Hi everyone. I'm a lurker--I didn't feel right posting here if I wasn't a SAHM, but odd's are, I'll be joining you in about a month. Right now I have mixed emotions over the possibility of SAH. I need a place to pour out my heart a little, and I'm thinking that maybe you wise ladies can over some insight. IF you can get through this super long post, that is. (BTW, I may have to DD this at some point, just to make sure that a possible employer wouldnt come across it. We'll see.)
For the past few years, I've known that when I have young kids, I'd like to try staying home with them. My mom was a SAHM, and I'd like to experience that too--at least for a year or two. My husband was less excited about me SAHM at first (he's the type who likes to share in the both housework and wage earning, and he was not happy about being the family's only financial support). However, once he realized how much work a young child can be (and how much daycare would cost) he began to accept that my SAH might be the best thing for the family.
Anyway, I'm a teacher, and when I was pregnant with LO#1, I l realized I had the opportunity for part time work: teaching 3 classes instead of 5. It was a demanding job, but it paid very well for pt and it allowed me to stay at a really great school (as much as I wanted to SAH, I hated the idea of walking away from one of the best schools in our state, especially at a time when teaching work is so hard to come by). I told my husband that I wanted to try working part time when we had our baby. He was surprised, but thought it was a great idea. We weighed my part time salary against the cost of part time day care, and we both felt that financially, it was worth me staying at work. We decided that I would try to work pt for about two more years, and then consider staying home when we had a second baby. DH was thrilled because it meant that we'd have two salaries longer, and I was happy because I'd have the best of both worlds for a while, with a great chance of getting to SAH later.
Unfortunately, things haven't gone exactly as planned. I found out a month ago that my school is not renewing my contract for next year, which means that come the end of June, I'm out of a job. We're thinking about TTC maybe in Nov or Dec, which means that if I could have had my way, I would have stayed for one more year at work. But now, I'm getting kicked out earlier than I'd like.
Bottom line is, we can afford for me to stay home now. We did the math (and we're also seeing a financial advisor) so we know we can cover the cost of our monthly bills on DH's salary. And that's not taking into account some of the extra income we'll likely have (DH's freelance work and bonuses, unemployment pay, etc.) Plus, years ago, we set aside a special "baby fund" in addition to our regular savings, that we had planned to use for any serious expenses that would come along with our first baby. We haven't had to touch the money yet, and we could certainly use it to cover a few things if I did not have a salary coming in. So again, we're not going to end up in the poor house if I don't work for a little while. THe problem is, we don't want to just get by; we also want to get ahead. We would like to continue saving for a little while, and we'd like to upgrade to a bigger house when LO#2 eventually comes along. My working for one more year would have been a great step towards helping us do all that.
My DH thinks I should look for a new job for one year--something as similar as possible to what I already have (daily pt time hours, same pay, etc.). He says that if I can't find something, then of course I'll stay home--but he considers SAH sort of a worst case scenario, at the this point. Ideally, he'd like me to bring in one more year of pay before we have a second baby. On the other hand, he would prefer that I not work full time, as he thinks that will put too much strain on both of us (he'd have to pick up a lot more of the slack if I worked full time, and he knows that).
On my end, I have no idea what to do. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of starting teaching at a brand new school, knowing that I probably wouldn't be there for more than a year and knowing that I might be getting fairly soon after starting. Still, if I could find a part time teaching job I would take it, but the real problem is that jobs like that are few and far between. And the ones that are out there probably have hundreds of applicants vying for them (it's not a great time to be a teacher in our state). I could try to get a full time job, and just accept that life will be pretty miserable and stressful for one year, but I don't think that's the best thing for our family--and that's IF I could even find a full time job. I've sent out a couple of resumes already, and have yet to hear anything.
I would be fine with working PT outside of my field, just to bring in extra cash, but I'm not sure what I could do. Most of the things I'm looking into wouldn't pay enough to cover the cost of child care. I thought about working at night and on weekends when DH is home, but DH doesn't love that idea because he knows it will put a strain on our relationship. At one point, DH actually saw me looking into customer service jobs, and he sat me down and said that he didn't want me doing that kind of work if it was going to make me miserable. I told him that he's sending me mixed signals here: he wants me to work, but he doesn't want me doing this job or that job, working at night, working too many hours, etc. That doesn't leave me with a whole lot of options here.
On top of all that, I'm just feeling sad. It's never fun to lose a job. Honestly, I feel like I let my family down. I would still love to stay home with my LO and future LO #2, but I don't want to do it if it costs my family a better house and some other nice things. I don't know...right now, I just don't know what to do.
RIght now, I could use some help sort of organizing my thoughts (as you can tell from this long, rambling post). Any ideas, ladies?