March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Career angst | 11 Comments

J had a bit of good news last night.

Over the past few months, we’ve started to realize that both of us working full time isn’t really the model we want for our family. We’re too hurried, too scattered, too focused on lists of things to do this way.

There doesn’t seem to be much balance, and although we share parenting equally, it’s really hard on the both of us to juggle busy full time jobs with parenting and household tasks and then still find time for US, as a couple.

And for me (because, I mean, seriously, it’s all about ME, right?), I’m starting to realize that I feel very strongly about NOT having O go to an after school program. I want to be there when he gets off the bus every day.

I haven’t said it out loud to a lot of people.

Because it’s akin to admitting to someone you really, really, really want to buy a Porsche and need to figure out how that will work. There are so many people in the area around here that NEED two salaries on which to, you know, LIVE.

And truthfully, I make more money than J does right now. He’s underpaid for what he does – he knew this when he went to work for his company, but made the decision to make it happen because he really wanted to get into a new indsutry.

We do okay, money-wise, but we simply can’t AFFORD me to scale back my hours and keep the same saving/spending strategies we have right now.

Since J is the MOST unhappy of the two of us with his job, we decided that he should be the one to look for something else, which he’s done over the past month or so.

And last night he got a couple of bites; a consulting company that liked his resume and a former client of his who just started a hedge fund.

It felt a little like a breath of fresh air through a crack in a window.

Like we’ve caught a scent of change in the air.

Here’s hoping, anyway.



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  1. Jeez, if J is the more unhappy of the two…he must be *really* unhappy. It is really hard having two parents working full-time..I hope to someday be able to be home when the kid (s??) get home from school…but we’ll see. It’s hard when you don’t have a choice in the matter…it’s something you have to do. I find that teleworking 2 days a week *really* helps with sanity. Don’t know if that is an option for you guys. I clean house, do dishes, fold clothes, make dinner, on-line grocery shopping while on my lunch break (or conference calls!).

  2. I thought the same thing as DCRunningMama – he is more unhappy than you?! That makes for two very unhappy people. As far as staying home, I really wish it were a more feasible thing to do, socially and financially. I know people who stay home because money is no object, and I know people who live at a very low income level in order to have one parent home full-time. I wish we could work fewer hours between the two of us, somehow. In a way, working part-time is more complicated, because you have to find a job whose hours work for you. Is that feasible in your field/current job?

  3. I hope it pans out! 🙂

  4. Fingers crossed for J. And hoping this might be the first of more good things to come for you and your family.

  5. right there with you … hope it works out for you!

  6. fingers crossed!

  7. Fingers crossed for J! My husband is also job hunting right now (he took a lower paying job for similar reasons and now we are needing more of his normal salary).

    Yeah, full time working parenting is tough. I changed careers so that I could (a) contribute more money and (b) so that I could also have sanier hours. I work 8am – 4pm M-F and I have the more “flexible” job–whereas if family issues pop up–I usually take the hit. Also, I find my lunch hours are good times to get things done. (Also, before my son went into kindergarten full time–I had one day a week off–I made that trade off between a raise and time off) Also, the little extra money that we make goes to a maid service each week…and once a month I do Peapod. Those things really do help to keep it from being TOO overwhelming.

    As for after-school–there are options out there that are enriching for your child. Right now, I think my son really enjoys his after-school program. And I really do think that most pre-schools offer wonderful programs.

  8. Ooh, I know exactly what you mean by the feeling of a scent of change in the air. When even just a wiff of this scent makes your spirit do a little dance, you know you are on to something, something just around the corner.
    Follow that scent!

  9. Wow, I thought the same as a couple of the other posters: if J. is the most unhappy in his job, you are two unhappy people. I think it’s great news if you have the potential to look into different options. I hope something pans out. I also think it’s great that you’re able to sit down as a couple and talk about this in a logical way. I think a lot of people can’t.

    I read a really interesting book last week- it was called Opting Out? and it was about women who were very very highly educated and who had high flying jobs who ended up leaving the workforce after they had kids. The end result, according to the author (who is an academic, so there was serious research behind it) was that these women thought they had ‘chosen’ to do so, but that in reality they had been pushed out because of the inflexibility of their careers and those of their husbands. It was basically impossible for them to job share, telecommute, work part-time, etc. Now their partners were clearly also making rather a lot of money, so the financial pressures weren’t really there. But I did think it was interesting. And many of them left once their kids were out of the baby/toddler stage- they talked a lot about wanting to be there when the kids got out of school each afternoon. (It was also funny that a number of them were thinking about going into teaching, because they felt that would let you be at home when your kids got out of school…I can’t think of a single teacher I know who actually gets out the door when the bell goes!)

    So I’m really hoping that you and J. will be able to work something out that will work for your family and your situation. Everyone is different.


  10. well I am glad that there is some interest in J (of course) and that both of are talking about how you want your world to look when O starts school etc. I know that while I’d love to be home for the kids after school it might not be possible, right now our salaries are “needed” since we are doing very very very little saving.
    Daycare is so expensive, BUT it is worth it for my sanity, there is no way I could sty home right now with the boys, just NO WAY. Wrong or right I know myself enough to know that it’s the not the RIGHT or GOOD thing for us.

    I just know that you both will come to a good decision, that works for you both. You are good at that…and so I won’t worry about “if” , I’ll just hope for “when ” that decision is made. *HUGS*

  11. It would be SO great if you were both happier with your job situations AND were working less total hours. I’m keeping everything crossed.

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