The Fork in the Road
So I haven’t been back to work in about 8 months and I’m seriously dreading the day I have to swipe my badge. Fortunately, when I do make my “grand return” I’ll at least be on a part-time schedule for 2 months. Truthfully, I’m kind of liking the idea of being a stay at home mother, but the reality of what that choice could lead to has me nervous and doubtful. What I doubt most is how my boyfriend and I will stay afloat financially. Rent is certainly not cheap, the utility bill is reasonable, but aside from what we jointly pay, we have our own debts as well. How is it fair to not want to go back to work; at least not full-time, knowing the majority of the financial burden would end up falling on his shoulders? Is that selfish?
When asking for advice on the matter, people tend to point out how much we would be saving on child care, but honestly not having to worry about a babysitter doesn’t mean much when your household is living off 1 source of income. Another reason I’m skeptical about the whole 1 income aspect, is the fact I’m not comfortable having to depend on someone THAT much when I know I’m capable of taking care of myself. Maybe that’s prideful, but my parents taught my sisters and I to be independent and to never allow ourselves to be put in a situation where we can’t take care of ourselves, or get out of a situation should things go awry. Leaving my job would definitely put me in a funky place because there is no guarantee that I’ll even be able to get another gig, or that we’ll even be able to manage long enough without me working.
A friend of my recently gave her job the middle finger, my sister quit a couple years ago, and my mom hasn’t worked in what seems like forever. All of their situations vary in regards to how their homes are now ran compared to how their homes were managed before being without work. For my mother’s home life, its been an up and down battle. My parents constantly bicker about finances, and when an occasion does rise when my mother is in need of funds, its similar to that of a child asking their parents for money. Should my sisters and I decide to go out on a lunch date, the first thing my mother says is that she doesn’t have any money ( of course we were going to pay for her anyway). It’s a sad thing to witness because on top of not having her own income, she is physically unable to go out and get a job if she wanted to. I don’t mean to sound one sided because I’m sure its stressful to be the sole provider, and for that I do commend my father. I just don’t want to come to a point where my hand is out all of the time.
My sister and her husband argued about money as well, ( a common issue with most, if not all couples) but have managed to make the most of their situation and turn things around. Her husband recently started a better job with better pay, and they are on their way to being debt free! They managed to overcome their struggles despite the odds against them, by compromising and having faith in God. I know it couldn’t have been an easy decision with 3 kids being thrown in the mix, and I know there were times she considered returning to work when things became worse, but deep down she believed this was the best move for her needs and the needs of her family. I don’t know the in-depth details of my friend’s situation, only that her and the job weren’t meshing. For now she is content with being a stay-at-home mom and doesn’t seem to be all that concerned from a financial standpoint. She also has children with another on the way. She did mention that by staying home she and her boyfriend are saving money on childcare, and that she is enjoying the extra bonding time with her kids.
With the exception of my parents, it doesn’t seem like leaving my job is such a bad idea, but when I get to considering the negatives ( quitting cold turkey with 1 income, working part-time with less income, lack of benefits, remaining in debt longer, babysitter needs etc.) I doubt the possibility of any good coming from it. This is something I’ve been praying about but I don’t feel God is giving me a direct answer. This is one of those times where I just want to be told what to do, but it seems as if God is leaving it up to me to decide. Maybe this is a lesson about trusting my own judgement and believing that no matter what I decide God will be there for me. I have searched for other employment opportunities and I’ve come across a few that seem doable, all I need to do is apply. Fingers crossed!