Friday, August 2, 2013


I know I sound like a broken record, but balancing work & family is proving to be quite upsetting. How do you choose between a fulfilling career and being home with your children? If I had the choice, I would want to stay with my kids. I desperately want to be the Mom who's always there, dropping off & picking up, going to activities and helping out with the classroom.

But we need the money, so I can't be that Mom.

I rely heavily on my parents to do the picking up, and the errands, and the after school activities. And I am sad that we can't afford for me to be that person. If I did stay home, we wouldn't have the money to do after school activities or save for family vacations. Or have our car.

And then I think about things like retirement, and saving for the future. I used to have a "career" where I worked for a large company with fabulous benefits & a matching 401K program. I had a good salary, got to travel for work, and genuinely enjoyed my job. Due to a site closure, I got laid off when I was 7 months pregnant with my first baby. Which I was fine with at the time, because Joe was making a very good income in the mortgage industry, so I figured it would be a good transition to stay home with my 1st born and be a SAHM.

Then the mortgage & housing industry collapsed and we were part of a growing number of families struggling to find work and maintain a solid income. We had a savings ... a good savings, so that is what truly saved us for a few years during that time. I took on a part time job working a few evenings a week and that helped out, too.

Then Lillian was born and I stayed home again while she was a baby, not going back to part time employment until she was 15 months old. And since then it's been a constant struggle between working too much and not being available to my family, or not working enough and going "backwards" financially by borrowing from savings.

After all of this I am constantly questioning my role within my family. I want to contribute financially, but I want to be the Mom who's there for her children. And I realize that working outside of the home teaches my children the importance of a good work ethic and earning money to provide for our family. But am I missing out on their childhood ... are they missing out on me?

How do you make it work?

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