Torn Between Returning to Work and Being a SAHM — The Bump
June 2012 Moms

Torn Between Returning to Work and Being a SAHM

As a teacher being due in June, I will probably be able to finish out this school year. I would love to be able to stay home with LO, and not return to work in September. I really do not like my job, and today especially I began to really second guess if I want to return. Long story short, I have hall duty during dismissal, and a fight started and one of the students was pushed into me. I was not hurt, it just scared me more than anything.

So the way I see it, I have 3 options:

1. Take the 12 weeks FMLA and return to work later in the fall. 

2. Stay at home and watch an additional child, but I would have to make between $400-$450/week in order for DH and I to make it work.

3. Stay at home and watch 2 additional children, which would probably bring in the income I need. I have been a nanny for 3 kids before, and I did love it. But I know it would not be the same with 2 children and my own.

Any thoughts or insight would be appreciated, as I truly have no idea what route to take. 

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BabyFruit Ticker

Re: Torn Between Returning to Work and Being a SAHM

  • I would say if you CAN make it work, then try. If that's really where your heart is at - going back to a job you don't love & having to leave your baby is not going to be ideal. I hope you can figure it out!
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    Elonah [3], Bentley [1]

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • It's interesting that you're a teacher and considering leaving your job for family reasons. I'm actually thinking of going back to school to get my master's and get certified to teach so I can have summers/holidays off with the family and earn double the salary I'm getting now. Funny how there's always two sides to every coin.

    Do you truly hate teaching or just your current school? Would switching to a different school or area help?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I'm in the exact same situation as you.  What about tutoring instead of babysitting?  That's what I think I'm going to do.
  • I actually really love teaching. The school I am currently working at is the problem. Things are starting to fall apart, and a lot of people are leaving for various reasons. Plus, the pay is not good and it is looking like we will be getting pay freezes for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, where I live a lot of schools are not hiring, and the city district and a bunch of private schools recently laid off a ton of people. So finding a new job is not likely at this point. 

    My heart is set on staying home, but I know I need to do the most responsible thing financially.  

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    BabyFruit Ticker

  • I completely understand how you feel.  I'm a teacher who decided to stay home after the birth of my DD ... I was laid off mid-year so the decision was kind of made for me, but I didn't seek work after she was born.

    Have you considered returning to work late after taking FMLA and then possibly getting an MA in something that would allow you to leave the classroom setting?  (Administration, Media Specialization/ Librarian, Counselor, or even a completely unrelated field)?  This is the route I have chosen because I, too, was shoved in the gut during my last pregnancy... on purpose, though.  I told a student to go to the office instead of walking towards a girl she planned to fight... she got me out of the way knowing I was pg.  It's not the only reason I wanted out of the classroom setting but it was a contributing factor.  I'm getting an MA in School Counseling and will keep the same hours and schedule as I had before, so that's nice.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do, I know how hard the choice can be. 


    Married in 2008 - DD born in 2010 - EDD 6.15.2012!
  • Can you take a leave of absence for a year and then see how it goes?  If you can't make it then you can go back and if you can then you can quit after?
  • I didn't make the decision until after DD was born that I wouldn't return in the fall. I did go back to work for a year when DD was 1-2 years old.

    Something to think about: I don't know how many sick days you have saved up, but between DH and I, him being at school (graduate/residency program) was more important than me being at school. The getting called in the middle of the class and having an hour to find a sub and get DD when she got sick at school was hard. I've always felt getting a sub is more work than being at school, so that work was grating on me as well. I am back at home with DD now.

    image Lilypie First Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
  • The inhome daycare lady we use to use for DS1 use to be a teacher at a really good private school. She decided after having her 1st she didn't want to do it anymore and opening the inhome dacyare helped them stay afloat plus she had her son there with her. It was a win win for her and for us b/c DS1 loved it. It's in our neighborhood and DS1 learned a lot in his first 2 years there. I felt he got more personalized attention there which is what I wanted those first 2 years.
    BFP 12/23/07, M/C 1/25/08 Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I was a teacher, and had DS in August, the first week back at school during inservice.  I went back to work in November, and HATED being there.  All I could think about was being with my I budgeted.  Cut back on as many things as you can - phone, TV, eating out, etc., even try to cut your energy bills.  Then I put all my paychecks into a seperate account and we tried just living off of DH's check for several months to see if we could make it work.  One thing to think about is that you will have to get insurance for you and LO somewhere besides your job, and that will be added cost.  This cost was what made us decide that I could stay home IF I watched another kid.  So, that's what I do now.  I will say that it is hard, really hard some days.  When my kid is sitting there wanting to play, but I have to spend the day dealing with someone else's whiney can be tough.  That said, I wouldn't have it any other way (aside from just being home alone with DS).  I can't see myself going back to work and leaving DS again.  I love being a SAHM, but compromises had to be made to make it happen.  I shop sales, and price compare at the grocery store, coupon, cook at home instead of going out, don't go out much, cut back on bills.  My suggestion would be to figure out a budget and see if you can stick to it.  Try living without your paycheck in the bank for a while.  Also, I don't know what the rates are like in PA, but $450 a week for one child would be a lot down here.  And you have to find someone reliable who isn't going to back out in a couple months and leave you with no income.
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