To work, or not to work?

Today I am a full-time working MOM. A few weeks from now, that could all change.

E started a new job on January 1st that is both absolutely amazing and a wrench in the works. Switching from news to a TV channel means that he’s home every night and has weekends off; he has a 9-6 schedule, 5 days a week (you know, the norm for most of us) for the first time since we graduated college. However, while he loves his job, he’s now salaried and not contract – a guarantee of less pay in exchange for a 401K and health insurance. Considering that insurance is the main reason I stuck with my job, I think it’s worth it.

See, I don’t work in my chosen field; I’m an administrative assistant at a financial institution. Big dreamin’ for a girl who majored in writing, minored in photography, right? Let’s just say that for the past couple years, E’s career path has taken precedence since this city doesn’t cater to my dreams. At least not my original ones.

I was one of those kids with a big imagination and bigger dreams; one who really didn’t have a clue what it took to make them a reality. Want to write for a magazine in NYC? Okay, well, be stylish, slim, snarky and (big shocker) don’t marry someone who refuses to live in New York. How about book editing? Sure, no problem. How about writing your own book first, while working your way up through the ranks of a publishing house. You mean those don’t exist in DC? Who knew!

Basically I followed my big ideas right into a dead-end. And so, for the past two years, I’ve been answering phones, submitting expense reports, fielding emails, schedule hair cuts and doctor’s appointments, not to mention dealing with clients who know I’m lying when I say their contact is in a meeting, just so we have a co-pay instead of a $$$ medical bill. It’s depressing. I do like the people I work with and for, but day in day out without having any creative outlet is killing me inside.

All of this has piled up into two options. I leave my job for something that pays more (to afford our nanny) and actually interests me, or I become a stay at home MOM (p.s. I will continue to post the word mom as MOM, because there is a distinction. I am not just a mom, I am a Mother Of Multiples, which is a huge game-changer in terms of sanity on the home front).

What I can’t decide is how ready I am to give up work altogether. I’m not archaic, I understand that I can resume a job at any time depending how hard I work on side projects and maintaining contacts… I’m just terrified of what being a full-time MOM means. Will I go crazy being at home all the time? Can I really teach the boys everything they need to know? Will I be able to handle not bringing in a paycheck for the first time in ten years?

I’m not confident I’ll be a great SAHM, but I acknowledge one thing: the only reason I shouldn’t stay home is for a truly fantastic job. I love my boys dearly and know that me being home could be the best thing for them… I just have to rise to the occasion.

Penny for your thoughts?