Making A Tough Decision: Should I Stay Home Or Go Back To Work?


For the past week or so I have really been struggling with the decision of whether or not to take this job offer. It sounds ideal, for a job! Six hours a day doing something I’d really enjoy, and  I could come and go as I please. I can bring the kids with me, and know what’s going on with them. I’d have a room right off of my office where I could set Jada up for homeschooling still. And I would make enough money to be able to pay off our mortgage in five years! Who wouldn’t take that opportunity, right?

So, I went for an interview and explained that I was prayerfully considering the position. At a second interview they told me that I am their top pick, and that if I want the job it’s mine. But, there was a catch. They learned that I would not be able to keep baby Xia in the office with me, but they were willing to spend the money to renovate the daycare to put in a nursery just so I could keep Xia there.

The thought of paying off our home in five years was my motivation. That would be so awesome! I struggled with a decision though. There were so many “cons” to consider, and only the one “pro”- the money. Were all of those cons worth that one pro? I decided to elicit advice from those around me.

I gave them my pros and cons:

Pro:

Paying off our house in 5 yrs.

Cons:

  • The kids will be exposed to more viruses, and get sick more often. (My kids are prone to ear infections. When Jada was in daycare with me she had chronic ear infections. She almost had to have tubes in her ears, but once I quit and started staying home she never had another ear infection again. Xia has already had one.)
  • I get sick more often when working in daycare.
  • I will have to leave Xia in the nursery.
  • It will be really hard on Titus for me to leave him for the first few weeks.
  • I will most likely work many Saturdays, evenings, and at home. I know I will.
  • I won’t have as much time to garden and homestead.
  • In two years when Titus is too old for daycare, I’ll have to decide how I’m gonna homeschool them both. Don’t know how that will work out.
  • I’ll also have to be in charge of the Sunday school ministry; they want someone who will be involved in both ministries.
  • As Xia gets older, I won’t be able to give her the time, attention, and teaching that I’ve given the other two cause she’ll have to be in a class.
  • I’d like to have another baby in the next couple of years. It will be even harder for me to do the job with four babies!
  • I’ll have to buy a new wardrobe. Right now I have like one or two suitable outfits.
  • The housework may or may not get the attention it needs.

So, lots of reasons NOT to take the job. Yet, I still struggled with the temptation. One statement from a friend that really stood out was:

“I like the idea about when a person passes on they think about what all they did in their life… a person will rarely if ever say that they wish they worked more & paid off the house vs. spending more time with the kids.”

That is so true. My sister also made a good point when she told me that right now my kids are thriving, because it is my passion to teach. If I take the job, I will be giving that passion to everybody else, and taking it from my kids. I hadn’t thought of it like that.

I had prayed for peace making a decision, and I just couldn’t get peace. I prayed that when I visited the daycare I would just know if it was the right thing to do. I didn’t get that feeling. Was that my answer?

Yet I kept thinking, What if the Lord has opened this door because Jerry will be losing his job soon, and we will need my income? What if the economy is going to get really bad, and we will have a hard time making ends meet? I don’t want to lose our home. I don’t want to miss an opportunity and later regret it.

And then I realized, I was making a decision out of fear. Fear of the unknown. And I know that fear is not of the Lord. It is unwise to make decisions based on fear.

I have driven my poor husband nuts about this thing, going over the pros and cons. Finally the other night he said, “Kendra, don’t take the job. I don’t want you to. You won’t be happy.” And that was that. I knew he was right. I guess I just needed to hear it from him.

So, I’ve decided to let this one pass. It could have been a wonderful opportunity at another time in my life, but not now. Now is for my children. Other opportunities will present themselves in the future. I am happy where I am in life right now. My kids are happy. And I am at peace with my decision.


Kendra
About Kendra 1104 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

18 Comments

  1. I am so happy for you that you decided to stay home!! I am also really happy for your children!! They will benefit more than you can believe even if you make less $$!! Take it from a mom of 6, ages 24 to 8. Also, it sounds to me like God was already working on your finances if your payoff on your mortgage wasn’t really long. Your home will be more peaceful because of it. You are right, if you took the job your homestead and homemaking skills just stop. There are only 24 hours in a day. God Bless!

  2. I think we prayed you out of a job! I know that was tough. I have been in your shoes. When I left my job, I wasn’t sure how we would pay the bills. What is funny is that we are living the exact same way as when I worked. The money I spent is now being saved with more time consuming tasks but I am spending that time with my children. I worked for my church and it never seemed I had a day off. I was constantly discussing things with parents and being “volunteered” to do so much. I even spent Sundays after church being bombarded with everyones’ opinions of how to improve things. It was so hard to guard my family time. If you feel at peace then you made the right choice.

  3. I’ve also been watching to see what decision you made. I’m glad you came to the decision that was right for you & your family. I’m in a bit of the opposite situation. I’m a work-outside-the-home mom with a daughter in daycare. It’s so amazing to me how every situation is different. In my situation, I feel like my daughter gets more out of daycare than I can give her just by myself. She is super social, and she has just thrived in so many ways. Loves a schedule, loves learning, exploring, etc. We’ve just found out we are expecting #2, and we’ve got a lot of decisions to make. The daycare that we love is completely dependent on me keeping my job where I’m at, and I’m completely aware that every daycare is NOT the same. We’ve contemplated if I might should stay home with both kids, but I’m not sure it’s the right solution for us. We are prayerfully considering what direction we should take, and know that God will help us reach it. I love your blog and seeing a little glimpse into you & your family. ((Hugs))

  4. Good for you! I realized (after reading about the Israelites in the wilderness) this past summer how fear is displeasing to God, when it’s fear and not faith in Him. Fear was motivating my actions (life) and I realized that my fear was the opposite of having complete faith and trust in God.

  5. Speaking as a parent that went back to work, after my kids were old enough for school (my husband did not want me to homeschool)…I really wish I had stayed at home or could come back home now. Once you go into the job market, it is 10 times harder to leave again. God did called you to teach…to teach YOUR children in the way they should go. Also, we live on 5 acres & there NEVER is enough time in the summer to “can” our garden or enjoy the day without having the chores to do. I think my kids miss that alot!

    Enjoy your time with them…there will be time to go to work when they are grown.

  6. I think that is a wise decision! Especially when you put it that way, with all the one pro and all the cons. It is easily to be tempted with money like that, it happens to us all.

  7. I am so glad you didn’t take the job, Kendra. I have to work part-time nights and it KILLS me. I only have one child, but still it creates tension in our relationship since I have to get everything done during the day so my husband doesnt have to do so much housework when he gets home. Then that creates MORE tension when he’s not able to do work at home – stuf that just absolutely can not get done. We never see each other and we’re always exhausted. If I was able to stay at home like you and have *enough* I would in a heart beat. You are a very lucky girl and I am very proud that you said no.

  8. Great decision. I know how tempting it is when you consider how quickly you can pay off the house – if I went back to work I would pay it off in 3 years – but when you consider all your children will miss out on, it’s not worth it. You definitely won’t regret this choice you’ve made in the long run.

  9. I think you made a wise decision. My mom 27 years ago was also faced with almost the exact same situation. She took the job and at 10 months of age I was put in the day care next door. After that it escalated and she was promoted and it just kept getting harder and harder for her to decide to leave, which she did not. We were not that close while I was growing up. My mom was always stressed out because of the responsibities at work and she would take it out on us at home. I’m sure your family will be much happier.

  10. I do the same thing as Jessica said she does. When trying to make a decision, if the answer I keep coming up with is “I don’t know,” then, for me, that means the answer is “No,” at least at this time. I always feel that if the answer is supposed to be “Yes,” I would have a firm conviction of that in my heart, not a heart and mind filled with un-decisiveness and a wondering if I should make the decision based on “what-ifs” (basically, fear, like you said, Kendra). I think your sister is right–your kids are thriving because of what you give them. And while others would benefit from your talents and skills, they can also benefit from the skills of another teacher, whereas you are the only mom your kids have. I was so hoping and praying this is the decision you would make. And I think that the fact that you said you are at peace truly lets you know you’ve done the right thing. 🙂

  11. I’m so happy to hear that you will be staying home with your babes…I cannot imagine how hard of a decision that was for you. I would LOVE to be able to pay off our debt like that too.
    I know God will reward you…maybe not paying off your home faster, but through your kids growth for the Lord or something eternal!
    Blessings.

  12. I think you made the right decision. You will never regret staying home and spending time with your kids. Ever. I was blessed to be able to stay home with mine for a time also and it was the best decision we ever made. And our children are the better for it. Good job…xoxoxo

  13. I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD DEAL, UNTIL i READ YOUR LIST OF CONS, YOURE RIGHT TO DECIDE AGAINST IT. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL MINISTRY WOULD BE EXTRA WORK, PLUS TRYING TO HOMESCHOOL FROM THAT WORK SITIUATION WOULDENT REALLY BE EASY.

  14. I had been wondering if you took the job. I think you made the right decision too. I am going to share with you a silly saying. What is funny about it is that it is supposed to be used for throwing away leftovers in the fridge, but I use it in other instances also. “WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT” When I have a hard decision to make and have been praying and praying,and dont think I have an answer, I somehow think of that saying and it works..lol. If I have any doubt about the situation, I throw the idea away. For instance, we (mainly me) have been struggling with the idea to move into a housing development with a rent to own home and give up our little home we are renting. The pros are almost equal to the cons. Bigger home, bigger rent…etc. I finally looked at the overall picture and applied that saying…if I am having doubt about possibly moving, why move? I think it was because I am really wanting a house of our own and, in time, we will have one again, but right now isnt the time. As soon as I applied that saying (along with another prayer), the answer was clear, stay put until the perfect arrangement comes to us. Maybe you can apply it in your life too….and not just for leftovers…hee hee.

  15. I haven’t been so relieved to hear something in a LONG time. And considering I don’t know you and haven’t been reading you long, that’s amazing. I saw this as a test of your faith, and have the strong feeling that you passed… in more ways than one.

  16. Good job Mama! I am confident that you made the right decision. Albeit the harder choice but the one you are called to! You WON’T regret staying home. I promise you. Celebrating with you!

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