Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To Work Or Not To Work

I don't know! But I got an email from my boss yesterday, saying that if I'm coming back, I need to do so by May 1! That feels like tomorrow.

Pros to working:
  • I have the best possible arrangement for working part-time with flexibility, in a good job. Millions of people would love to have what I have. It would be wasteful to throw that away.
  • If I do decide to go back full-time at some point, I have kept the lines of communication open, my "skills" current, haven't interrupted my career track too much, etc.
  • When I went back before, when Ellie was 15 months old, I loved it.

Cons to working:

  • Arranging for childcare for the girls is stressful.
  • Paying for childcare for the girls would be very expensive.
  • Nursing/Pumping/Bottles/Argh!
  • Less schedule flexibility (travel, doctor appointments, etc.)
  • I'd probably have less alone time with Ada, unlike the time I have now while Ellie's at school.
  • I don't know if I want to. My job is a little different than it used to be.
Plan of action:
  • Call Ellie's old preschool/daycare and see what my options are
  • Feel around for a babysitter to come to the house
  • Check with Special School District to see what the Extended School Year schedule looks like (summer school for kids with IEPs/special needs)
  • Go to work dinner next week and see how it feels to be "back"

Comments? Thoughts? Reflections?

Edited to clarify: I'm talking about 10-15 hours per week here, not 40 or more.


Paper Whore said...

I am a strong supporter of 'if you can afford to have a parent stay home, they should'. I know not everyone can afford it (and if our situation falls apart at any one point we are so screwed), but for us it's totally worth it. For us, there is no choice. We can afford it, so my husband stays home. As my husband puts it "We chose not to outsource parenting."

With that said, you have to decide what's best for you and your family. Every situation is different and you can only follow YOUR heart and YOUR gut instinct.

Camera Obscura said...

ESY is only June, and only in the mornings.

For the first time EVAH, they've decided #2-Son "doesn't need" ESY. Auuggghhhh. I go nuts by the end of the six weeks between ESY-end and school-start. What will I do with ten or eleven weeks?

(Pardon the whining.)

seasonalkat said...

We are a family where both of us HAVE to work, it's not an option, and we both work full time. I had a lot of angst about going back after kid #2 was born because unlike my first maternity leave, my second was blissful! It was hard to leave that and head back to work. That being said, there are a lot of pros to going back for you. Given that you're not talking full time, and that it does keep that career path open (and sounds like you like your job), I personally would pursue it. But hey, that's me, not you!

Mind you, I pumped for one year for each of the kids, every single freaking day at work. Don't let THAT be a stopping point, it's not _that_ bad and the benefits are so amazing.

I'll be a cheerleader for you whichever way you decide. I'm envious that you have options!

Amanda said...

I think that whatever decision you make you will make the most of it. I can see doing part time work as long as it covers the cost of daycare. When both girls are in school, you'll definitely have the time. If you're in a career such as mine where you have to stay up to date to be saleable, then putting a few hours a week into going and being part of a team will keep you up to date for when you can add more hours. I think that daycare or preschool or whatever, where children get to interact with other kids and adults, is good for children. If you can provide that if you stay at home then that's great. I know it's pretty hard now with friends who work or even if they stay home. Schedules are hard to mesh. Basically if you decide to go back to work, I think it would be good for you and the girls. Not many employers will allow you to work part time like that. I also think that staying at home can be a viable option.

Sarahlynn said...

PW and Amanda, I think I have another whole post rather than a response here. Tomorrow!

Camera, I am sympathetic! I don't suppose Judevine does summer camps?

SK, I know how really really lucky I am to have this choice. I am so grateful to be in this position. But my breasts do not like the pump. I often get very little out, and I have a good Medela pump. Sigh.

thistle said...

FWIW, I find the idea that parents who choose not to stay home 100% of the time are "outsourcing" their parenting pretty insulting to parents who make that choice. But in any case, I don't think it's a concept that's especially applicable to your situation, Sarahlynn, since you're talking about a quite small number of hours during the week, not about going back to an 80 hour/week job.

Karen said...

Fast forward ten years and look back--which decision has the least regrets? :)

I quit my full time job, but after a couple of years of staying home, I started working again part time.

I keep telling myself that after the last kid is grown and gone, I still have years and years ahead of me to work...