Struggling with Decision

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Registered: 07-31-2004
Struggling with Decision
Sat, 06-30-2007 - 10:14am

Quick Intro: DD 19 month old; DH 37 y.o; me: 34 y.o. DH is an attorney. I worked as a Clinical Social Worker until I was six months preg. when the agency I worked for closed. Plan initially was for me to go back to work when DD was about a year. I love staying home with DD and hate the thought of trying to juggle working full time with being a patient, understanding mom that is not exhausted all the time. Many individuals successfully do both but I have many OCD characteristics and it will be difficult for me. Also, the state I live in has been going through MAJOR mental health reform for several years now and finding a stable Clinical SW position is very hard and one that pays enough to really make it worth the sacrifice is nearly impossible.


1. DH recently changed law firms due to corporate downsizing in January and even though over a life time he will likely make more money where he is now he had to take a significant pay cut and is now making less than half what he was making. So, now I financially really need to return to work.

2. I will loose my Clinical license if I do not return within the next year or so and I have invested a lot of time and money while I have been at home with DD to maintain the Continuing Ed. hours needed to maintain my license this long without working.

3. I do want to have my own identity outside of the home. My mom worked out of necessity until about my freshmen year in college when she got disability. Her mother stayed at home with her until she started school and always put my mom first but then expected her to "repay" her when she became an adult and constantly reminded her of all she did for her and then my mom was responsible for taking care of her, calling her daily, always inviting her on our vacations, etc. My mom swore she would not be like my Grandmother but she has become a replica of her and our relationship is a replica of Grandmother's and her's. I am determined to stop this cycle and know that doing so must start now and not just talk about how I won't be like my mom. I LOVE being a SWer and want to make sure I have something else to do when my DD becomes an adult other than lay in bed and think about what she is not doing for me, doing wrong, etc.

Don't know if I have a specific question but needed to vent and do wonder if anyone has any ideas or thoughts. Have thought about part-time but right now need the insurance and income. Also, I need to go on and get some licensure hours that I can go on and get working full time.


Cat Lover

Avatar for myshkamouse
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-30-2007 - 4:24pm
Well, I would guess that if you go back to work you won't feel quite as "exhausted" as you might think.
I've worked full time since my twins were 14 months old (they'll be 4 this month) and up till recently, never felt anymore exhausted working full time, than I did at home full time! In fact, less so but then I BF my twins till they were 13 months old so that had alott to do with the exhaustion, that and their early schedule when they didnt sleep through the night till they were 6 months old.
Anyway, I'm now a bit over 5 months pregnant, and its only now that my 60+ hour work week is starting to make me tired. But then I'm tired on weekends too sometimes:)
Anyway, I wouldnt worry too much about it until you try it.
See how it goes. If you hate it, if you find it overwhelming...then quit. If you don't try it, you won't know. If you do, you can always go back to where you are now.....
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-2004
Sat, 06-30-2007 - 5:08pm
Maybe your OCD could be better managed - have you looked into medication for it? Once you get a job, you'll see it's not as hard as you're making it out to be. Millions of us do it and we do just fine. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2005
Sun, 07-01-2007 - 6:18am


Okay. this has nothing to do with sah. My mother sah until I was about 10 or 11. She never threw it in my face like that. I know plenty of older sahm and they never act like that.

You will not "break the cycle" by returning to work now. You will break it by realizing that they are the way they are b/c of their personality and issues that are not related to working status. A WM can just as easily through the fact that they had to work b/c kids are so expsnsive back in their kids faces.

That being said, your other reasons for wanting to return to work seem solid. Is there anyway to work pt if you are unsure?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sun, 07-01-2007 - 4:15pm

I just completely by BA with a psychology concentration - I understand your spot. I think perhaps reframing your social work work could help you. What about doing some life/family coaching? or some other field close but not as limited? What about school counseling - could you do some work while your little one is young to make that transition? Think of all the possiblilities not all the blocks!

good luck!


There's a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day... there's a great big beautiful tom

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2004
Mon, 07-02-2007 - 1:31pm

Thank you. Hearing that someone else made the transition - especially with twins - is very reassuring. DD is a "spirited" child and even with help from a lactation consultant stopping BF has been difficult. We are still working on stopping. We have successfully stopped, changed, etc. other behavior but not BF so that is contributing to the problem.

Thank you again - just hearing others made the transition is reassuring. I did work 60 hrs. week before I got preg. and do not mind working hard.

Cat Lover

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Registered: 07-31-2004
Mon, 07-02-2007 - 1:39pm

I routinely see a Pdoc and the OCD is MUCH better with medication. It has just not been eliminated and it does take me longer to do things than it does most people and that frustrates me, increases my anxiety, etc. I also use a lot of cognitive / behavior mod. techniques to help so I feel that I am at my highest level of functioning re: OCD.

It does help to know that other mothers do it successfully. Thank you.

Cat Lover

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2004
Mon, 07-02-2007 - 2:04pm

I agree. My GM had the opportunity to return to school to become a teacher, like she wanted to do, when my mom was little but choose not to b/c she wanted to be the "perfect" mother. She did always throw her sacrifice in my mom's face. My mom has always thrown it in my face that she worked when I was young so that we could participate in extra activities, etc.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I want this to be my decision and I do not want to make a decision that I will later regret. I don't want to one day think my child is all grown up and I missed it b/c I went back to work. Also, as is true with most people, my level of patience is less when I am exhausted and I fear getting upset, yelling at DD just b/c I am tired.

DH and I do parent completely differently than we were parented (I am proud to say) and do not spank, constantly yell until we explode and then over punish, etc. We are good about (usually) clearly stating the rule and that she will go to time out if she continues to break rule. If it is something she clearly knows is unacceptable she goes to time out w/o warning first. We are also good about f/u with time out for 1 1/2 min. I don't want our parenting style to change b/c I go back to work b/c some techniques we use take more time and energy to implement but we believe is better for our family in the long run. I know discipline is a debate for another board and bring it here only for the purpose of fear changing parenting style b/c of lack of time, patience.

I don't know if any of this makes sense but writing his has helped me figure out some of my fears, clarify others, and that was my purpose of posting. Thank you

Cat Lover

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2007
Mon, 07-09-2007 - 2:08pm

I dont know if this will help you out or not. but have you ever thought about working from home. Yes i know what it is like to go through schooling and then not even using it. and having a liscence and not using it as well. But like you i found that i needed to bring some kind of income into the family. I have a 3 year old and a 15 month old. And i have the best of both worlds. I work and i stay at home. and no i dont plan parties or anything like that. but i will say that i get a paycheck and that is what i was looking for. and i also get to help people out.

But to actually help you with your decision that is up to you. you have to do what feels right in your heart. i did what i had to do. and now you need to do what feels right to you. i hope i could help you


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Mon, 07-09-2007 - 2:26pm
I am a LPC intern. I need to get my hours. I have a 1yo who I have stayed home with. I love her dearly but I am bored--really bored. I'm 7 years sober and I know what you mean about getting too "stressed out". I'm planning on hiring a cleaning service for once or twice a month. I should have my hours in 2 years then in private practice I can have more time with her. What about private practice? More $ more flexability.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2003
Mon, 07-09-2007 - 3:24pm
Have you looked into any type of occupational health position?