE to, i think you'll regret it later.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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I agree too - have #2 while you can. Sounds like it is a good time while it is stable and you can manage. There are so many "what ifs" and SO much can change in 1-2 years. You will figure out what you need to as you go.

I'm a worrier and a planner too - as in I like to have things planned out in the future, but you know what? It doesn't always work out the way you think or want it too - sometimes it's a blessingin disguise, other times it throws you for a loop but you deal with it.

So I would go for baby #2 and enjoy the time you have with #1, and with #2 while you can. If it turns out you need to go back to work at some point, figure that out at the time and do what works for your family. Otherwise you risk waiting for the "right" time and that may take a really long time, and it may be too late by then.

In terms of money, I'm no financial advisor and don't claim to give advice, but would it help if you moved your investments in to a more secure vehicle, i.e. Money Market so you know exactly how much you have? You may not recoup your losses but it could give you more security in knowing your financial situation over the next few years.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, we just agreed. We are totally going for #2. I KNEW I just needed a final bitzy push from a bunch of strangers . Just need to get the IUD out and start having some baby sex!

:

I have always been cynical and hated that smily. It does seem appropriate now.

THANKS again and wish us luck!

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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Good luck!

mama to my August boys ('03 & '06)
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Good luck!!
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Old 05-27-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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I see you've made your decision - congrats! I was just going to post...what would be worse - having a baby and needing to put him or her in daycare eventually - or not having a second child ever? I am going w/the latter being far worse.

BTW - we are in a similar boat - I left my profession to be a SAHM temporarily and live off dh's small salary, investment income, savings, and the grace of god! I have days of extreme stress (when I think I need to get a job NOW) and other days of zen acceptance that it will all work out. It's been almost 3 years, and I am used to that ebb and flow! (and I need to get a job...this week at least)

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
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