Monday, August 13, 2007

This October will be four years since I got paid to work. (Like how I stated that, all you stay-at-home moms?)

Anyway, that seems so long ago yet I can still remember everything about my job as if I was there yesterday. Weak coffee. Endless office gossip. Walking the stairs 15 times a day to exercise so I could pig out on whatever was in the break room. Arrogant executives, ignorant managers, emotional employees hired and fired like a revolving door spinning out of control.

I loved my position in Human Resources but I grew to hate the company. They were ridiculous and unethical. We in HR championed them to play by the rules, or at least exhibit human compassion, to no avail. Plus they fired me. Slam to the ego, let me tell you.

It was one of the weirdest times of my life. I like to think that God was so busy trying to figure out why the US was in Iraq, He had a fleeting moment to recall that I needed to be fired 3 days after being promoted. He wiggled His fingers and there you have it. To this day it is the only thing that makes sense to me.

Two weeks later, after thinking I had high school mono or something that might kill me, I found out I was pregnant. Four years later, I have a 3 year old and almost 1 year old. That seems so insane! My life is far richer and more blessed than I could've ever imagined.

However, I have thought about the repercussions of staying home. A recent study suggested that when you leave the workforce for just 3 years, you lose 38% of your salary when you try to get back in. Ouch.

Yeah, yeah, a few companies are hiring former SAHM's and transferring their home skills into workable skills but, c'mon, you and I know those employers are few and far between.

While my top priority is caring for my children, what if I need to go back to work one day? If it is 10 years from now, will I have to resort to retail? Or an underpaid and under appreciated receptionist? Will I need to go back to school? Could I stomach the corporate world? I don't think I'd have the tolerance for it. Even if I were to return to advertising and marketing, the crap that comes with it gives me tired-head to think about. Honestly, 3 year olds have better logic than adults most days.

For now I'm perfectly content to wipe little bums, play dress-up, live in the kitchen and apply makeup once in a blue moon. The time I get with my children is priceless. My husband always tells me he's envious of all the moments I experience with our children. What is routine to me is magical to him and I certainly never want to lose sight of that.

Have you thought of the what-ifs? Can you imagine going back to work? If you work, could you imagine not bringing home a paycheck and spending 24-7 with your kid(s)? Moms make all kinds of sacrifices on a daily basis, but what if you had to suddenly change what you've been doing for years?

Do tell...


Jemmers said...

In my situation...I was a full time worker. When I became a foster mom in April, I went down to just 25 hrs a week. And it was hard. I had the same job and responsibilities, and a smaller amount of time to do it all in.

Then in June, I was unable to all! And that was totally hard. Mostly because I was home with a teenager.

Now, I have quite my job to take care of my two little girls! I did try to do a few days here and there, but it was so not worth it. While I miss the "professional" part of my life, I LOVE the stay at home mom part even more!

Now the money issue...well that is a whole other can of worms! :)

louann said...

Oh I have very many what-ifs. I just wrote a post on wanting to spend more time with my children.
The corporate world is mean - imagine, firing you 3 days fetr being promoted? what kind of logic is that? Anyway - being a SAHM here in our country is very possible BUT, being that plus eating a good meal 3x a day, sending your kid to preschool, paying for the bills, gas and car maintenance is close to impossible. UNLESS the husband earns really big.
I still dream of being able to stay home with the kids. At this point in my life, I believe I can still leave the corporate world. But then again, my question all the time - when the kids are all grown up, what will I do? If I do leave the workforce for 5 or 8 or 12 years AND want to go back after, will I be able to? Will I even want to?
I have a lot more to say about this, which I think I will write about with you as my inspiration.

Amanda Sue said...

i find a lot of identity and purpose in my work. i think that being a SAHM is such a respectable job, but i personally do not think i could do it. being home with dillon 24/7 would drive me to drinkin'. and that isn't good, considering i am pregnant!

don't get me wrong, i certainly envy the time you get to spend with your girls. but i know that having an outside job makes me a better mother. does that make sense?

(if you do go back to work, you should work at a school so you will get off early, and get summers off! k?)

Chaos Control said...

I often think of the what-ifs. I'm blessed to have an amazing part-time job (in HR no less - in a fabulous company!) - but what if my boss retires and the new CEO wants me to work full time? Could I do it? Or what if I had to suddenly stay home full time? Could I do that?

I'm afraid I wouldn't make a very good full time employee, nor would I make a very good full time mom. I need the flexibility to be with my son more than just 3 hours a night. And I need my son to have interaction and stimulation provided by pre-school that I don't have the ability to provide.

The what-ifs do scare me ... and my fingers are crossed that I won't have to encounter them any time soon!

Kelly said...

I've never had a fulfilling job, so I have no idea what it feels like to feel a deep sense of accomplishment in the workforce.
Being a SAHM is a hell of a lot harder than I ever expected. My job as an administrator was a joke in comparison.
Being at home with Emily 24/7 is not fulfilling but, I feel, necessary. I want to know (or control, not sure which) what goes on in her everyday life. I want to know what foods she ate and at what times, how many times she went pottie, her temperament, etc. I just can't imagine giving someone else that full responsibility while she's still so young.
I currently live across from a busy daycare that opens its' doors at 7am. I watch as mothers and fathers drop their very young ones off for the WHOLE day while they work for 8-9 hours. Sometimes I cry over it (I can't help it), thinking to myself, 'day after day, that center becomes their home and those caregivers become their mothers. I just couldn't do it.

Essentially, I will either return to work or focus on volunteer work in the community once Emily goes to school. I need some fulfillment and a life of my own desperately, but for while she's still a preschooler I will sacrifice my life for her.
Really, the guilt would just kill me anyway.

P.S. I do NOT judge any mother who chooses to go back to work. I can TOTALLY sympathize and understand the reasons for doing so. This is just what's right for me.

theAdelmans said...

yeah, i think "what if we didn't have that miscarriage a few months before we got pregnant the 2nd time?" and realize then we wouldn't have our twin girls.

what if i had to work outside of the home....
well, i was a nanny before i became a mom and a teacher before that. the whole summers off thing is great so if i did have to work again it would be teaching. nannying was a great transition to motherhood, i like to think that i made all my mistakes on other peoples kids. ;-) kidding!! i tell my hubby every day that i feel so lucky to be able to stay home with our children. i also know some moms are better mothers by having a job outside of the home. what i don't get is the groups of women who ridicule and slam each other for these differences? i was watching oprah the other day and there was a whole panel of women and it was like sahm vs. career women. i thought some of these ladies were gonna throw down! shouldn't we all be supporting our fellow moms/women as long as they are doing what works best for their family?

Jennboree said...

What's really sad is women always say we should support one another but all that gets the attention is the those who attack for different lifestyles/views/choices.

Don't even get me started on breastfeeding fueds. gah.

tallulah said...

I quit the day we adopted Christian. I don't think I will ever go back to work full time. Currently if I want some extra spending money, I am blessed with a friend who owns 3 catering business's. I cook, I serve and I get to hang out in the most richest of homes. That is fun and I get paid awesome money to do it. But even when I'm catering, I'm thinking about my little ones and how I wish I were home with them. Then I take the extra money I made and have a weekend somewhere with my girlfriends....the whole time, thinking about my kids.
By the time my kids are grown, I DO NOT plan on working. I plan on traveling...with or without my husband by my side. I have wanderlust indeed!

Jennboree said...

Love LOVE LOVE your plans to travel, Tallulah! Hubby and I are with you on that. We want to take our children all over the world.

NB Warrior said...

Jennboree, I got your comment today.... I am sooooo very glad that the tests came back normal. Why did they decide to do STAT bloodwork? And it's definitely not weird that you were thinking of us. I understand becuase I think of some of the other kids when we are going through some of the things we go through with Isabella.

I really envy the fact that you can stay home with your kids. I stayed home for about 4 months last year after getting laid off and after a little adjusting I really started to like it. I just wish we could afford for me to stay home, but then again we pay A LOT for two kids in daycare... =)
I just applied for a position within my company that will hopefully allow me to work from home. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get it.

T-girl said...

Don't worry when you go back they will tell you "we are sorry but you are over qualified to work as our receptionist!" I fond THAT out recently, hence why I started my own business!!!! LMAO

All things happen for a reason, they really do! BTW- wtf kind of company promotes you and fires you all in the same week. Unless you were syphoning funds I would have raised holy hell! LOL

Sigh, I want Tallulah's life, she has friends who need help occasionally... that being the keyword! LOL