Wondering if I should come home ....

D - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am the mother of a 14 year old boy and 12 year old girl, working mother, student, and wife. My job communte had increased from 45 minutes total to 2 1/1 hours daily since my organization has relocated. I work for a large company that provides great benefits and pay for my line of work. My husband, after enduring 2 layoffs in the last 10 years has returned to work in a contract position with an very good salary.
With all that said, in addition to my drive and very taxing days at work I am 15 credits away from completing my degree. Well, I realize that I am fortunate in these tough financial times to be gainfully employed but with the onset of the teenage years and no family around to help after school and provide supervision, I am feeling like it is time for me to come home for awhile to support and guide my children through this time. I know that I can not stand in the way of them growing up but I am noticing some major changes in my daughter and sense that she needs more hands on guidance through this time. She is a curious kid and it really starting to push the envelope. My dilemma is my financial fears since my husbands position is on a contract for 2 years - that can change at anytime, the loss of income which will change some plans (ie travel, fixing up the house) and re-entering the workforce. Anybody made a transistion like this? I know that I can not get this time back with my kids, 1/2 the time they act like I am not around since their social lives have taken off, but I feel the need to be around. There is so much out there now and I think I need to be home to protect and maintain awareness of what is going on ... Thoughts?

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Dina - posted on 06/06/2010

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How about sit down with your children and ask for their help? But explaining to them the dilemna you are in, trying to balance work and family and school? You can start letting them understand the situation you are in and ask them to help you out. Make them understand that you cant do these things alone and you needed their help to ease out your worry? Ask them how they feel if for some reason you decided to be with them but in return you have to quit your job but as a result, income & benefits will be lost and affects your financial situation...see what they think about that? And if they think that is a bad decision, then ask them for help by telling them your fears about not the "being there" mom. tell them you need their assurance that they are being a responsible kids to themselves while you are out there doing your job. That is all the need you are asking them to help! Mature teenagers who can look after themselves even if their parents are busy earning a living..besides this kind of responsibility will enable them to feel involved in decision making in their own family! And hopefully, it will build their self confidence that they are doing something for the common good of the whole family.

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Angie - posted on 06/07/2010

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Yes. I am a single mom of 2 children 12 and 16. I am so grateful to have a job that I can support my family on BUT ...self fulfillment in the few moments that I have not working when the kids are at home seems out of place. If I could trade this treadmill for time in my home available to my children, I would in a heart beat. I know they are learning other valuable lessons in life due to our circumstance, but nothing can replace time. Chances are you can resume all of those things including home repairs when they are gone. Even if you can't, you still lose the time. What's it worth? Good luck.

Jane - posted on 06/06/2010

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Does your job allow you to work from home? I'm so grateful that I work for a company that allows me to work from home, some or even all of the time. This allows me to be home when my son gets home from school (my daughter is in college out of state but I was working from home with her too during her teen years). I haven't always had this benefit although I've worked for the same company for 27 years but as technology changed, the way I worked changed as well and the company actually encourages work at home for the type of job I do. You might want to check that out. Also, while I realize you are so close to finishing your degree, you can do all of it online these days....no need to go into a classroom any longer. So you might want to look into that. I'd be cautious on giving up a secure job in today's economy but you know your situation best. I will keep you in my thoughts during this difficult decision!

Tina - posted on 06/06/2010

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Thats hard to make a decision like that. I know I always complain that I dont get enough time with my kids, but I couldn't give up my job either. Maybe starting out with a family day once a week. Pizza and Movie night or something like that or go out together. Maybe you can cut back on your work hours where you can still work and keep your job, but also have more time with your kids. Give it a trial period before you do something so drastic just to see how it work. If it does then good luck to ya and I hope for the best.

Georgette - posted on 06/06/2010

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This is a tough one!!! I am a stay at home mom. I live off welfare with no man in home. I have 4 kids (2 teen boys 2 elem 1girl 1 boy) and they are a job alone, payment is tears of joy when recieving awards,good grades,active in school and positive intrest BUT downfall are tears of financial struggles which causes kids to also stress,rebel and yes steal which can hurt them on college apps. So see it really is hard to suggest anything but PRAYER and reality of the world. What you do teaches your kids if they want to be like you or why they don't.

Louise - posted on 06/05/2010

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This is a tough one, if you do give up work you do realise that your children are teenagers and to be honest they are never in. I have two teenagers and I only see them at dinner time and then they disappear again. I am an at home mum but my kids still find time to chat even if it is when I am in bed and about to fall asleep! Just don't put your life on hold for your teenagers they wont appreciate it! I can understand what you are saying about your daughter but do you really feel being an at home mum is the solution. My suggestion to you would be have a girls night once a month where you and your daughter do something nice together like have your nails done or go for a meal and the cinema. Something that will break down the barriers and get your daughter to open up to talk to you.

If you want to give up work then do so but please go into it with your eyes open teenagers like to hang out with their friends and not mum any more. That time has gone.

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Trust your instincts. Maybe you can take a break from getting your degree so you can be around more. Make a date with your kids individually where you maybe go out to eat and just talk. Keep telling your daughter that she can talk to you at anytime. HTH

Gloryanne - posted on 06/05/2010

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No one on their deathbed says "i wish I spent more time at work". It's funny because when you have a baby I think a lot of moms wish they could stay home until the child goes to school. Having two teenage sons, I know that if I could stay home, now is the time. Even though they are not physically home alot, they need to know that you are there for them, asking questions, and just supporting them.
Financially, you need to see what your budget can handle. There is something to be said to living well inside your means. Also, your kids are old enough to do things in the neighborhood such as babysitting, etc so that they can start buying things or paying for their own entertainment. That should help the budget a little bit.
I applaud you for going back to school and if I were you, that is the one thing I would try to keep. You may also want to look at different ways to finish your degree - maybe an accelerated program or taking on-line classes. This way, you will be home more.
Just some thoughts - hope it helps!

Tina - posted on 06/04/2010

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I can't tell you to quit your job and stay home bc I have always been home with my kids and now my granddaughters. I will say this, things are a lot different than when we were kids. And even if your kids seem like they don't see you when your there they do.I tried to go to work one time and it was only a block away and you would've thought I was going across country. Kids like to have their mom around and if you were there more your relationship would become even stronger than it is.I don't know what kind of job you have but have you ever thought about a job share? Good luck! One more thing, I know that everyone needs money, money makes the world go around. you could always adjust your budget/way of living (cut back). Money doesn't truly make people happy, family does!

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