Friday, November 21, 2008

To Do or Not To Do??? I don't know!!

So if you know me much at all, you probably know that I worked at the local bank for a year from Jan '07 to March '08. I started out part time, working "30" hours. When I started we were fully staffed. Soon after a lady transferred to another branch, and Melissa (the other PT-er) took her FT position. That left me as the only PT-er. They asked if I could start working "a few more" hours... I said "sure". It started out a little bit here and there (they would get floaters in to fill in the cracks). Then it kinda mushroomed slowly but suddenly, and I was working 32 - 39.5 hours any given week. Then Melissa left in the middle of the summer, and I figured "whatever, I'm already working practically full time, I'll just take her place" - it was offered to me with some "perks" (that I never saw until late January). I hated working full time. I was never home, when I would get home I'd be so brain dead that I was not only mentally exhausted, but the mental exhaustion ran over into the physical and emotional side, too. I toughed it out until we had enough money to pay for all the remodelling. I was also putting extra on the mortgage payment and watching that come down a little more each month. The extra income was great... but the expense of FT was NOT. Around February (this year) when we had enough $ for the remodelling, I just started falling apart. Trying to decide if I should stay or quit, I would come home and bawl my eyes out for no practical reason. The politics of the workplace drove me up one side and down the other. The fact that I was told I was being submitted for a decent raise in July and it "just didn't suit" the big-wigs to review and give me my raise until "they did the whole branch" in January really ticked me off (sorry, a little French tried to slip in there... I felt very French about it).

Finally, I put my foot down on the decision making and said "enough's enough", and put in 3 weeks notice. As soon as I turned in the letter, rainbows and gold twinkle-dust filled my emotional atmosphere, all was well in the world! I was going to have TIME again!! Time to clean, do laundry, cook real food, exercise, take care of Daniel, plant a garden, cook food for other people, be free to hang out with or help my sisters at the drop of a hat... And I am totally lovin' it!

Wednesday when I went to the bank, the lead teller told me that one of the (new when I left) full-time girls had walked out Monday, and basically said "the job is yours if you want it, I want you back". It's very honoring that she/they want me back so much. I told her I couldn't do full time, and it was a full time position. She said "well, I'm thinking that ___ (the current part timer) might want the FT, and that would leave a PT open." We talked schedule a little bit (the whole conversation lasted maybe 5 minutes, and was very informal, quiet and fast), and right before I left she said "Even if you wouldn't want 30 hours, we could cut it back to even 19 if you want".

So what should I do? 30 hours isn't too bad of a schedule, but it used to mean working 2 Sat's, having 1 off (the FT was work 1, have off 2)... she said they're trying to get it so everyone works 1, has off 1. I know that at other branches, the less than 30-hr. people get stuck with all the Saturdays. If I took the job as a PT-er, I would be the only one and I'm sure I'd get asked to fill in cracks now and then (they are WAY strict on NO OT). Daniel and I have talked about it, and are thinking about it.

One of our biggest goals is to be debt free, and the extra $$ would be a great step in that direction. It's only our mortgage, but we do want to pay that off ASAreasonablyP.

The "Pluses" of taking the job:
~Extra $$ to pay down our mortgage.
~I do miss working there sometimes - I still dream about it. Sometimes it's "nightmares", sometimes it's just good dreams.
~I miss my co-tellers, and the fun we would have working together.

The "Negatives" of taking the job:
~I wouldn't be as free to do random things - picking people up from the airport, taking a load of food to Sally or whomever might need some food, gardening and canning, spending a day with a friend from church baking cookies, etc.
~I wouldn't be home as much, which would mean I'd have to be very careful to stay on top of menu planning and the cooking, or we'd revert back to eating whatever was easiest and handiest.
~My emotional well-being. I'm not going to turn into some kind of cracked nut, but it does take it's toll on me since being a stay at home homemaker is almost the biggest desire of my heart.

Another plus is that it wouldn't be totally indefinite since we do want to have kids sometime and whenever we do I would definitely stay home with them. One thing that Daniel has mentioned is that now is the time - if there was a "time" - for me to work outside the home since we don't have kids yet. I agree with him, but we're just trying to weigh out if the monetary benefits are worth the emotional expenses.

And I think I've run out of words...
What are your thoughts? Have you "been there, done that" at all? Really, I'm open to what you think.


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

I just skimmed this, and because I am tired, have two wild children (not really, but energetic), and my house is a wreck, my couch is full of laundry, I say of course not! Don't go back to work! Enjoy these child-free years at home.

I'll comment more intelligently later.

Phoebe said... [Reply to comment]

That really is a tough one! I think that would it is awesome to be able to stay home and take care of the house/husband and not have to worry about a job.

In my own opinion, if you were to take the job, I would do like 20 hrs a week so that you still have time to do your things. But, you also said that being a SAHW was the desire in your heart. If that continues to be your desire I would listen. Money is just If you don't need it...I wouldn't intentionally put more pressure on yourself.

I really hope that makes sense! :)

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

O.k., back for, hopefully, a more intelligent comment, after reading your whole post. When I read your emotional toll and all that that went along with working, I would have to vote no. It just doesn't sound like you loved the job. I mean, I really loved nursing, I loved the work, not just the co-workers. I missed it dreadfully until Hannah was born. Now, I am too busy to think about it most of the time, so I don't miss it nearly as much.

But, I will cheer you on no matter what your decision is. I do agree with Daniel, if you are going to work outside the home, now is the time to do it, not after you have kids.

Penny Lane said... [Reply to comment]

Lots of women volunteer with organizations twenty hours a week and are considered stay-at-home moms because they don't receive financial reimbursement. I say if you are committed to eliminating your mortgage, the lesson you will teach them in the importance of being debt-free is well worth the sacrifice of a job that doesn't cause undue stress otherwise.

Ashley said... [Reply to comment]

That is a very difficult question not to be taken lightly or without much prayer.

I do not have children and I also do not work outside of the home (I babysit one boy after school). I love being a stay at home wife and being fully devoted to my house, husband, and anything else that comes up in between.

When I did work, even part time, it was not worth all the stress for he extra money.

I have had a few opportunities to go back to work, and each time I have said no. For me, it just wasn't worth all the hassle.

But, I cannot tell you what to do, just what I have done, personally.

Good luck!


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I think you should go for it! You can always resign if it doesn't work out and if you are close to paying off your mortgage at such a young age, you are way ahead of the game! Plus, you will have years of staying at home after you have kids and should be able to do so comfortably with a paid for home. Just my opinion...

Aliisa and Sundy said... [Reply to comment]

From Aliisa:

First I would say that you both should pray about it and see where God leads you.

In the mean time, I would sit down and calculate just how much you would contribute to the debt if you worked part time. Be sure you include extra eating out for nights that you dont cook. Just see if the money is actually worth your desire.

With that said, God wants you to have the desires of your heart. We are all led in different directions and unfortunately sometimes we feel guilt over it. I sometimes feel guilty staying home because we could have more money or do more things BUT the quality of our life would go down. My desire is to be here for my daughter and for my husband. And while you do not have children yet, if your desire is to stay at home, then maybe that is where God is calling you.

I wouldnt worry about the debt so much, God always provides.

I hope that helped.

Tammy K. said... [Reply to comment]

I too took a PT job to help pay down debt. After 3 months it was very clear to everyone that the emotional strain was not worth the money. If you really feel that God has called you to be at home (as I do) than no amount of money or stress will be worth it. It is really hard to be extremely frugal while working even small hours. Beleive me I have tried!

Tammy K. said... [Reply to comment]

I too took a PT job to help pay down debt. After 3 months it was very clear to everyone that the emotional strain was not worth the money. If you really feel that God has called you to be at home (as I do) than no amount of money or stress will be worth it. It is really hard to be extremely frugal while working even small hours. Beleive me I have tried!

Carolyn said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Miriam,

Have you ever thought of starting your own business from home? That way you could still keep up with all of the things you enjoy doing and even if you didn't start earning as much as working outside the home,you'd be investing in the years to come that you'd be spending as a mama.

To me, it would be the best of both worlds. I say this as I've had to think about what I plan on doing after my youngest graduates from our homeschool next year. I plan on working from home. I have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing. LOL!!!

Prayer was mentioned by others and I totally agree. I wish you the best in whatever you decide.

BTW, I had a blog called OurCountryCottage, but deleted it and started over. I hope you'll stop by my new one.


Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you all for your comments on this post! I have been reading each one carefully, and you have brought more "things to think about" to mind. Y'all are the best!!