Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Dilemma - SAHM vs WAHM

It seems that I'm faced with this dilemma every few months or so. The dilemma, of course, is self-imposed. But it's a dilemma nonetheless: 

Do I continue working full-time (I work from home) or do I quit my job and be a wife and mama?

I'm fortunate enough to have a legitimate, full-time, work-from-home job. Pre-Ella, I loved my job. I think, deep down, I do still love my job. I just ... love Ella and love spending time with Ella more than I love my job, so it's hard to see it as still loving my job. If that makes any sense?

I'm fortunate enough to get paid very well for what I do. I'm fortunate enough to have flexible hours. As in, I make my own schedule and work whenever I want to work, as long as I get my 40+ hours in each week. I'm also fortunate enough to have a husband with an amazing schedule (ha! I say that right now - I'm sure you'll hear me complain about his schedule at some point soon) who is able to be home and take care of Ella while I'm in the home office, working. On the days that Mr. Lukie is at work (usually 10-12 days/month), Ella has a nanny who comes to the house and plays with her so that I can get five solid hours of work done. 

It sounds like the ideal job for a mama with a little one. It's why I dropped the Nursing School path and accepted the job in the first place - we knew we wanted to start a family - and it afforded me the opportunity to contribute to the family, financially, as well as be at home with my baby(ies).

But now? Now I just feel like I'm barely staying afloat. I'm a mediocre wife, a mediocre mama, and a mediocre friend. Yet - I'm a stellar employee. It's just not right. It's not fair to my family that I give everything to the company, and they get whatever is left over. The only way my house stays clean and my dirty clothes don't pile up is because I pay someone to take care of that for me every week. Do you know how much I hate having someone else clean my house and do my laundry? Okay, maybe I don't hate it - it's nice! I'm blessed to be able to do so! - but, if it meant being a stellar wife and a stellar mama, if I cleaned my own house and did my own laundry? Call me Molly Maid.

I know I have what many consider a dream job. But my calling is to my family, and I feel a pull in that direction more and more with every passing month. I don't want to look back ten years from now and wish that I had spent more time with Ella when she was little. I've learned the hard way already that babies don't keep; I can't imagine how quickly toddlerhood is going to fly by. 

I have the option to quit. Our livelihood does not depend on my income. It helps, and it's certainly nice, but thanks to Dave Ramsey and paying off our debt over three years ago, it's not necessary that I contribute financially. 

So, tonight is another night where I am staring at the video monitor, watching my baby toddler sleep peacefully in her crib. It's another night where I'm sitting behind the computer monitor, eating dinner and working away. Another night of facing this dilemma that seems to hang over me constantly these days.

It's time to make a decision, but I'm scared. I'm just waiting for a sign ...


  1. All of your thoughts and feelings that you just outlined? I think that is your sign...

  2. Oh mama, I can slightly relate! My photography business is part time but even then I feel pulled in 8,000 directions when things get busy. So I can only imagine how you feel. I'm definitely like you in that I find joy and satisfaction in taking care of my family. No job, career or business gives me more of a sense of accomplishment than if I go to bed at night knowing my family was well taken care of. It's just how I'm wired.

    You know what's in your heart. You honestly have a stellar situation to work from home! But even then I can understand how being behind a computer still doesn't give you the freedom to take care of your family. Either choice is a good one. Pray about it. You'll get your answer ;)

  3. I think you've already made your choice. Look back on what you just posted! Just curious, what is your work from home job?

  4. Don't think that hiring a cleaning lady or nanny makes you any less an amazing momma or wife! I myself am a nanny. I work for a doctor who has cleaning ladies who come once a week. I've been with her for over 8 years and I can definitely say that she one of the best mothers I know!

    However! I agree with the others that I think you've made your choice--you just need a little convincing and support. :) If you really want to be a stay at home momma--go for it!

  5. I could have written this word for word myself. Except I work 20 hours a week and I don't have a nanny or cleaning lady. With the new one on the way, I'm just not sure how I could possible do it anymore! I do not like my job in the slightest, so that doesn't help. I think you've already got your decision made, you just need to pull the plug. This time is too precious!

  6. Sounds like a cush job! (If you need a replacement, I'm down for making my own schedule and working from home.) Ha! In all seriousness, I don't think its fair to judge your worth as a wife/mom in how clean your home is or whether you do your own laundry!! You are an amazing woman, supportive wife, and loving mother.

    But, I think you already know where you WANT to go in life. And, hey, time is money so if you don't NEED the income then maybe having time with Ella is more valuable at this juncture in your life. Personally, I don't think you need to wait for any signs - you already know! :) Do what makes you happy and do whatever is right for your family whether that's staying with your job or putting in your 2 weeks. Everything else will fall in place. Thinking of you!!!

  7. I have to agree with the others...it seems like deep down you know your answer. But at the same time, don't feel bad for having someone who cleans and does your laundry. I'm thinking about hiring someone to come help me after the baby is born, if anything to just come deep clean a few times a month. I don't draw a paycheck for working at home, and there are days I feel like a less than stellar Mom/Wife. Sometimes it's just plain tough to do it all, and that's when you have to accept and believe that it's really ok. You have to do what works for you, and what you feel is comfortable. There is no one-size fits all. I have friends who work outside of the home, and who stay home with their posse of children every day- and trust me- there are inadequacies and imperfections on both sides.

  8. I thought you were going to ask to work part time? I'm sure in your heart you know the right answer. If we could afford it I would stay home in a heart beat. I like working but my baby will only be a baby for a short whole. I hate that I can't take her to the park, zoo, beach on a whim any day I'd like. I could always go back to a job when she goes to school.

  9. What about working part time? Might be the best of both worlds and if you don't need benefits, your company may be happy to have you on part time. Just a thought.

  10. WOW Sar....that is a hard one...although...it seems like your sign has been given to you. You have already weighed out the pros and cons. Your job is not absolutely critical to your livelihood and well....you seem to know what you truly want....hmmmmm....

  11. Well friend, I'm no good when it comes to decisions in this very aspect of life...in my case the both of us have the blessing of having jobs...But I do not have flexible hours, I do not get to make my schedule, I do not have the chance to work from home (and in my 3rd. world reality no one does unless they own a business) I do have very long hours....6 am to 17 pm with a 25 min lunch break...Yup, VERY LONG hours.
    And I actually do a professional white collar job,believe it or not.

    I am not trying to say this is a good thing. I'm not trying to say I like things the way they are. In fact besides many other sacrifices, it has kept me/us from starting a family...and I hate that... but we need it.
    All I want to say is.... I think you are lucky! It could be 100 times worse, believe me!


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