I’ve just got to get this out

Oh dear. I haven’t blogged again in over a week. I’m not even going to call them blogging breaks anymore. I’m just going to call it what it is. Exhaustion. My blog is just one.more.thing I have to worry about. I have to update it for everyone to see! But no, I really don’t. That’s me forcing myself to do something that I just plain don’t feel like doing right now.

The truth is – I am very overwhelmed. I’m not unhappy or anything. I’ll just tell you what happened.

I finally told my boss a few weeks ago that I’m expecting a baby in January. She was very nice and congratulated me. She asked if I was coming back and I said, yes, at this point I’ll be coming back.

Then I asked her about the maternity leave policy. Since I had never really expected to be pregnant again I didn’t really even look into it. Unfortunately, FMLA is not a given here because we don’t have 50 employees. So I asked her again, how much time will I get.

Apparently we get short term disability and the norm for a vaginal delivery is six weeks. And that’s pretty much when I shut down. I suddenly had a huge lump in my throat. I had to politely end the conversation because I was about a minute from a nervous breakdown.

Six weeks. SIX WEEKS?! I can’t do it, guys. I know women are forced to do this every damn day because the United States can’t get it together when it comes to parental leave policies. But no. I just cannot leave my six-week-old baby girl at a daycare.

Not to mention the fact that I don’t even make that much money after paying for daycare and gas money for my ridiculous commute. The way I see it, it’s not even worth making the drive every morning. Stressing myself out to get three kids to daycare and getting a measly little amount of money after writing a check to the daycare center.

I just can’t. My mom says I’ll help! But the thing is – I don’t want help. It is SUPPOSED to be my responsibility. I am bringing this fragile little baby into the world and my body is supposed to be there to nourish her and protect her and love her. Not someone else.

I went back to work when Brigham was only 8-weeks-old. That was bad enough. I cried multiple times a day. There was nowhere for me to pump. I was stressed out and sick all the damn time.

I cannot do it.

I’m trying not to think about the future. I’m trying not to think about six weeks being over in the blink of an eye and handing my baby girl off to someone else. I try to think about focusing at work when all I want to do is be with my babies. This is basically awful. And I won’t be forced to be ripped apart from my baby when she needs me the most.

Therefore, I have to come up with a plan. At this time, I don’t have a good one. It’s driving me crazy that I don’t have a good one.

I find myself being incredibly jealous of stay-at-home-moms. I find myself reading blogs of stay-at-home-moms wondering how they make it on one salary in today’s economy. I find myself being enraged because of the financial decisions we have made that make it impossible for me to quit my job.

I just don’t understand how to make this better. I don’t understand how I’m ever going to be able to quit my job and stay home with this new baby and still pay all our bills. We are in a much better place than we were two years ago. But the student loans are too much. Our mortgage is too much. We both work a lot to be able to afford our bills and all the extras it takes to raise two growing boys.

But the fact remains that I need a steady income. There is the possibility of going to part-time someplace else? But that can’t fall into place until after I’ve had the baby, which leaves me feeling anxious.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m complaining and being negative. I just had to get this all out. It’s like I could not continue blogging until I purged my thoughts on how bad this sucks.  The truth is I just don’t want the added pressure of work as we transition to a family of five. I want to focus on my children and staying sane. I don’t believe I will be a very good mom if I have to come back to work full-time when my baby girl is only 6-weeks-old.

Cry with me? Help me? Any ideas?

I’m at a loss.

Comments

  1. Jill says

    How much sick/vacation time do you have and how much can you accrue by then? Be certain that you ask questions about your STD policy…in my situation I had to use all of my sick/vaca time before STD would kick in and by the policy I actually got NO STD benefits because my vaca/sick time was just about 6 weeks (the standard time that would have been covered by STD)…sorry you are having to stress about this :( it was the worst realization ever when I figured out that I would yet again have to go back to work at 8 weeks with my second (I took 2 weeks unpaid).

  2. Jenna S says

    Big hugs!!! I totally understand what you are feeling! I also have to work and leave my two littles at home every day. Thankfully my mom recently retired and watches my kids 3 days a week and then they go to an in-home daycare the other two days. But it’s just not the same as you being home with them. I remember hitting this point of my last pregnancy where I felt the exact same way. It’s SO hard to pass your newborn baby off to anyone when all you want is to be there for them. I hope something works out for you! I went back to work both times at 8 weeks and that is just not long enough to be off with them! The weekends can’t get here fast enough and they always pass too quickly. Makes me so sad every week!

  3. Jenna S says

    Also…I do not qualify for FMLA so I had to take my 3 weeks of vacation and 1 week of sick pay and then took 4 weeks unpaid both times. They have to give you 12 weeks off, right?? Just not with any pay….hopefully!!

  4. says

    Oh Molly I can empathize with all of this. Childcare has been my biggest stressor as a mom. The thing that has helped the most was going part-time. I dropped Fridays after Dane was born, so worked 32 hours per week, after Q was born I stayed at 4 days per week but work 6.5 hours days instead of 8. I too have a long commute, especially since I drop the kids off at different places. Last month I actually paid more in child care than I got paid, but that is only because there was five Wednesdays in the month instead of four. I am so glad I came back though, because suddenly I am getting a promotion that will make things so much easier on us financially (and I get to stay at 26 hours/week). If your mom is someone who you wouldn’t mind watching at lease baby girl, go for it. Even is it is just for a month or two until you start feeling a little less “I just pushed a watermelon out of my body”, having her with someone you trust fully is so much easier than with total strangers. It’s good that you are trying to figure all this out now. With both kids I waited until after I had them before I actually started looking for childcare (think I was in denial much?)
    Kiara Buechler recently posted..Almost 6 Months Down, 6 More to Go

  5. says

    Molly – PRAY. There is SO much time to figure out a plan. I think it’s awful how your maternity/parental leave is in the States, my heart breaks every time I see a mama leaving her baby so soon when we get 12 months in Canada. BUT there is nothing that you can do to change that before baby, so just give your anxiety to Him and take the help. If your mom (or anyone) wants to help, let them. That’s what they’re here for. Just because we have 1, 2…10 kids doesn’t mean it’s a “sentence” that we have to do it all on our own. Praying for you, it will all come together!
    Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] recently posted..Catch the Moment – August

  6. says

    I know how hard it is, trying to juggle work and family and bills… Ugh, I am right there with you! Definitely pray or meditate on the problem. Write out crazy ideas on a piece of paper – because somewhere hidden on that list will be something with a shred of a realistic plan. Maybe you can find an alternate work schedule, or work at home part of the week or some combo of that. Our unexpected third baby (due March) will not go to daycare like our other two, as we worked out a compromise with our works and everything so I can work at home 3 days a week. It’s saving on the daycare bill, as well as my sanity (ha! maybe not!) and our lifestyle. It’ll be hard, but that’s life.

    I’m sure you’ll find a way to make your family work with everything. And in the end, your beautiful little girl and your whole family of five will be worth whatever has to happen. HUGS!!
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..July

  7. says

    I’m so sorry, Molly. I can’t imagine. I put my baby in the nursery at church for about 20 minutes the other day, and that was a big step for me. He’s 9 months old. (You remind me how blessed I am.) My husband does all the working outside the home and all the bill paying. I’m not always sure how it works, but I know we don’t have any debt other than two mortgages (one covered by renters). My husband has many creative solutions for spending less. We have (free) Internet home phone and prepaid cellular phones through Page Plus Cellular. We shop grocery sales. Our oldest wears hand-me-downs from bigger cousins. I buy clothing for the little children and myself primarily at Good Will. Their toys come almost exclusively from yard sales. I could go on and on, but Dave Ramsay would say there are two big considerations: what comes in and what goes out. If your take-home after childcare and gas will be little to nothing, can you find a way to make that same amount at home? Freelance writing? Sales in the evenings? (Pampered Chef? 31?) And where can you cut expenses? I’ll be praying for you guys; I really will. Try not to stress; try to stay clear-headed so you can figure it all out.
    Brandee recently posted..Family Vacation 2013: East Tennessee

  8. says

    Hey Molly. Big hugs. I went through this when I got pregnant with Emmett. So. Much. Heartbreak.

    Here’s what we did (you might not care, but here it is anyway)

    1. Sit down and figure out daycare costs vs losing your income. I would have been making about 1K more than daycare.
    2. For us, we then pondered if that 1K (so basically I’d be working for 12K take home) was worth it. Can we reduce our bills to make it work without my income.
    3. We cut so many things. Cable, home phone, drastically cut our eating out down, cut my book buying budget, severely shrunk what we buy at the store, etc.

    It’s tough, but for us, it was the right decision. Working with Brett’s schedule and two kids would have sucked the life from me. It almost did with Sammie, and imagining another kid on my mornings just gave me hives thinking about it.

    Hugs momma!
    Jennie recently posted..WriteOnCon 2013

  9. says

    Many hugs to you. I wish I had a wonderful answer that would solve all your problems. When our second was born we had to switch to an in-home daycare for cost reasons. It was a hard decision to make, but it’s ended up working out relatively well and has saved us a lot of money (relatively speaking, of course). Childcare is a huge, stressful challenge for working families. Keep talking about it and putting ideas on the table. You never know where the answer may come from.
    Laura recently posted..Shelby Snapshot: 40+ Months Old

  10. says

    Hugs to you. I honestly know that I couldn’t do it– and I am thankful I don’t have to. The down side for us is that Brandon has to work extra so I don’t have to, and unfortunately, that sometimes causes issues in our marriage. It’s never going to be easy and you will always second guess your choices as a mom, but you have to go with your gut. Pray. Things will work out the way they are supposed to. Sending love and hugs!
    Julie S. recently posted..Birthday Wish List

  11. erin says

    I know its really regional, but for me daycare is really expensive for multiple kids. Can you find a mommy sitter to watch B and baby girl? Like someone who wants to stay home with their kids and watch another kid or two for extra money. Or can you become one of those moms yourself? Does your area do nanny shares?

    It’s so hard, but something will work out, it always does. Don’t stress now, there is still lots of time!

  12. says

    This fear is why we haven’t had children yet. Approaching 30, married 7 years, and everyone keeps asking us when we’ll have babies. It’s so hard to keep a smile on our faces and come up with a non-bitter sounding answer. (Student loans, working too many hours and still not having any extra to save). Six weeks isn’t enough time. Twelve weeks isn’t enough time. I don’t know how so many people do it, in either way: how they’re able to afford to stay home, or how they cope with not staying home. It’s terrible, and when you’re already stressed with having a brand new baby depending on you, then there’s also this to worry about? It’s expecting a lot. I hope you find a good plan that works for you, but at least you’ll know you’re not alone in your feelings.
    Amanda recently posted..Camp Nano experience

  13. says

    I don’t know how, but I can promise you it WILL work out, somehow! I can just about guarantee that I’d still be working FT if it wasn’t for me unexpectedly losing my job. I would have never been able to trust The Lord enough that we’d survive, and I can guarantee I’d still be miserable working away from my babies!

    Know that HE has you in the palm of His hands! Hugs!!
    Megan recently posted..Latest and greatest.

  14. Melissa says

    Have you looked into finding a job that you can work from home? I know there are some medical billing jobs that let you work from home. Everything will work out, it may not be an easy transition but we are all here for you guys with any help we can offer!

  15. says

    I’m right here crying with you. I am also in the same boat ~ would love to be a stay at home mom but cannot afford to do so. I’m about to return to work next week. My little girl will be 10 weeks old. I had 8 weeks off work (c-section) and used saved up vacation for the last 2. ITS NOT FAIR. Returning to works so early is not easy for the mom or the baby. Neither are ready. But what can we do? We can bond together and complain, but then drag our feet to work the next day. Know that your sweet new baby will be okay. She will still love you. Remind yourself of the benefits of daycare and working. You’ll show your daughter you are independent, and successful. That women can do it all. She’ll be proud of you. You’ll treasure the time you are with her so much more. You can do it! Just keep a box of tissues by your side.

  16. says

    Agree with the others—can you supplement those 6 weeks with PTO/vacation/or even unpaid time off for a few weeks?

    It will work out! It always does. I vote for finding something part time as soon as possible….why does it have to wait until after baby is here? Love my part time schedule, and wish you could find something that lets you have more of a balance. Agree that going back full time at 6 weeks sounds absolutely DREADFUL. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
    julia recently posted..Aug 8: Four Generations

  17. Lindsay says

    I feel for you. When I had my twins, I took 11 weeks unpaid time. The ONLY thing that got us through was I got a car accident settlement the week they were born. I wish I had taken the other week we’re required by law to have available, leaving my boys at 11 weeks (with my sister who we paid) was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’ll pray that everything works out for you.
    Lindsay recently posted..Excited. Not Excited.

  18. Tamara Banning says

    Molly when our girls were little,I babysat other children in our home,so I could stay home with our girls. I know babysitting can also be a little stressful,but it is something to think about. You are a wonderful mother and I know whatever decision you make will be the right one you and your family.

  19. says

    I’m sorry you’re feeling so sad about this. Can you take the other six weeks unpaid? I worry about my new job and maternity leave #3… to me, that 10 or 12 weeks with my new baby is a non-negotiable, even if I have to take it all unpaid!!! I can’t imagine they’d want to lose you, so hopefully they’d just let you take it unpaid? Then you save like crazy for the next five months so you can do it! Going back is still sad, but you’re right that having to go back at six or eight weeks would make it so much worse – I can’t imagine it! Good luck.

  20. Sara says

    Like others, I’d recommend asking for some unpaid leave (or maybe some flex work-from-home schedule for awhile). It might at least buy you some time to figure out whether it’s worth keeping your job (financially or emotionally). Six months after we bought our house (which we knew needed two incomes to keep), my new job turned toxic. I had to quit, and my self esteem was crushed to the point where I couldn’t dust myself off and get another job. So, I returned to being a stay-at-home mom. We did what a previous commenter suggested. Cut out all the extras–no cable (Netflix or Hulu are perfectly fine for $7/month), shopped around our cell phone providers, cut way down on eating out, use the library more, etc. Since you mention student loans, another suggestion is to look at whether you can get a forbearance (due to unemployment). If things really stat to get tight, the forbearance gives you some time to figure things out (though interest continues to accrue, so it’s pretty much kicking the can down the road). Good luck-I’m sure it will all work out for you! (By the way, just discovered your blog and I’m loving it.)

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