Tuesday, June 12, 2012

silver lining

I never thought I would want to stay home with my babies. I grew up with a mother who told me (in so many words) that I should never have to be financially dependent on my partner. Repeatedly. A lot. So I have some pretty strong feelings about education and staying relevant in a career field. I always just figured that I would pop out a baby, take my obligatory 12 weeks of maternity leave, and head back to the office. Oh that I could have a few words with myself from a year ago.

I still want to head back to the office, but over the last few months, I had started to feel like I want to have more flexibility and time at home with the Nugget. I found myself daydreaming about trips to the zoo and play dates, Pinning craft activities and homemade baby food recipes. But I kept telling myself that it wasn't the right time; I was finishing my MPH and needed to put my husband through grad school.

Lucky for me, my boss called me last week to tell me I was losing my job. A grant we submitted got shot down by the NIH. BAM. No more funding. In four to six weeks I would be packing up four and a half years of office trinkets and paperwork. She got me an interview, but it turned out this other lab could not hire me full time. At most, they could offer me four days a week. Apparently I'm just too damn expensive (I know...feel sorry for me).

I had always justified working full time as a mom by thinking that I needed to so that we could save for retirement, Nugget's college, and pay off student loans. I wanted to do all of these things very quickly. We live well within our means, but I get very anxious about having any kind of debt, and the debt that comes with graduate school can be intimidating, no matter how much it increases your earning potential. But here presents this opportunity to have some extra time at home with our baby, and I suddenly find myself feeling differently. This job situation is, at best, temporary, and we would save some money on childcare (which is like, totally outrageous by the way). It's only funded through the beginning of 2014, which is a good time for tossing that kid's ass in full time day care.

So, I took it. Granted it's only one work day fewer per week, but that translates to a 20% decrease in pay. I had always anticipated working 60 hour weeks once I finished grad school so I could rake in the big bucks. Instead, for the next 18 months we will water down our hand soap and and stop buying organic ketchup. I hope Nugget's cool with community college.


  1. I think you're getting the best of both worlds. In my experience too much and too little time with a baby is hell.

  2. that's kind of how I feel. I'm pretty excited about it.