To Work or Not to Work

I have always been a work-aholic. But, I’ve also always wanted to be a Stay At Home Mom.
For as long as I can remember, I had planned out my life:
– Graduate high school with honors (check)
– Go to BYU (check)
– Get married at BYU (check)
– Graduate BYU with honors (check)
– Become a teacher (check)
– Work until I had kids and then be a SAHM until my youngest was able to go to grade school (…..)

I got hired at a really amazing Charter School here in Utah. I love my school–it’s small, it’s quaint, it’s rigorous, it creates an atmosphere of love for learning, the students are respectful and responsible, etc. I have felt such community,such acceptance, such respect at this school, notonly from the students but also from the staff–a vast difference from my intern year.

Early in the school year (October) we found out I was pregnant. It was one of the happiest days of my life! I was going to be a mom! I would have both a year of history and a year of English under my belt. I would be a SAHM, Justin would graduate in June, and we’d be a happy, adult family.

But, the more I worked at my charter school, the more and more I felt like I couldn’t leave teaching, at least not yet. What a change! In all 24 years of my life, never did I consider working as a mom, not in any degree. It through me for a loop. I wanted to stay at home, but I also still wanted to teach. This terrible decision loomed over me and I had no idea what to do.

Then came the stress of Justin finding a job. He walks in two and half weeks and finishes all his courses in June and still doesn’t have an offer. I thought we would by now and know where we would be living come the fall. Nope. So, the past couple of months, a new thought has been entering my mind: what if I have to continue to be the bread winner? I don’t want to do that. I want the option of wanting to work, not needing to work.

I would talk to my teacher friends, my pregnant friends. I read blogs. I discussed plans with my husband, spilled my mind and heart to family and God. Then, a thought came to mind. I don’t know where we will end up come the summer. We still don’t know about jobs for Justin (keep us in your prayers) so that gives us a few options. There are a few part-time teachers at my charter school because they are moms as well. My principal has personally asked for me to stay–which means she wants me here at this school.

So, here are our plans:
If Justin gets a job somewhere in Utah, we will move up closer to my charter school. I will work part-time (only 3 out of 7 periods) for the next 4 years. That way, I can be home with Rhys and not miss any of his milestones. But, I don’t have to leave teaching either. And in the next 4 years, I can get my Level II teaching license, which will make me more wanted as a teacher, more hireable, and raise my pay.

If Justin gets a job somewhere other than Utah, we will move and I won’t bother trying to apply to work anywhere. I will be a SAHM, but will apply to the nearest university and begin slowly working on getting a Masters and a PhD.

This way, one way or another, I am fulfilling my duty (but more importantly, my wish) of being a mother at home and also improving myself. I feel confident about it. I never actually prayed about this decision, but I still feel at peace about it, as if God helped me make the decision. It is definitely different than what I envisioned my adult life would be like. But, I love teaching. I always knew I would, but I never thought I’d have this strong of a pull to continue to do so. I didn’t know it’d be this hard to break away once I fulfilled another life-long dream of having children.This way, I can keep both dreams alive. I don’t have to give anything up.

I am very grateful to my school for allowing me the opportunity to return part-time next year, if we stay in Utah. And I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to begin  my next chapter in life–being a mom.

If you are already a mom, what was your decision: SAHM, part-time working, or full-time working. How did you come to that decision. If you are pregnant or planning to have kids, what is your plan?

I am linking up with Bonnie from The Life of Bon and Brooke from Silver Linings for this linkup. Please join and tell us your thoughts and feelings. Also, feel free to enter the giveaway for a $15 giftcard to Babies R Us!

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • I'm a FT everything! But in reality, I work 4 days a week, 8 hours each, and that counts as FT for my job. I work 6a-2p and then have 3 days in a row off. That allows me to be a SAHM some days, but still have the luxury of going to work too. With getting off work so early, I also have all the afternoons and evenings off, so I can be with my little one.
    And with our daycare situation, he goes back to sleep after our early drop off, has breakfast, plays with his friends, and after lunch I'm there to play too! It works out well for us!

  • Our baby is due in September. I decided to work part time as….. Anything really. The idea is to be a sub. I'm glad you feel great about being a teacher. Me, I am more than ready to have a break. I will miss a lot of things, but I care more about my baby. I will work in order to help pay for bills. That's how we are doing it. Sounds like your plan is well thought out. Good luck!

  • Jen

    I'm a stay at home mom and I work part time from home. I was super worried that I would miss working once Jack came along. Not so – even working part time from home is frustrating sometimes, I miss little things that he does that I wish I had seen. But it's definitely doable, and I'm glad my job is so flexible!

  • I can see why you are very eager to know whether you are moving or not since it will vastly affect your plans! I do plan to be a SAHM in the future–maybe part-time work if needed. As for what I'd do with $15 to Babies'r'us…my newest cousin will be born in a month, I've got some gift shopping to do! 😉

  • I have done it all. I worked full-time in the corporate world when my first two children were born. At the time, I couldn't imagine not working. I started working at 12 in various part-time jobs and working is just how I'm wired. We also had an amazing home daycare situation with a woman who loved and treated our children as if they were family. I left the corporate world because it was going down a road I didn't want to travel just before #2 started kindergarten and both my husband and I felt strongly that, with our kids in school, they were going to need even more close parental involvement than they did as preschoolers.

    At that time, I focused on being a WAHM, as a freelance writer and wedding/portrait photographer. I continued with that for about the next 15 years, working from home, then working in my own commercial space and then back home again, through a couple of moves and two more kids. With our last move, the economy and life dictated a change in direction and now I'm working part-time for someone else while my two youngest finish high school and head off to college.

    They all have pluses and minuses, but I haven't regretted any of it. When making a decision, it's important not only to discuss the emotional aspects, but take a good hard look at the dollars and cents of working. When we added up the real cost of my working full-time back then (not just salary minus daycare, but also gas, wear-and-tear on the car, increased auto insurance, a working wardrobe, networking events, continuing education for the career, increased food budget–for takeout and ready-made meals when you are just too tired or overwhelmed to cook–additional taxes, etc., etc.), despite making a very competitive salary, what I was netting I could easily earn with one or two writing gigs or one wedding each month. That was a huge influence on our decision.

  • A present for my niece/nephew.

    I don't even want to allow myself to go there for making a decision on working when I am pregnant. I am a full time teacher and my husband and I are planning on getting pregnant the next couple of years. I can't imagine leaving my little babies for my babies. Haha. I am not much help in this decision, except to say that whatever choice you make is awesome and I definitely feel your pain.

  • I never thought I would be a domestic engineer (my way of saying SAHM). I always thought I would be a working mom. However, living in California is expensive. And, child care is INSANELY expensive. So, to *save* our family money I went from working to staying at home. It wasn't an easy decision. While I love being home with our little man, I have plans to one day (hopefully soon) get back out into the work force.

  • So excited about the decision you have made. Have you figured out who will watch baby while you work?

  • If I win I will probably gift it to someone (I don't have kids/not pregnant).

    As far as working vs SAHM, I am absolutely going to work if I ever have kids. I have zero desire to be a stay at home mom. Plus, I teach fifth grade, which I LOVE. I couldn't not teach now that I know how much I love it. I guess I am lucky that I already have my mind made up about this tough decision.

  • I think it's wonderful that you have a plan involving compromise that would allow you to do both things you love!