Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where do I go from here?

I applied for a job today. No, I don't really want to go back to work just yet. Our cutie isn't even four months old, and my plan was six months to a year at home. But....I started freaking out about money. Not that my sweetie doesn't make a perfectly respectable salary, one that probably millions of people in this country could live on with no trouble whatsoever, but I am embarrassed to admit that, after years of living as carefree single people in New York City, we no longer know how to live on a budget. It doesn't help that my new unemployment coincidentally coincided with large medical bills (hey, did you know it costs $25,000 to have a baby these days? Good thing we have health insurance. Too bad it didn't cover 100%, but I can't really complain; it was pretty darned good), a trip to New York, and Christmas. So I looked at our hemmorhaging bank account and freaked out. I am very conservative when it comes to money; I like a healthy cushion, and our cushion is shrinking much too fast.

I am wildly conflicted about the whole thing. When I first moved to Seattle, I immediately found a job, even though my sweetie encouraged me to take my time and decide what I wanted to do. But I found I was very uncomfortable sitting at home, not earning my keep, as it were. I am happy to say I am not feeling that same discomfort now: I do understand the value of staying at home and taking care of our cutie. There are times when it is really, really boring (I love my son, but I can only coo at him or squeak the squeaky toy for so long before the fun pales), but overall I just love spending the day with him and watching him change in small ways almost every day.

I don't want a job. Or, more accurately, what I want is income without having to put my son in day care. Because, you know, day care costs a lot of money, which sort of takes a big bite out of the whole purpose of having a job. Not to mention some stranger will be holding (or worse, not holding) my cutie when he cries. I don't give him my undivided attention every waking minute, but I do give him a lot of undivided attention, and I just can't believe he'd get that in a day care.

I believe I've mentioned that I hate job hunting more than anything else. Nevertheless, I've started hunting. I am going to try do it in a very casual manner, applying only for jobs that I think look really interesting. I am not going to get too invested and I am not going to torture myself. That way when I can't get an interview to save my life, I will be able to smile and say it means I get another day or week or month at home with my cutie.


Squirrelette said...

Have I mentioned lately what an awesome person you are? No? Well then consider this an overdue kudo. Just 'cos mommyhood is not in the cards for me doesn't mean I can't appreciate what an important job it is. :-)


Beast Mom said...

What you say about living on a budget is understandable. We find it very hard sometimes to live on one income around here. I hope you find the right place to land w/ family and home and life priorities in general. It's not a simple decision that's for sure.

On perhaps a happier (?) note, what kind of plans do you have for your birthday? It's only a week away. :)


Nancy said...

I tried teaching part-time when my son was three months old, because of the same pressures you're feeling. I absolutely loved being out of the house, talking to grown ups again! Babies are wonderful, but they're not good conversationalists.

Of course, if I'd been paying for baby-sitting, I would have been losing money. As it was, my mother-in-law volunteered to sit, which was great at first. By the end of the semester, she resented being tied to my schedule. (My in-laws like to travel.) Between the stress of grading, finding a paid sitter, and just plain old guilt about giving my baby to someone else to raise, I decided it wasn't worth it.

Of course, nine years later, I'm wondering who on earth will hire me now! :-)