Two Years as a SAHM: Is it time to go back to work?

It’s been two-and-a-half years since I’ve been home with my now two and a half-year-old and five-year-old, while my seven-year-old was in school. A nanny comes twice a week so I can write and take a little time for myself (you know to do things like getting a mammogram). I’m getting the itch to get back to work lately. I miss other people giving me assignments and carrying them out with care. Believe it or not, I miss the stress of deadlines and pushing myself to succeed. Peer involvement lacks when you’re home with little ones. Even with a few stay home parent friends, it’s different from the work environment.

Here are the facts I’m trying to weigh with financial responsibility being a big factor. I would like to return part time, but to work part time I need to have the kids watched by a preschool/daycare/nanny, which costs money. Whatever job I take needs to make a profit after I pay the childcare bill.

My writing will suffer. I’ve enjoyed blogging twice a week about my garden, book reviews, the writing process, and my mental health, but that would take a hit if I returned to work. The novel I’m working on will also slow down. My real passion lies there. The first draft is so close! I want to pour myself into it and get it ready for the query process or self-publishing. Still not sure which. And to fellow writers, I know draft one is just one of the many steps before the book is complete, but it’s a big step I haven’t been able to complete yet.

Time away from the kids is both good and bad. I miss them when they aren’t around, but I’m not giving up time spent with them for free time. It’d be working. I need to find the right fit. Something that speaks to my creative heart while allowing me a flexible part time schedule. Ha! Is that job out there?

Disclosure: I am not looking to do sales. There are so many ads posted for sales positions. I want my weekends and evenings free for family time. If I wait another three years (hello, that sounds like forever) I’ll be in a position where my kids are in school almost full time and I can dive deeper into my writing. Do more volunteer work that may lead to paying gigs. Can I wait that long? I’m not sure. Adulting in the business world calls.

I’ve considered recruiting, it’s always been enjoyable to talk to strangers, hear their story, and connect them to the company. We’ll see, this might be my best bet. I have a master’s degree in human resources just sitting on my shelf.

This is leaving me anxious and overwhelmed. I cannot afford our nanny part time in the fall with two children in preschool. The two-year-old will only go for two-and-a-half hours a day, twice a week. What the hell am I supposed to do in that short amount of time? My husband had to buy a new truck, so that’s another few hundred a month we weren’t expecting. We aren’t counting every penny, but I’ve learned from past mistakes. I will never overstretch our budget again.

Our budget is another area of anxiety. My husband thinks we’ll be fine while I’m freaking out and telling him we can’t afford new sneakers for all the kids this fall. We can, but I know it’ll cost a few hundred dollars between shoes, clothes, and school supplies.

So lately, I’ve been a bit of a stress case. I need a vacation (an affordable one). I need the perfect job to apply myself to. I also need to lose five pounds, since I’m putting my desires out to the universe, why not cover all the bases?

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  1. I’m sorry you’re stressing about all that, it’s a lot :/ Daycare is so expensive these days, it’s hard to find a job that makes it worth it. If you can afford to just live off of your husband’s income until all your kids are in school 5 days a week, I’d say to do that. That’s what my wife is doing for now, and I think it’s the best situation for a family.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha she keeps it together, she’s amazing! She does miss the adult interactions too, so we try to keep up with a couple friends now and then, but she’s basically always wanted to be a mom and take care of her babies while they’re still little.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife stayed at home until our kids were in school full time, she then worked part time until their teen years so she could be there when they got home. I am a finance professional, thats what I do for a living. Im not going to blather on about it but the best advice I can give is, stay at home with your kids as long as you can. How? is the question. Your family will have to live on less than you make.

    There isnt a trick to this, if your families income is 50K you need to live on 49,999.99. Your “job” should be to figure out how to do that as long as your spouse is on board. You can try and make passive income online as well (ebay, tutoring, there are ways). I would encourage you to google “Dave Ramsey” his plan is superior. HE also has a budgeting app called “everydollar”. Best of luck, please reach out if you think I can help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so nice of you. I am pretty on target woth a budget. We use Mint to track everything and I have a spreadsheet of all our expenses including monthly fixed and variable expenses. When o started to stay home I knew my job was to be the CFO for the family and I take it very seriously. We are doing ok, but a little extra income would be nice too. It’s more a balance of time with the kids and having a career that I’m trying to figure out.
      I love my kiddos but I also like applying myself and pushing toward personal goals outside of home life.


  3. I retired from the military to have my son. My motto has always been women can have it all, they just can’t have it all at once. My son is 11 now and I took a temporary job with the Census to see how I feel about working again. I have flexible scheduling and can choose to work anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week. This way I can “taste” how it is to work again. We’ll see. I am not worried about the money side with my son in school but I am curious to see how the house goes with me not doing everything. A little easier for me with just one child and him being older but having been at home the last 12 years I am wondering how big an adjustment working again will be and working with a family to take care of now. Lots to consider but if you are patient you will find the right job for right now if that is truly what you want. Sometimes it’s not about the money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. It’s not about the money, though a little extra would be nice. Especially with back to school shopping and all the activities my kids enjoy. Really though, is like to connect with a part of myself that’s been dormant for a while. I miss the hustle and bustle in a different direction. If there is a way to straddle both worlds I’m going to try to find it.

      Liked by 1 person

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