Making the deicision to stay home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-23-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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My son was born 8/3. I am rather anemic from the birth and he is colicky, but mostly we are both doing well, BFing going well after a bit of a rough start.

I was supposed to go back to my job as a middle school English teacher in a poor, minority neighborhood last week. However, as the date approached I found myself depressed and weepy. I called HR and was told I could take up to a year of family leave per my contract, but that my specific position at my school wouldn't be protected beyond FMLA leave in mid-November. I filled out my paperwork to extend my leave until January, and told my principal. I cited reasons of my health and my son's health. I am asthmatic and often get very sick all winter when teaching. I just don't feel willing to do that now. 

He was not thrilled, to say the least. The sub I had didn't want to stay so he had to find someone else.  He wouldn't guarantee that he would hold my job for me. I am pretty hurt by this, I worked at that school for four years and poured my heart and soul into it, got thousands of dollars of books, tech, and field trips donated, etc. Really all I was asking is for him to hold my job for six weeks between when FMLA runs out and Winter break, and I'm pretty miffed that he couldn't commit to that. They would have to offer me another position in the district if one was available, but as you can imagine, a post that is available midyear is probably the roughest school, the most difficult assignment that someone else left, so I won't do that. If my job is gone, I will wait and see what contract they offer me in the fall.

At the same time, I'm wondering if I even want to go back at all. I am burnt out on teaching. Last year was terrible, besides being pregnant I was just unhappy at work all the time. I'm sure I don't need to list the woes of public school teaching here but they are numerous and worsening.

Financially, we are right on the cusp of being able to afford surviving on one income, which makes it even more difficult of a decision. We would have to find a way to bring in a few more hundred dollars each month to really be stable, but not much. I would look into online teaching or tutoring in the evenings, DH is working on getting a raise at work. But we have no real savings and would be in a bad situation if a financial crisis came up.

Really, I have loved staying home with my son. I am sick of teaching. But I am scared to make this leap. I am also scared of losing a good reference when I want to return to the workforce.

I don't know if it's just my fear of working and trying to take care of my son holding me back, or if I am truly done teaching (for now, I guess) I have a masters and I really feel like it's too late to switch professions, but I don't know if classroom teaching is for me anymore. When I think about the stress and all the work outside school hours, plus trying to pump enough for my son, I just get depressed and angry.

I am feeling like I'll be calling my principal soon and trying to suss out whether he is keeping my job open for January. But even if it's there, I don't know if I want to go back. I'm having so many identity issues with this, it's making me feel pretty alone. I don't know anyone who made the decision to stay home after their child was born, I feel like most people either decide when pregnant or just go back to work. If we had known earlier we could have saved money and made this easier.

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#2 of 5 Old 10-23-2012, 02:58 PM
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((hugs)) Hope you find a way to do what you need. I read recently that some teachers are selling their curricula online to other teachers to bring in income. How about tutoring or nannying?

Jennifer DH Bill '97. DS C 2/03  
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#3 of 5 Old 10-27-2012, 07:39 PM
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Hi. I struggled with this at first too. mainly bc I  wasn't sure how to do it. How would we pay all the bills, wouldn't I be "wasting" my degree, etc. But inevitably the decision was made for me because plain and simple, I CAN NOT LEAVE MY SON! My heart just got all mushed up and melted when I met him and since then, (almost a year ago) we have been inseparable. I was previously an early ed teacher myself and found a way to kinda do both. I have to work some bc of our financial situation so I nanny part time, about 20 hours a week and do some very part time doula/family education workshops locally as well. I am also a baby wearing fanatic and my son goes with me every where including my part time work, which overall I  enjoy and am SO thankful I decided to be a SAHM, who works a bit, but takes her babe with her.


Could you consider a slightly different career that supports staying at home with your babe? Also check out Sarah's blog She writes about making the decision to be a SAHM on her blog under Mothering, really well written and thought provoking!

Me, slinggirl.gif mama to 1.5 yr old kid.gifDS, step mama to two tweens, married to a sarcastic sports nut censored.gif. We are unschooling! mdcblog5.gif

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#4 of 5 Old 10-30-2012, 06:40 PM
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It takes a special kind of energy to teach in that circumstance, and I personally don't have it anymore. I was home with DD until she was 10 months old and then went back to a similar situation. I made it 2 years and put in my resignation this summer. I felt incredible relief, but being a teacher is such a part of my identity...there has definitely been a kind of mourning period as well.  I'm expecting our second in January, though, and I knew there was just no way I could do it with 2. Trying to pump during a teaching day, at least in my situation, was next to impossible. 


I feel you on the scary part. Money is definitely tight now. (I was really regretting it last night when our roof started to leak as Sandy was blowing through.)


However, my health problems cleared up. LIke, magically, within weeks of me resigning. And I wake up so freakin' happy every day. I think you don't realize what it's like to carry home all that stress (sad stories from my kids lives, super fast pace day, etc.). My husband comments all the time that he likes me better this way and jokes (well sort of) that he forbids me from going back in to teaching.


But it's not all rainbows and rose gardens. I carried the insurance for our family and it was good. Now all we can afford is a high deductible plan. We cannot afford some really necessary repairs in our home (been brushing our teeth in the bathtub for four months b/c our sink doesn't work). We're paying the bills but not saving anything. So I guess part of it depends on your tolerance for financial hardship. 


Best wishes. It's a hard decision. Definitely working for me in the short run, but check back in a year or two and make sure that I haven't foreclosed on my house! LOL (sort of).

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#5 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 07:27 AM
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I know how you feel op, I went back to work two years ago and it has been a major struggle. My youngest was two and it was hard, your situation is so much harder. My kids were having a hard time, my husband who works weekends and stays home with the kids tues through fri was so stressed, and on top of that my supervisor was really mean and hateful.

It was really scary but with a lot of prayer we took the plunge and I quit. So now we need a few extra hundred a month to make it too.

But we feel like it's the right choice and there's peace in that.

So my advice is to follow your heart and you won't regret it. I think you have a good plan for tutoring, and also take the cost of daycare into consideration. I am trying to reduce our grocery bill and other non fixed expenses. It's challenging but I remind myself that my boys would rather have me than more toys or dinners out.

I will be sending prayers and thoughts your way as you try to figure it out. Hang in there.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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