Monday, October 29, 2012


I can't sleep. 

Yesterday I blamed it on the coffee.  But today I know it is not the coffee. 

It is because I need to make a decision.  I gave myself until the end of this coming week. 

I need to decide whether I am going to return to work.

If I don't, I worry that this makes me flighty, changing jobs so frequently of late.  I worry about becoming irrelevant in my field.  I worry about staking my identity to my husband and my children.  I worry about becoming unemployable down the road.

If I do, I worry about spending my best years in a job I hate.  I worry about losing precious time with my children.  I worry that I will be wasting time not doing other jobs that make me happy and from which I find fulfillment.

At this moment, the money side of the equation doesn't matter much.  I'd make slightly more by working, but not significantly so.  In the future, after we no longer need to pay for childcare, this would of course not be true.  But it's a fairly low paying job (for my field) and I was making more teaching part time.  So maybe, in the long run, I'd make more by finding something else.  But the chances of me finding something else in my field are slim.  So maybe I chose my field poorly?  I don't miss being in my field at the moment, so maybe that would be okay?

But the idea of waking up every day, forever, and only being a wife and a mother is depressing (with no offense to those who get complete fulfillment from this.  I just know myself well enough to know I need something else, something that doesn't depend on the moods and whims of children and spouse).  I have some other projects I'm taking on, including part-time landlording, so that wouldn't be entirely true.  But inevitably, when someone asks me what I do, I would say "I stay at home". 


  1. The one thing that might help is eliminating the "forever" part of the equation... because you won't "only" be a wife and mother "forever" - it might be a few years until another opportunity you actually WANT to pursue comes up.

    Your worries on both sides are certainly valid. I don't think there is a right answer, unfortunately, but maybe if you see it as just a temporary "few years off" type of thing, it might make it a bit easier.

  2. Oh I know how you feel. I so know. I had a similar decision to make a few months back, though $$ was definitely a factor, and I think it was the thing that stopped me from quitting my job. I decided to keep working, in a job that is... not hard, not challenging, not exciting, but does provide me with "adult time" 3 days a week.

    But 3 days is so different from full time. And I soooo get all the fears you have, about being "just" a mom and wife. Whatever that means? I was so scared of leaving the work force and setting myself back, making it difficult to get back in someday.

    It might be more difficult, but not impossible. No one can take your experience, or your education away from you, it'll be waiting there when you want to come back.

    I agree with Erin. It shouldn't be forever. Whatever you decide, it isn't forever. Life changes so quickly when you have young children, who knows what might come along? Who knows how different it might be when your oldest is in school full time and your youngest is in preschool? I both hate that and love that about this stage of life, planning ahead seems futile, because your emotions are impossible to predict. Being a parent changes everything. Like. For Real.

    Good luck with your decision.