I would like your opinion VERY VERY LONG

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
I would like your opinion VERY VERY LONG
13
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 3:50pm
I've lurked here for a little while and am so happy to see so many women with so many views on staying at home, working at home, etc. It has helped me somewhat but I really need to make up my mind now. So, I want to ask you if you think I should stay at home, find another job, or go back to my job, considering the circumstances I will list below. Be advised that my husband is more than willing to back me in any decision I may make.

Here goes:

I gave birth to my wonderful daughter 2 months ago. I didn't think I'd have a child this soon (I just turned 26), if ever, but I'm happy and DH seems even happier! :)

I am currently suffering from PPD (just found out this week) but know the time will come for me to return to work.

My DH and I are both police officers in a city listed as one of the top 25 most dangerous overall in the US and in the top 5 for cities our size. He works in a specialized unit within the department that puts him at an even greater risk. I HATE my job. I love being a cop, but not in THIS city. We spend too much time reacting to things that already happened than actually helping people. We also live in a city that dislikes it's officers (many of the citizens do, not all). Our department has undergone many changes in the top brass over the last few years and everyone that comes in has a different idea of what needs to be done to solve the high crime rate. We are one of the lowest paid departments in our county, yet the busiest by FAR. We, as a department, have suffered from low morale and high stress for YEARS. (sounds like most jobs though)Many citizens don't understand the laws and cause the biggest commontion anytime we try to do our jobs and then want to sue us or file complaints against us for following the laws they called us out there to enforce! I personally have never had a complaint filed against me or been sued but that was just to show you what does occur, quite frequently, at work.

DH is being sued for 2 billion dollars. YES, you read correctly, two BILLION dollars. It is a lawsuit that we haven't heard anything of in about (due to the absurdity - I can't go into details but it's really stupid and baseless (the amount is so high because the guy filed it himself from jail) and parts of it have been dropped in the couple of years since he filed it yet we haven't received word of the entire thing being dismissed. (Trust me, once it is I will let whoever is interested know the details and you'll see how much of a waste of the courts time this is)

DH makes around $70k and I make around $58K/yr. He has a 12 yr. old that HE gets support for and has physical custody of. We work ten hour days four days a week (for those of you that may have figured out where I work or who I am congratulations but I'd appreciate this remaining between us here :o) ) Our mortgage is around $1800 and we are currently paying for 2 cars and the loan for our wedding. (It was moved up when I found out baby was coming)

I recently went to visit a DC that I think is great! They let us walk in and check out every room even though we never called. They gave us the full tour, tons of info and contact names and numbers. The place was very clean,the child to teacher (or provider) ration was low (for our area - 1 to 5 for infants), the children have computers in the "classroom" at age 3, get taught numbers and things in English and Spanish, and they even have a private kindergarten. They also transport kids to school and pick them up afterwards once they reach school age. I know that this is where I will put my daughter if I decide to go back to work. It will cost me $800/month to put her there.

The problem: I hate my job (as I said before) and I REALLY want to stay at home but I don't want to give up the things we have if I'm not making money. I know it's selfish, but I can't help feeling that I want to travel with the baby and show her many parts of the world that she will be reading about in books, I want to have the money to allow her to learn to play an instrument, play a sport, discover a hobby, etc, whatever she really developes an interest in. I want to be able to buy a bigger home if I have another baby (we may start trying when she's 3), and buy it in an even better school district (we're in a very good school district now, but who can put a price on an excellent education?). I know I sound selfish, but I'm working on that.

My other problem is that I hate the idea of not working at all. Not just for the selfish reasons I listed above, but because I've always been the workaholic type and NEED to be doing something. I prefer to have an income to contribute financially to things since I supported myself (by choice) since I was 18 and don't know what it's like not to have to have to earn an income. I like the way DH and I have never had a problem w/money and all of our accounts are joint. We buy whatever we want and never have to discuss purchases, but have always chosen to talk about anything really expensive. (Ex: I bought a big screen TV for myself last year because I always wanted on and worked hard to buy it in cash, but talked over my wanting to buy a pool with him before we both set out to look for one). I didn't care about him buying new golf clubs or video games and he doesn't care about my computers or clothes purchases. We know how much we have, what we need for bills, and how much we like to keep in our accounts. (He keeps tabs on 2 accounts and I keep tabs on 2 - that's how we manage not to take everything out of the same account or bounce checks)

I feel as if staying at home would mean losing the financial independance that has been the security blanket of my life. I also feel I'd worry about money all the time - I barely scraped by when I first started out on my own and never want to feel that again if I can help it. Staying home is also driving me insane - I can't stand being here all the time (especially w/the 12 yr. old) and was out walking around, visiting family even while I was having contractions the day before I delivered! I get cabin fever when the car is snowed in during the winter or when I have to wait hours for a package or something at home. I think I NEED to get out and work at least part time but don't know what else I can do. I'd like to work at home (not that I think it's easy, but it seems like a happy medium between my desire to work and stay home) but don't know what jobs are out there that allow one to do that. I only have an Associates in Criminal Justice (still take classes) and have been working as a cop or in security jobs for the last 6 years - nothing I can do at home. I wouldn't mind working away from home but again, what can I do? I feel stuck. I want to be there for my baby and spend all the time I can with her while she's growing up yet I feel that I have to work (if not for money, for my sanity),.

One last thing - we have credit card bills (a few low ones) but also a $10k loan leftover from our wedding. If I leave now I can pay taxes on my pension and get what's left over - about $10k. I could work part time and make up the money to pay off the CC bills in a matter of months. OR I could stay at the job long enough to pay off the bills and then take the $10k and roll it into another retirement account (no need to pay taxes this way), OR keep the $10k in case we need it later.

Ok. Fire away with any questions, opinions, etc. Please bear in mind that I have been interrupted about 8 times while typing this (phone calls,baby feeding,confused DH LOL) so my thoughts may jump from here to there, spelling may not be the best, and I may have skipped somthing. Any observations, comments, suggestions, etc. are more than welcome.

Thanks a million.

- Alexa

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Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 4:08pm
I think you have a lot of options. A friend of mine was a police officer when she became pregnant. Because she didn't want both her and her DH in the field and in possible danger every day, she became a dispatcher. Still good money (at least in her area) and I think she has good hours.

You also have time to possibly adjust to being a SAHM. It's so hard to enjoy it when it's so new and you have PPD to boot. (Personally, I'm not big on infants. It's much more fun when they get a little older.)

You can also look for something part time. If your main goal is to get out of the house, you can hopefully find part time daycare and maybe even bring home some money for saving or spending.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 4:11pm
Hi Alexa!

My impression/opinion...

It looks like you've found a good daycare, your finances are stable, you're happy/comfortable with your standard of living, you enjoy working out of the home, you're not happy with the idea of not working (for several valid reasons)... I'd say you should go back to work.

However, that being said, perhaps this is a good time to think about changing departments or responsibilities at your job, to put you in a position where you'll have more positive feelings about your work?

By the way, you WILL be there for your baby while she's growing up, even if you're working out of the house...and from what I gathered from your post, you'll be a happier, more fulfilled, better mom for working...which will only stand to benefit your daughter.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 4:14pm
Alexa -- It looks like you really want to work and bring in a salary, just not at the job you are doing! Have you thought about alternate kinds of careers/jobs that use your skills? For instance, could you work in communications, the probation office, the prosecutor's office, for NCIC, any of those kinds of "support" jobs for law enforcement that might have lower salary but less stress, less risk, and more regular hours? I was a 911 operator to put myself through school many long years ago and witnessed several very successful career changes among police officers. One went into insurance investigations, one went into education (teaching at the sheriff's academy) etc.
Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 4:42pm
Since you like being a cop, but not in the city you are in, is there any way to get a job being a cop with a better department? It seems to me that it isn't working that is a problem, it's the place that you work.

Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 6:10pm
Thanks to all who have replied! I DID forget to mention something in my post - although I would have liked to go to another department before the baby was born I now hate the idea of being in such a risky job. I don't want ot double the odds of her being an orphan. I know it sounds stupid, since there's no evidence the risk is actually doubled, but DH WAS shot at twice (they were shooting in his direction,not directly at him) and almost run over by a car (purposely) all within the span of a week this last year. We also had a couple guys shot before that and a long list of broken bones and shootings involving the other guys in his unit. I've also seen some bad cases of abuse and neglect of children, as well as parents who just don't care (Who the h@ll reports a toddler missing DAYS later?!?!?!) and I think it would be too much to deal with right now. But those who posted about finding a job in another area are right - it's something I would be happier with. I just hate the idea of being away for 5 days (right now it'd only be 4) and DH's days rotate so he works different days every week (so changing jobs could mean that we're both working all day while the baby stays in DC or we're off opposite days and never see each other ;o( ). AAUUGGHH! Why does this have to be so hard?

Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 10:59pm
Without reading the other responses, here is my opinion.

Can you *survive* on the one income? Not the extras, but survive without eating the Raaman noodles every night? If the answer is yes, then give yourself a couple more months. Your still new at this, and need time to adjust. If the answer is no, move.

Removing the children from the equation, only leaves me with one thought. No one should schlep to a job they hate every day unless it was a matter of survival. You have all the time in the world to go everywhere.

And...I'll don my flame retardent undies for this one........

Unless it were a matter of survival, I would look for work I at least *liked*. I couldn't, in good conscience (sp) leave an infant with strangers to spend 8 hours doing something unless I were truly happy doing what I was doing, or as I stated, my income was needed to keep a roof over the head, lights on, ya' know, all the luxuries. ;O)

Bottom line, if your needs and or wants outweigh your need for second income, then just take and extended leave, sharpen your scissors, and start clipping coupons. :O)

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 11:07pm
:o) LOL - that's what I do! Schelp to a job I hate. I could write a country music song about it LOL!!! You're right though - why leave her with strangers so I can go see the horrors of our society, possibly get my head bashed in by some drugged up nut or worse, never make it back to see my baby grow up. No, I think it IS time to get out. Thanks to everyone for their advice. I guess I knew all along what I wanted to do but needed to know it made sense. All of you have put it in different terms, but they all made sense. Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:00am
small applause happening here for you

When I read your first post, it sounded like you really wanted to work for the personal satisfaction of doing "something" and for the money (aka: the trips). I think you can provide your dd and yourself with a lot of this sah. I volunteer a lot on behalf of children...getting info out to parents of children, providing support, etc. This may be more satisfying to you in making a difference.

And showing her about what she reads in books... My four-year-old reads a lot of books about nature. We study anthills, caught tadpoles in the pond and are watching them turn into frogs, tomorrow we are going to a petting farm to see real farm animals he sees in books.

Good luck to you.

Jill

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:42am
Jill - your post made me smile. Here I am looking at what seem like the big things - trips to other states and countries, etc. and you remind me that the big things are really those that don't seem big at all - studying anthills, catching tadpoles, etc. :o)

I went into this "time warp" mode when I read your post - I remember the trips to the state park to learn about its history (after a couple of hours on the swings of course!), trips to the zoo, running w/my dad, eating ice cream from the little mom and pop shop in my dad's childhood neighborhood.... *sniif* I realized I miss those more than I miss anything else. Those moments w/my dad mean more to me than trips to amusement parks or vacations at the shore. I can't believe I overlooked that. I REALLY owe you a BIG thank you for reminding me how meaningful those moments were - and they didn't cost a thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 11:49am
I agree with the posters who suggest changing departments. Being a dispatcher, or working in the law enforcement area in another capacity. It sounds to me like you would benefit from working, both personally and financially it would be helpful to your family with the debt and all. Also the stress on your DH of being the only provider along with that horrible lawsuit could be a huge burden for him to bear.

Finding something more enjoyable/satisfying to you, even part-time, sounds like the best solution. Take heart, figuring all of this stuff out is probably the hardest part. Once you've decided on that, everything will fall into place. Don't forget to give yourself time to adjust to whatever decision you make.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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