Friday, July 18, 2008

.... and the bottom drops out

How do you stop that feeling in your stomach? You know, the sinking feeling ... the knots ... the uncertainty. The feeling deep down that ultimately makes you want to cry. Cry hard.

I'm scared to go back to work. This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and although I still haven't 100% decided anything, just the thought process makes me sick to my stomach.

I never considered myself to be the stay-at-home-mom type ... I figured I had earned my bachelor's degree so why the hell would I "waste" it by removing myself from the workforce. Well, as things worked out I got laid off when I was 7 months pregnant which I considered to be perfect timing. Joe was doing exceptionally well and I got a severance package, so I knew we'd be ok. And things were going along wonderfully. But I always had that thought in the back of my head ... when will the bottom fall out?

I can't tell you an exact date, although the unravelling began in September of 2007 when Joe lost his job due to the mortgage crisis. But we were ok. Joe was surprisingly optimistic. We had savings, Joe got a severance, and we were sure he'd find a job quickly. He did, but not the right one. And the next one didn't work out so well either. And now it's 10 months later. And we're ok, but the savings we had is almost gone and our optimism has dwindled to the point of plain old panic in the form of "what are we going to do?"

And with all of this going on, how can I be so selfish? I'm so scared to leave him. My baby boy. There is no universal answer to the seemingly simple question: "What do you do for a living?" You can't win. And I don't want to turn this post into a SAHM vs. Working Moms, because both choices exist with their own sets of challenges and frustrations.

So ... how do I choose what's best for my family? Is it better for us to cut back on everything so that I can stay home with my son .... or is it better for me to return to work full time in order to provide financial security? It sounds so silly ... like the right answer would be financial security, because that's the practical thing to do. But isn't there more to life than money? What does money buy, other than food & shelter? Stuff.

I have enough stuff.


Colleen said...

Oh Karen, I wish I had an answer for you, and it seems as though you are in a pretty tough spot. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope that you will be given guidance!

Anonymous said...

Karen, OMG, I totally get this! I know you are a strong woman, with a GREAT mind, you will make the right decision for you and your family!

I know this is not appropriate but WRITE A BOOK ALREADY ;)

Your in my prayers and I love your blogs!