To Work or Not to Work? - Toledo,OH

Updated on July 18, 2007
S.R. asks from Toledo, OH
12 answers

I am a mother of 3. After my second child I cut my work from full time to part time by taking a job share position. It has not been much easier. Less pay, running back and forth while racing the clock, balancing child care, etc. This year we began sending my oldest 2 kids to a preschool/childcare. I am NOT impressed with where they are going. It seems like glorified babysitting for an expensive price. The benefits are my kids are exposed to other children more than they would be at home. The cost for childcare, even part time, is outrageous. It basically depletes what I make part time. My benefit to staying employed is keeping my foot in the door for when I want to go back full time and utilizing the degrees that I have invested my time and money in. I am stuck between quitting and easing the insanity in my life, but I lose my spot at work. If I continue working as I am...my kids are stuck at a place that is not so great educationally, but fits our pocketbook and schedule. Either way, money is tight. Leaving only about 500 left per month. I am stuck. It doesn't seem that there is a way to enjoy both working and having more time at home. Any advice or feedback to help in the decision making?

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M.J.

answers from Columbus on

Hi S.!
I had the same problem when I had my son. I just plain didnt want to be away from him! Now I am working from home and love it! It gives my family the financial freedom that we needed and also allows me to be here with my little guy! I didnt miss his first smile, laugh, or "mama/dadda", and have watched him grow into a soon-to-be raging crawler! I joined the M.O.M. Team. No selling, inventory, or parties. If you would like to know more, visit my site at www.wecanstayhome.info Hope to hear from you soon!

Khrysti Jensen
Proud Member of The M.O.M. Team
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K.N.

answers from Cleveland on

you could alwasy work rom home, I'm not sure what your degrees are in but a lot of jobs have different options and with computers and te internet there are a lot of ways you can bring your work home with you . Not to mention there are a few real work from home jobs out there that you actually do make money and aren't scams, it would fix the fact that you are paying out so much in childcare, and still bring in some extra money, and if you are self employed you put it on a resume or whatever later when your kids are in school, and as for adult interaction for you and interaction with other children for your kids I bet there are a ton of different playdates out there, talk to other moms, check and see if the library has a story time for kids that age, ask at the preschool a lot of counties ave different programs if you can jsut find them. whatever you decide good luck, and take care.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.F.

answers from Rochester on

It sounds like the only real reason you are working right now is to keep your foot in the door. Working isn't helping you financially, and it is just adding to your stress level, especially since you aren't happy with the childcare arrangement you have.

I understand that you want to use your degree and have some adult interaction, but you could always just make yourself available to pick up occasionally. You can find more fun ways to find adult interaction, too. Or, you could try to keep in touch with your current co-workers. That would keep you in the loop, help you keep up with changes in your company, keep you in their minds, and also give you adult conversation.

Your kids will only be little for a short time, and when they are in school you can go back full time if you want to. Is there anything you can do to make money that allows you to stay home, or only work when your husband or a friend watches your kids? Sell things on Ebay, sell Mary Kay or Pampered Chef or something like that? Or work as a consultant? Or take care of a kid or two in your home?

The only other thing I can think of if you really do want to work, is to change preschools to one you think you will be happier with and is cheaper or switch to a good babysitter (I know, tall order).

Personally, I think that work will always be there, but your kids are precious and grow up way too fast. You can't ever go back and do that over. Nobody ever gets to the end of their life and says "I wish I would have worked more"!

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi S.:
This is such a personal decision, it's different for everyone. I'm one of three "moms" at my office and we're all different. My boss has much more of a financial incentive to stay at work, but she's admitted that she could never stay home with her kids because it would drive her crazy. Like you, my financial incentive is less, but I stay for the medical benefits and, honestly, the continual intellectual stimulation. I have the option of working from home but I don't because there are too many distractions, it stresses me out even more. Plus, I think that being away from home actually makes me a better mom when I am home...in a quality over quantity sort of way.
The third mom is in the same place than me, but she's considering quitting because she doesn't feel that the benefits outweigh what she's missing at home as her baby grows. And, like you, she's stressed about the quality of her childcare.
So, my advice to you is to really evaluate what's important to you right now and know that there will always be opportunity in the workplace, even if it's not with your current industry or employer. Will staying at home with your kids really alleviate the stress...or just bring on a different kind of stress? Why do you like your job? Are you getting more from your career than just money? If so, would you be willing to sacrifice those things temporarily? Do the sacrifices you're making at home outweigh the benefits at work? Hope this helps...good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.

answers from Cincinnati on

My advice is to quit. Work will always be there. I stay in touch at my old job by filling in when they need someone or offering to work from time to time. You children will only be little once and then it's over. If the money situation allows, stay home with them and teach them yourself. I don't think you'll regret it. I decided to quit my job and I hated quiting! But the time is going so fast, I'll be back to work in a few years. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.Q.

answers from Youngstown on

i firmly believe that if a woman can stay home with her children, she should. until they are all in kindergarten. its only natural. you would have more energy for them, you would be filling them with wonderful childhood memories and you would have control over what they are exposed to. the children would also be more comfortable. being able to nap in their own beds and not have to share you with a half dozen other kids or more. you could stop paying for childcare, so you wouldnt feel like you were working for peanuts. your job now should be your kids. if you can afford to, just stop working. you can always go back once they are all in school. if you have good qualifications for whatever career it is that you are in, you will be able to find a job when the time is right.
as far as socialization, get the kids involved in an activity. or take them to a playground once or twice a week. get together with friends of yours who have children for playdates. visit family on the weekends. consider getting involved in a church or something similar so that your kids can experience playing with others in the nursery or sunday school class. these are all things i do with my daughter and she is well adjusted and happy and plays great with others. and for extra money, twice a week i get a 7 year old off the school bus and watch her until 6 when her mother gets home. its extra spending money and effortless. and also gives my daughter another opportunity to play. consider doing something like that...
hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi S.,
Would you consider working from home if it provided you all the benefits of working in an office, and maybe even more? If you think that's a possibility, you might want to check out a web site, www.explorefreedom.com/changinglives. This is a business we love and it provides lots of gratification while we're helping others.

Best of luck with your decisions.
S.

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A.S.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi S., I know what you mean with wanting to keep your foot in the door... I am currently doing the same thing and created a job-share position a couple of years ago. I think it's a great balance, you get to stay up on new proceedures and your kids get some time away from you. I know you aren't making a ton of money but that will change once your kids start to enter school.

I have heard too many scary stories about people having trouble reentering the workforce after they have been a stay-at-home mom. But I imagine that might get better with time. Having a BA / BS now is like having a HS Dip 15 years ago. So we don't have that advantage, even having the degree...

My advice is to stay with it! But the ultimate decision is the one you have to be able to live with!

Good Luck,
Angie

L.M.

answers from Columbus on

Hi S.,
I also have 3 children and another on the way. I went part time after the 2nd but had a very flexible work schedule and found a college girl to come to our house to watch the kids. I was able to schedule my work around her school schedule and vice versa. It worked out very well and we did not have the drop off/pick up rat race to deal with and the kids were always in their own home or experiencing events around town - storytime, zoo, etc. After our college sitter graduated and 'got a real job', we decided to go with an au pair - an international live in nanny. It was been a great experience and averages out to about $270 a week for 45 hours of care - anytime you want to schedule it. It had been so convenient and my work is so flexible, that I went back full time in May. I still have a very flexible schedule and do not plan to cut back after this child. The full time pay allows for conveniences that eliminate a lot of the chaos - housecleaners, drycleaners, relaxing spa treatments for mommy, not worrying about coupon clipping, etc. It took me awhile to get used to it and not have the guilty mom thing or feel like I was being wasteful but now I feel like I have it all - career and family. Luckily my work is flexible enough that I can nearly always make my childrens doctors appts and school functions and I never work past 5 PM. My kids are 7,4, 2 and baby due in May just for perspective. It can be crazy but if you truly find purpose in your career and that you were given those talents to share outside the home, it is worth keeping the options open. It won't be long before they are in school all day! I know when I was part time, I filled up all the extra time with volunteer activity through church, school etc. I think I was even busier and more stressed than I am now working full time. Hope this helps. If you have anymore questions, please email me.
Good luck!
L.

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K.A.

answers from Dayton on

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H.S.

answers from Dayton on

Hi S.. I'm working in a part-time job share type arrangement myself. I only have one child so far, but plan on having my second and once that happens I won't clear much after day care either. It's definitely not easy, but if we hang in there for now, I think it will be worth it in the long run. My mother was a SAHM, and I remember being a pre-teen and a teenager and it seemed like she was bored and unhappy all of the time because I no longer needed her to be at home and she had no education or experience to do anything else. This is only my personal experience, but it guides me and keeps me in the workplace. I want my kids to see me going into work every day just like daddy does so that I can be a good role model for them.

As for the pre-school being a glorified day care, they really don't need much formal training at such a young age anyway. And studies have shown that sitting down and trying to teach kids at 3 and 4 doesn't really help them much in the long run. Let them learn how to play with others now and let the schoolwork come later.

In the end it's up to you to decide what is best for your family, but that my 2 cents worth.

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