On Money & Motherhood

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It’s that time of year again- tax time. My W-2s for 2010 were pretty pathetic. Compared to just two years ago, I’m making pennies. Of course I love my two part time jobs and feel completely blessed by having a little money of my own, but my income is a far cry from what it was when I was working full time (naturally). While I wouldn’t trade anything for being able to stay home with Hannah, it can be kind of a blow to the ego to see how little money I’m making these days.

Just this past summer, I was really struggling with the working vs. staying home dilemma. It seemed everyone expected that I would go back to work after having Hannah and the pressure was beginning to get to me. (Now that Dos is on his/her way people have stopped asking when I’m going back to work, which has been really nice.) The idea that going back to work was a given somewhat irked me. I felt compelled to defend myself and my decision to stay at home with my itty bitty daughter. Since then I’ve come to a few conclusions about working outside the home and my subsequent financial situation because of it.

For the next few years, I will simply not have the discretionary income I once did. I've come to accept that. I won’t buy new clothes whenever I feel like it, and I will think twice about pretty much every purchase I make. And coupons, oh coupons, I will probably never buy anything without them. I will scrimp and save. But perhaps more than the money, I won’t have the professional prestige I once did (or deluded myself into thinking I had). It’s as simple as that. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

The bottom line, for me, is that my babies will only be babies for a little while. Soon enough and probably long before I’m ready, they’ll be grown. And when that time comes, I can go back to work. The lucrative jobs, the prestige of a career will all still be there. When the time comes, I can go back to getting a Starbucks every morning and wearing my fancy work clothes and relish in the worldly esteem of being a professional woman.

But better yet, I’ll be content knowing that I didn’t miss anything while my babies were growing. I was there for the first steps, the first words, the cuddles and the kisses. I was there to teach and to guide and to help grow my children into healthy, happy adults. And that is something W-2 forms will never be able to put a dollar value on.

1 comment:

  1. oh man this post is timely! I am reading "In Praise of Stay at Home Moms" by Dr Laura, and each time I pick it up I think of you, for some reason!

    I am going to email you more....


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