Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Work Decision.

This post has been a long time coming...and I'm almost scared to write it, because I have a feeling that there are a lot of people who read my blog that probably won't agree with the decisions that we've made. However, after an incredible amount of talking, prayer, and planning, we have made the decision that we believe we are being called to make. Be prepared...this post is going to be a doozy!

In early September, I wrote about a Bible Study that J and I attended, and part of it was based on Genesis 26:12. The question that we as spouses were supposed to use for discussion was:

What is God telling you and your spouse this year? Should you be doing something else, or even be someone else? Is your current job, or your current lifestyle what God is calling you to do? Do you want to argue the point (or pretend you didn't get the message), or are you willing to trust God's guidance?

This was a great blessing for us, because I think we were both feeling like we were supposed to be moving in one direction, but were having a difficult time doing so, because the logic didn't make sense to us. Though, I'm sure it didn't make much sense to Isaac either when God told him to pack up everything and move to Egypt, even though he feared for his life in doing so. Still, God blessed him because of his obedience. This thought, coupled with a lesson out of Esther really has become our rock over the last couple of months.

Justin and I priced out daycare in our area, and discovered that after daycare, I would be bringing home about $350 a month working full-time. I could make virtually that same amount working a two or three nights a week or over the weekends at a part-time, minimum wage job. I have no qualms about even working fast food if need be--at this time in my life, my priority isn't where I'd be working, just that we have the opportunity to provide for our family. Actually, I kind of think I'd enjoy something like working at Barnes and Noble!

The other big issue for us was insurance. We will likely be putting Lizzie on a private insurance plan. I will be applying for one as well, though we're not sure whether or not I'll qualify due to my allergies. If I don't, I can be added to Justin's work insurance plan. It isn't a great plan by any means, but it's better than a catastrophic-only plan. Some of the part-time jobs that I'm considering also have opportunities for insurance. And we're fortunate enough to have plenty of good health care clinic locally that work on a sliding scale.

So, we ultimately decided that I will not be returning to work once Lizzie is born. And once we made that decision, I can't tell you how completely at peace I felt, even though there are still some details up in the air.

Although some people advised us against this, I've told my bosses that I won't be coming back. I had a bit of a hard time with this, not because I'm unsure of my decision, but because it just seems so presumptuous. I don't really like to think or talk about this, but the truth is that not everyone goes into labor and leaves the hospital with a baby. Late loss happens. Still birth happens. It's a scary thought. Still, I won't let myself go through this preparing for the worst. So, the best thing in this situation was to tell my bosses early rather than later, and here's why:

First, my maternity leave is unpaid anyway, so it isn't as though I'd be "losing" that income. Second, my position is one that really takes about several months, if not a year, to learn. By telling my bosses now, they'll be able to bring someone on in the next month or so, to train alongside me for at least a month. This is really the best thing for the organization as a whole, and I don't want to burn any bridges there--I wouldn't mind going back at some point later in my life at all!

Now, as I said, there are still some details up in the air. Even with me working part-time, I'm not always entirely sure how we'll make it all work--it's a pretty big cut to our income. However, that's something that we'll have to deal with either way. Whether I'm working at this job and paying for daycare, or working part-time elsewhere and not paying for daycare, we'll be taking a cut to our income. That much is unavoidable. It's hard not knowing exactly where I'll end up working--but, I have to trust that doors will open when they should, whether that's through a part-time job, or photography, or whatever.

I don't usually do well with details that are still up in the air. But one thing that's been a tremendous help is for us to just to take a cue from Esther and consider what is the absolute worst thing that could happen? And when we look at it that way, it's suddenly a lot less scary. For us, the worst thing that could happen would be that I couldn't find a part-time job anywhere, and at the same time, Justin would lose his job. And then we'd have to exhaust all of our savings without either of us being able to find employment anywhere and exhausting unemployment. And then, we would have to be unable to find anyone to rent out our house while we lived with family while searching for jobs. And then, there's a chance that our house could be foreclosed on. And let me make this clear that while that's certainly NOT something that I ever want to happen, and would do everything in my power to prevent, it also wouldn't be the end of the world. We would still have each other, our faith, presumably our health, and families willing to support us during that time. And it's a lot less scary when you look at it that way. But I'm not gonna lie, it's still a little scary to make a move into such unknown territory!


  1. I can see that you guys have put a lot of thought into this decision. It's a huge decision to make and I know that within the next year or 2, Jesse & I will have to be making those though decisions as well.

    I don't think it matters whether or not people agree with it, all that matters is that you and Justin have decided together that this would be best for your family.

    More power to you if you are able and willing to take a pay cut in order to provide better care for your child. I think it's great when Mother's get to stay home with their children. Who better to raise a child than their own mother. So keep your chin up and know that even if things are "unclear" at this point, God never puts you through anything He feels you cannot handle.

    I wish you, Justin and your little Lizard all the best in the new changes that will be occurring! :-)

  2. Regardless of how other people respond, I'm really really happy for you! Being a stay-at-home-mom is not easy and a lot of people brush it off as a luxury! My husband and I do the same worst case scenario thought process as you guys did and it's amazing how much clearer things are when you realize that God is in control and he will always direct your path. If this is what you and Justin feel call to do, then who's to stop you! Good luck with everything! I'll be praying for you!

  3. I'm so happy for you guys! I'm sure you will love being a stay at home mom, AND you'll be good at it ;) You know you've got my support! Keep hanging in there and have faith that everything will work out :)

  4. Good for you! I'd imagine that having the decision made is a huge relief and I think you handled things at work the right way.

  5. It sounds like this is a good decision for you guys!

    It is a good feeling to know that you are doing what you feel God is telling you to, even if you aren't sure how it will work out, or others don't understand why.

  6. I think it's wonderful that this is the decision the two of you made, together, with much prayer and thought. That alone speaks volumes of what God has in store for your family and I only wish you the absolute best!

  7. I'm so glad that you made a decision that was right for you! It sounds like you've got a plan in action - good for you guys. So happy for you!

  8. This is a very tough subject! But the bottom line is that if you are being obediant to what God is call you and your husband to do then He will always provide and way and a how of doing it.

    We are still in "thinking" process of what I am going to do now that i do not have my job. I feel very lead to stay home and be with my kids. Yes, it will come with sacrifices and there are things that I am going to have to live without. But ultimately I don't want to pay someone else to raise me kids.

    Work is still on the table, but God is going to have to push me in that direction if that what He wants because right now I'm not feeling that He is. We'll see.

    Good luck and know in your heart that what you are doing is best for you and your family. Don't listen to what others have to say; they are just planting doubt! :)

  9. You are so right on. And your decision is what works best for YOUR family. We (your readers) don't know what situation works best for you. I thinks it's wonderful that you are staying home to care for Elizabeth. I always said "I'll never stay at home, that's not for me." But you know what? I've stayed home a majority of Cam's first year and it has been the best gift. Sure we took an income cut- but I'd rather experience being home with my son than to be buying extra materialistic things and shopping like I used to. It's a sacrifice, but one I don't think twice about making. I'm glad you both are at peace with your decision!

  10. Congrats on being a stay-at-home mom! I would love to but I know things won't go that way. You'll love being able to spend more time with Lizard.

  11. good for ya'll! you'll certainly be blessed because of your obedience!

  12. Sweetheart- you have to do what it right for you. I am glad that you are at peace with your decision. Sometimes things don't make sense to other people- but its not their life! Enjoy yours.

    (P.S. I have a couple of these posts stored up too . . . but haven't shared them because I don't think people who read the blog will like it. oh well. good for you.)

  13. Yay for being a stay at home mom. I have nothing against working moms, I just knew it wasn't for me. And who knows, maybe when we are done having kids and they are in school full time, I will change my mind. It sounds like you put a lot of thought and prayer into your decision, which is a definite plus. It's hard not to listen to everyone's opinions (and they will ALL have one, trust me on this) but you just have to do what is right for you at the present time.

  14. And God will bless you for your obedience. Mer, I'm so happy for you.

    "The worst that can happen" is spot on.

  15. Good for you for making the decision that is right for your family.

    It's so nerve-wracking, but it's so important.

    You're going to be an inspirational mommy!

  16. As you know, I am rejoicing with you in this decision!!! I believe for certain that God not only blesses obedience, but He loves when His children truly TRUST in Him and step out in faith, in a big way. The bigger the step, the bigger the testimony that you will one day share. I feel like we (all of us) try so hard to "figure things out" in our peanut brains and as we know, His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are not ours.

    I am so excited to see how He will provide for your family! What an amazing adventure ahead, and what a GIFT for Lizzie ... =)

  17. You are a smart woman. Being at home with your baby is the best decision I think if doable and it sounds to me that you have thought this plan through and that it will be doable for you. I am really happy and relived for you b/c I have been in your shoes before (I stayed home with 2 out of 3 of my children the entire first year) and it's so hard until the decision is finally made! Good for you, I am sure you'll be a great mom!

  18. You know, my sister-in-law did just this, she worked part-time at pottery barn and loved it. And now works at a fitness center and loves it. I think its a nice break for her too just to get out of the house a few hours a week! It can be done! I know its a huge decision but it sounds like you took all the right steps to find out what God wanted for your family - and that's all the matters because at the end of the day He provides for every need! Lord willing, I know the hubby and I will have to make these fun decisions in a year or two as well! Thanks for being so open and transparent! It's always an encouragement!

  19. (she works part time a few hours a week at the fitness center too) I didn't make that clear. Just an encouragement that if you do find a part time job somewhere like Barnes and Noble that other people have done something similar to what you are planning on doing! :)

  20. I think you have made the right decision that is pleasing to God. God made you a mother to guide, protect, and teach your children. Of course at times it is hard to think about, but it all works out, and like you said you always have FAMILY that love you guys and will do anything to help you. I'm excited because we'll get to see you more when the lizard is born. We will continue to pray for you, justin and lizard, we love you.

  21. Well, you know I don't buy into the whole god shtick, but I'm glad you're satisfied with your decision, and no longer have that stress in your life.

  22. I should also say, my dad didn't work a year or so after I was born (my mom had a blingin' job at Boeing) and he always says it was the best time of his life. And they were poor as shit, and also owned a house at the time. So... doable.

  23. Congrats on making a decision! You do the best you can as parents and that's the most important thing.

  24. Good for you Meredith, that decision is not easy for any mom to be and only you know if it's a good decision for you. It sounds like you made the best decision for you. I am sure you feel extremely relieved!!!



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