WOHM ==> SAHM for now - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started back at work at the beginning of January when ds was just shy of 5 months old, and I have been caught on the horns of a dilemma ever since.

On the one hand, I love my job. I work for an environmental non-profit doing marine wildlife conservation (whales, dolphins, turtles, manatees, etc.) and the work is great, and my colleagues are wonderful. Before I came back, my boss agreed to let me work 4 days a week. I also worked really, really hard to get where I am. Opportunities like this don't come along very often.

On the other hand, my ds has not been adjusting all that well to me being gone 10 hours a day 4 days a week. DH took two months' leave from work to be the SAHD, and it's been really tough on both of them. DS is somewhat on the high needs end of the spectrum - when he's happy, he's intensely happy, but when he's unhappy he really melts down. And he's been having a lot of meltdowns lately (and so has DH).

So I've been miserable pretty much the whole time I've been back, and after much agonizing finally decided to ask my boss if I could go half-time for the next six months. My program area has been kind of slow, and I figured it will take them 4-6 months to find a replacement for me anyway. I shouldn't have been surprised, but my boss didn't go for it (he's not a flexible kind of guy). He let me know this morning that he couldn't approve my request, and I let him know I'd be leaving. My last day will probably be Friday a week from now.

So I'm a little in shock right now. I know this is the right thing to do for my family, but it's a little difficult getting off the treadmill of career and ambition, at least temporarily. We can't afford for me to stay home for a long period of time, so we're looking at 6 to 8 months before I need to get a job again. I don't know if I'll be able to get a job as great as this one has been, and I'm just hoping and praying ds will be in a better place so he can tolerate being left with someone else for at least part of the day.

Anyway, even though I've been thinking about leaving since the day I came back to work, it's really real now and I am jumping off into unknown territory. Pretty scary.

Any thoughts, comments, advice, support, hugs more than welcome....

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#2 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 07:52 PM
 
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Jane, *hugs* I know what a tough decision this must have been. Although I haven't faced the same dilema about leaving a job you love, I can relate to the difficulty my baby has when I'm gone. Whenever I leave in the morning, she cries, and she doesn't sleep nearly as well at 13 months as she did at 5 weeks when I was home with her all day. I'm sure your son will greatly benefit from having you at home. Even if it's not a permanent solution, I think you'll find that he's more able to be without you as he gets older and can enjoy playing with other kids at daycare, for example. At this point, try not to stress too much about finding a job when you get back. From talking with other lawyers who took time off to be home with their kids, they were more likely to get hired by places that are more family-friendly and understand the need to take time off to be with family.
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#3 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 08:01 PM
 
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I think its beautiful your leaving such an amazing job to be with your ds...I totally think its the right decision and your ds will be so delighted to have you all day again...I was a sahm for my dds first 3 years and she doesn't seem to miss me at all now when I go to work...
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#4 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 08:08 PM
 
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Jane - I remember your story from the WOHM with SAHD thread and I know how bittersweet this must be for you. I have no doubt that when the time is right for you to return to work that you will find something. Maybe not your dream job, but something you enjoy immensely. I am also a lawyer and really enjoy my work with Legal Aid not only bc I like what I do and feel like I'm making a difference, but also bc it is quite flexible and my employers are wonderful and understanding about family needs. Your ds will benefit so much from having you home for these next few months and I think he will be more ready to be away from you more when he's older and you return to work. It is such a shame that your employer is so inflexible bc they are missing out on a wonderful employee.
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#5 of 13 Old 02-06-2003, 08:55 PM
 
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Jane,
I work every weekend. sat & sun. this leaves me home full time mon-fri. i would love to work maybe a day or two during the week, but my almost 5 yr old just cannot handle it. his behavior is fine, but he gets tearful and he stutters. yep, the poor kid cant get a word out unless hes with mama. (on sat & sun he's with daddy!). i got a new job last may, in an ER close to home. i had to do a one week orientation. anyway by thursday of that week my son could hardly get a word out. thankfully, the orientation was only a week, and within 2 weeks of it being over, he was speaking very well. what i am trying to say, is i would love to not have to work everysingle weekend, that i would love to work during the week so i can have some time with dh, but for now this is what has to be.

nicholas' attachment and love for me has made all of this worth it. i am not on the management track, and i cant always help out the dept because of him, but thats ok. this is who nicholas is, and already he is growing and maturing so hopefully i can maybe squeeze in a shift next year during the week. yesterday when i left for a 2 hour "princess" shift at the hospital (to help out a friend whos dh is being deployed) his blue eyes welled, and his bottom lip quivered, and then the rush of tears and cries of "mama, dont go, i need you!". i was able to calm him, and when my husband got home a while later he brought him ot see me, making nicholas feel much better. oh,k how i love him so. if i have to work weekends the rest of my life, then so be it.
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#6 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 12:31 AM
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Wow - I understand what an agonizing decision that is, and the reasons both for and against the route you've chosen. It sounds like you made the right move. You've seemed very unhappy with the rigid constraints at your job for some time. Now's when your son needs you most. My hat's off to you for coming down as you did.
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#7 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 12:55 AM
 
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WOW. Yay for you and your DS! I so rarely hear of parents putting their kids first in this way anymore and I think you're just heroic. I really do.

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#8 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 01:27 AM
 
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((Jane)) What a wonderful gift you are giving to your ds. I am sorry you are giving up a job that you love, but in the process you are giving so much more to your babe.
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#9 of 13 Old 02-07-2003, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the support! Really, truly, it means a great deal to me. This has been such a rollercoaster ride, and I haven't had any IRL friends to discuss it with - my closest friends here don't have kids yet, and just don't get it. Frankly, I don't think I got it either before I had Evan!

, Jane

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#10 of 13 Old 02-20-2003, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#11 of 13 Old 03-07-2003, 02:33 AM
 
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I admire your decision. I know it must have been tough. Hope things are going well for you at this point.

WOHM/SAHM/WAHM
Bottom line is what's best for our families.

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#12 of 13 Old 03-07-2003, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, it is going really well, but maybe that has something to do with the fact that DH doesn't go back to work until March 17. (He's been working part time from home.) So right now it feels like one big family vacation! The rubber will really hit the road when he's not here during the day and I need to figure out what to do all day (besides hang out here :LOL).

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#13 of 13 Old 03-07-2003, 06:43 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear things are going well for you, Jane, at least so far! In your original post you said that you proposed to your boss that you would reduce your work schedule to a half-time position and when he said no, you decided to leave altogether. It sounds like you had already decided that you would leave if he said no, but I'm curious whether you felt like you had the option to stay at your 80% schedule. I've had some people suggest to me that I should propose a reduced work schedule at my job, but I've also had others, particularly older lawyers, say that if I do that I would essentially terminate my employment. Leaving my job entirely is not an option for me at this point, which makes it tough to think about seriously proposing a reduced work schedule. I'd like to know whether you think someone can propose a reduced work schedule in this field and still have a job left if the answer is no.
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