Monday, April 27, 2009

Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul. ~Henry David Thoreau

I've been thinking a lot about money this weekend. It has become the reason that I have contemplated and thought and worried and decided and undecided and rethought and reconsidered over and over this weekend to come to a final decision about what to do about work. I will soon be a part-time, 4-day work week employee with permanent 3-day weekends, paying for a 5th day of daycare that I don't need, and I am perfectly ok with this decision.
That feels so good.
So this weekend was full of all of this thinking I was talking about, and I went through a few scenarios before coming to the one I just mentioned. I think I mentioned one of the things I hate is that I don't have time to clean the house. So N suggested we hire someone to clean. This was met with immediate defense (from me) because I am the house cleaner! Why would I ever pay anyone to clean my house for me? That is MY JOB, along with all of the other jobs I have given myself since becoming a wife and a mom. So this idea spent some time in my mind and I started to entertain the idea. I spoke to my mom, who said that she and my dad had someone clean their house when we were little, something she also struggled with. She also felt that it was something she should be able to do. She said it was my dad who said that it was not failure on my mom's part, but rather a decision about how they wanted to spend their time. They would rather spend their free weekend time with their kids than cleaning the house. So then I realized that I have all of these expectations of myself, that I can no longer live up to. So then I thought about working a 4-day week every other week and hiring someone to clean the house. This was actually my final decision when I left for work this morning, which all changed when I turned my back to his room at daycare, and took that deep breath as I walked down the hall toward my car wishing I never had to leave him. If you remember, this was something I mentioned about my schedule, and it happens every single day. With all the talk about the house cleaning, I lost the main point of being off that extra be with my baby!
It was easy to talk myself into thinking I really didn't need an extra day every week when I had my beautiful baby right next to me, but as soon as I walked away from him, that feeling came back, and I can't deny it. Money is important, but not as important as this special time that I will never get back. We are in a position where we can afford it, so why not enjoy that and take advantage? I was talking with some ladies at my friend's wedding shower this weekend who's children are my age about what it was like for them to return to work after having their kids. It was refreshing to be reminded that every working woman goes through this. One woman said that she went back to work after her first baby and struggled daily about the decision. So much so that she stayed home with her youngest for 4 years, and never regrets that decision for a minute. Regret. I know I will never look back and regret taking that extra day with BBZ, but I very well could regret not taking that extra day.
So there it is. I plan to still send BBZ to school for either a full day or a 1/2 day when I am off so I can do the deep cleaning that this house needs. So I remain that cleaning lady of our house! That way I can take advantage of that day still being his at school and maybe have a little time to myself. I actually used to like cleaning when it didn't take me away from BBZ, so maybe that will be some very useful me time! I also hope to improve the way I cook for my family and maybe even plan meals! Oh the possibilities!
I have to sneak a picture in of the beautiful reason I am making this difficult decision. How can this be hard? Look how precious he is!