Friday, November 26, 2010

Quit to become a SAHM: weighing the pros and cons

My mind is right now so beautifully messed up. I want to call it quits on my almost 11-year-old career.
I don't want to also, because I'm "-" this close to the top. The money's decent. And i need them both -- the sanity of the job and the value of the money, with a loan on our heads.

BUT. And this is the BIG BUT. My folks, with whom I leave Sonny Boy, along with the assistance of a part-time Nanny, aren't able to take it any more.

Ok it' a bad patch. The Nanny's been on leave almost a week now because she's unwell, so my parents are FREAKING.

They are aged, they aren't exactly in the best of health, and they are sounding like they need a break from Sonny Boy.

My mom had a meltdown this morning. She said it's all just too much for her. Understandable. She has a lot of physical constraints.

I don't want to leave Sonny Boy at a baby-sitting setup right through the day. That, I'm very sure about.

I'm tired of searching for new nannies -- they are all ultimately the same -- they are never around when you most need them, go off on long leave often, and keep asking for a hike in pay. No amount of pampering them pays off in the long-term relationship. It all one day boils down to money.

But I just can't imagine myself, after 11 years of financial independence, asking the husband for money for every single thing. My savings are minimal and I will have to ask. Very tough thing to do, when you have a big beautifully puffed up ego.

Workaholic that I am, will I be satisfied with running home? Forget satisfied, will I be able to do all the housework at all? Honestly, office work is way less than housework. At home, there's always something constantly to be done. Even when everything's done. It's tiresome, there's no pay, no bonus, no performance-incentive, no perks, aaarrrhgghh.

AAAAAAARGGGHHHH. I need some sane SWOT analysis of my situation. And knowing myself, I'll paint such a bad picture of being a SAHM, I'll refuse to quit.

Dilemmas, dilemmas....more dilemmas. With each day, I'm becoming more inclined to quit.

At what price should I continue working? My parents are unhappy (but cover it up with a smiling mask), my kid is tied down to the house because they can't move around much. I'm feeling guilty about both. I want Sonny Boy to change his routine; parents won't agree. I can't force them. All this will change if I simply hand in my resignation.

But I can't really get back to work after a break. The industry is mean to people who call it quits.

Should i, shouldn't I? Can I? Will I? Should I? Ufffff

I look out the window and it's all grey and cold.


Jazzie Casas said...

Hi there I am one of many single moms and I find your site very interesting. I hope I have much time each day to drop by and check your site for recent post. By the way thank you for sharing this.

Garima said...

aaaaaaaah... this is the hardest dilemma of them all.
Just a thought. Before you go cold turkey, try a part time day care. Couple of times a day for a few hours. May be your parents will get the break and the kiddo would enjoy other kids around.

Working or not, you need to be satisfied. YOu will be great at either option. Grooming the mind is the harder thing. May be take 1-2 weeks off work and try being a SAHM and role playing to see if its really you!

Breathe... life has a funny way of working out.

Aparna said...

Thought I should give you my POV - but of course I went from a working non-mom to a SAHM so actually it was less of a dilemma for me I guess :)

The lack of financial independence is definitely the most difficult part - it can take getting used to, but it's not too bad if hubby is understanding on the subject as mine is. No cash in hand exchanges, money flows only in lump sums between bank accounts ;).

Grandparents being primary daycare providers - this was something I knew wouldn't work for me so I didn't attempt it. Parents stay nearby, get the kids for a couple of hours or so a day so that keeps everyone happy (almost!). This was the biggest reason I left my job - I hired a full-time nanny but finally when push came to shove couldn't accept non-family as primary caregiver and changed my mind about going back to work.

In your case, you've been working for a longer time(I resigned after 7 years), and have got used to a different schedule altogether. I would suggest trying a full-time nanny along with your parents. And definitely taking a long leave or sabbatical before you take the extreme step :).

Forever mother said...

Hi Jazzie thanks for dropping by
:-)Hope you'll be able to share your stories too with us.

Dear Garima
You're soooo right "Grooming the mind is the harder thing". Yes, my dear it's all in the mind and that's why the decision and its effects are all the more difficult.
But thanks for the encouragement.

Hey Aparna
Thanks for your very practical advise.
It must have been difficult for you too, the decision and after.
I am seriously considering a one-month trial, though doubt office will give me that kind of leave.
Am just wondering if all this is my extreme reaction to my part-time nanny being on leave for almost two weeks now (due to illness).

But will try it out before taking the plunge...if I finally take it :-) Thanks yet again for helping me evaluate things

Mona said...

Hello there...FOREVER MUM..

You sound like my twin soul on this issue.
I am a working mother too..and of 2too! (there's still humour left in me:)
If its of any comfort, I've been mulling over the same issues over this past week with utmost sincerity..i know all the pros - BUT, I just cannot get myself to turn brain to mush completely...and the effort at doing somthing from home and building it up just does not make sense at this stage...
How old is Sonny Boy?
...what is your flexibility at the work place, and how far are you from there? does he go to school yet? that would keep him busy for the larger part of the day..
Does it work for you to take him into work with help?
I've been married to my workplace for 12years..and have taken both my kids to the office from month 3 onwards at least unil they hit 1 to sustain the feeding...i've had my share of nightmares ranting/raving/going bonkers trying to keep home..hubby...job... life and am still surviving it..Like you tho' when the "@#T hits the ceiling like it did with my 4 year old lover-boy playing up, I start questioning everything...!
The good news, my lil girl is 8years and my lil boy is 4..we've survived the ride and I hope to continue the fight..

There's just so much that also depends on your employers/flexibility and your ability to tide over a stormy phase...give your folks a what it takes to allow them to perk up before you can get them to bail you out for fewer hours!

Hang in there....we're common lunatics who face the same battles and battle the same worries..


Forever mother said...

Dear Mona,
Welcome aboard the big red bus -- of struggling, trying to cope, venting,...and making everything look so simple in the end :-)

Wow, if you've made it already to an 8-year and a four-year old, that's like a WOW. Sonny's just 4 months past his second birthday.

He does go to a playhome for three hours everyday. Doesn't seem to offer my parents much respite, though. Maybe my biggest problem now is that my part-time nanny is on leave. So it's all just frustrating.

Workplace is kind of flexi (and profession and consequently my timing is such that I can't but help get in and out late). I can't really take him there -- there's no creche or babysitting facility.

Yes, at the end of it all it's just so comforting when a fellow-mom liek you comes forward and says you have the same dilemmas and issues. (I've been reading all over the Net and it's a BIG and UNIVERSAL issue.) I hope you and I, at the end, are able to make a decision we won't regret.

Warm hugs and hopeful prayers
Forever Mother

Anonymous said...

Hey moms, I am also a working mother, my daughter is only 1.5 years and I joined office when my daughter was just 4 months. My daughter's caretaker is good (as of now) and my mother in law is very old, so on the whole she cannt do much for my daughter. But now , i feel at home, my daugher is learning more from them, than from me. I give my full time to her afer going home, and holidays, tries and rather struggles to teach her the way I want to , the modern ones and teaches my maid also to behave in the same manner. But yes as of now, leaving my job is a big frustrating idea. The whole issues circles around the time we give to our kids. If on weekends we can take care of kids and give our parents a break or else, sending them to a good day care is not a bad idea. Some in Mumbai, I know are really good.
But I somehow feel at this point of time, that this struggle is temporariy. I have seen many close ones who are home makers and probably their kids aren't learning anything extra. Home makers are also busy in their household jobs (unless you are very rich not to bother of the home tasks), they cannot give so much quality times to their kids. The working mother give less time, but i sometimes feel that time is in most cases quality ones, where your child and you can mingle, learn, play together. I somehow feel, you can think of some other alternatives, before you quit your career.

happy to find mothers like me !!!