Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Trying times

So, before I settled into my happy days of being a stay-at-home mom, I was a registered nurse. I worked nights at a hospital in the transitional care unit (this is like a step-down unit from ICU). I loved working nights -- I'm just such a night person. The hospital was darker and more quiet, with hardly any doctors buzzing around. It was just more laid back than the day shifts. Most of our patients were elderly. I loved working with these people. Some of them were lonely or confused with dementia. Even though that could be challenging, I loved talking with them and listening to their stories (even when sometimes their stories didn't make any sense). It was somewhat like taking care of a child. As much as I loved the people that I took care of, I can't really say that I miss working. Just before my third child was born, we made the decision that I would stay home full time. Up until then, my husband had taken care of the kids while I worked and usually the mornings after work (so that I could sleep). But, in addition to his job as a firefighter, he had also started his own lawn and landscaping business. It was getting harder and harder for him to stay home and take care of the kids so that I could sleep. We didn't want to put the kids in daycare (not that there's anything wrong with that, it was just our personal choice not to do that). So, I became a stay-at-home mom. That was 9.5 years years ago. I've never really regretted this decision. There were times when money was tight and I felt like "oh I should be working so we wouldn't have to worry about this" but then things would always have a way of being okay. Right now is one of those times. For the last few years, DH has been building houses. Usually just one or two a year. Enough to supplement his firefighter income and help us live comfortably. But, now the housing market is pretty much at a standstill -- no one is building houses right now. We are starting to feel the stress of only having the one income. We've discussed the posibility of me going back to work. But, I have to tell you...after being out of nursing for almost 10 years, it's a scary thought. So much has changed - technology, medication, I would be a nervous wreck. And, even though I think my job as a "mom" is one of the most important jobs of all, it has changed me. I just don't think I have the confidence to go back out into the work force after all this time. Not to mention the work I would have to do in order to even get my nursing license up to date. I would be required to take an approved refresher course before going back to work. This course would take quite a bit of time and is pretty expensive. So, I really don't think this is the route to go right now. I'm just torn about what to do. I could find another job of some sort, but, not one that would pay what I could make as a nurse. I'm hoping we can just ride out these tough times and get through it without me going back to work. Is that selfish of me? We have four children, who go to three different schools. They play sports, are on the academic team, take piano lessons, etc. The thought of having to coordinate all that while working is truly daunting to me. Plus, DH works 24 hours shifts at the firehouse, so on those days, he is not here at all. I don't know how all you working moms do it. I am in awe of you, really. It's just such a tough thing anyway I look at it. Anyway, thanks for listening. It feels better just to talk about it.

~K

5 comments:

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Kari, you are in good company. I also stopped working, as an accountant though, to raise our three children. In the 25 years that I have raised our kids, I have gone back to work only part time and not as an accoutant. I have made ends meet by selling on ebay finding things through clever thrifting, I babysat,worked in retail, and when I opened my own store, (the kids were in their teens) it took so much time away from the family that I gave up after 2 years. My husband travels for almost half the month (he is in int'l sales), so I was pretty much on my own. I applaud you for wanting to raise your own family. That is the best gift that you could give your children...in my humble opinion.Hang in there. Susan

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

I just hung up the phone where I had this same conversation with a friend. I've been at home for about four years, and I'm not sure how to know what comes next; although I don't have any desire at all to change anything right now. It can be confusing. Maybe it's time to check out the frugality websites for some money saving ideas (which is really a thinly veiled plug for my WFMW post today). Best. -e.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I'm a full-time working mom and I sometimes feel the pull to stay home, though I know I am happiest in the working world. It's a tough balance, and one that's not expected of men in our society. A long time ago I gave up the notion that I could "do it all". I give up quantity time with my kids, but I feel I still do OK on quality. I have a housekeeper and someone to do errands for me so the time I am home I can spend it directly with my husband and children. I always say, "We're all in this together, no matter what we choose to do." PS - I think the housing market will correct itself after the 2008 elections. Only one more year :o)

Belle in Bloom said...

I just stumbled on your blog and read "trying times". I can so relate. Just had this same conversation with my Hunny. Things are tight right now and Christmas is right around the corner.Yikes. I think, "I should be working and take some of the stress off of Hunny." But he assures me he likes me happy, which is how I am at home. He'd rather have the added stress and me happy. Hang in there. It will work out. But if you do choose to go back to nursing, I'm sure you'll fall right back into it. You're a nurturing person whether it be children or patients. Good Luck!

Vallen said...

Oh, someone as clever as you seem to be wll undoubtedly solve this. You can do so much from home these days - something will definitely occur to you that will be exsctly the right thing.