Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Last Day

I had the perfect job - for someone else.

Everyday, I spent 2 hours (1 hour each way) commuting. Not only was my commute getting more and more expensive, on a typical day, I spent more time in the car than I did with my 17 month daughter.

My employer was flexible with me, which was good, but the price was that I sometimes had to work from home. Everything has a price. And I guess my life is the rule more than the exception for Mom’s in the corporate world.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the way I wanted to live my life. Once I calculated what I was spending to work - the commuting costs, the daycare costs, and the taxes, I wasn’t really bringing in that much money.

On June 18, I made the difficult decision to resign. My last day is today, July 2.

I wouldn’t recommend my decision to everyone. Here are the factors that made my decision:

  1. My husband and I have decent savings besides our retirement accounts to act as a cushion.
  2. Our mortgage was already low, and we recently refinanced it, bringing it down to $660 a month - cheaper than most rents.
  3. I wasn’t even grossing 50K annually (before all work expenses). This made my work expenses, not to mention the demands of my job less worth it in my mind.
  4. I wasn’t the only one getting stressed over my job. My husband was getting stressed and said to me, “If you want to be a stay at home Mom for a while, I support that.”

For all of my good intentions, I do have fears, and I don’t want to have any illusions that my life will get easier. My life, in fact, could get harder. But if the rewards are greater, if not financially, then personally, than I can live with that.

I have fears however. I don’t want to squander our savings. I understand the beauty of compounding interest. I still hope to find a legitimate part-time work from home opportunity, so I can continue to add to my retirement account, spare our savings, and maintain my professional skills, but I anticipate that will be difficult.

With my fears in mind, I have one motto: Thou shall not squander my time.

To that end, I plan to approach my responsibilities as a Mom, and my responsibilities in my home with the same organization I applied to my job. My plan:

1. I will continue to get up at 4:30 every morning, except for the weekends, as though I was going to work.

2. I have developed a plan for my first 3 weeks after my job:

Week One - July 7 - 11 - Make My House a Home
I gave my daycare person more notice than my job, making next week the last week my daughter is in daycare. My reason for this is that I want to spend the time making my house a home. My house has been sorely neglected.

Week Two - July 15-18 - Create An At Home Routine for My Daughter and Me My week “off.” As I say with sarcasm since I will be watching a 17 month old. I want to spend this week creating a flexible daily and weekly routine for my daughter. One of the benefits of daycare was that my daughter had a routine, and I want to maintain a routine for her. I also want to spend this week creating a daily routine for maintaining my home, and managing our finances.

Week Three - July 21-25 - Investigate Work At Home Options
I have some ideas floating around in my head. When my daughter is sleeping, I plan to document these ideas, and for each idea ask myself: How much will it cost? Can I work around Rob and Fiona’s schedules? What is the earning potential? What are my hopes for this job? What are my fears? The plan is to determine which path to take.

Hopefully with a plan in place, I can make the most of my time.


Swistle said...

You were so smart to manage the daycare thing like that! It'll be perfect to have a transition week.

Frazzled Mom said...

Thanks Swisle! I am getting unused vacation pay, and therefore I didn't feel bad paying the the extra week.