Saturday, January 9, 2010

I think that I might be nuts...

Those of you who know me in real life are going, "Ya think, really????" as if I've just announced that the world, is in fact, round.

My latest nutty idea??? Taking a job that pays less that unemployment for the first 7 weeks of training, then pays about half of the low end jobs that I've been considering and trying to get. I'm thinking about taking a job that would require me to work until 1:15 AM. (Yes, you read that right.) The same job doesn't recognize any holidays except Christmas. I would be required to work weekends. Every weekend.

So where's the upside? The HUGE benefit and the only real reason that I even applied for this position is that I wouldn't start working until 4:45 pm. That would mean the entire day with my child, then handing him off to daddy to go to work. This seems better than handing him off to relative strangers to go to work, which is what daycare feels like at this point. I could spend all day with him and not have to pay for childcare. That means, though, that I would be getting home at 1:30 am, if I'm lucky, and getting to bed by 2 am, then being back up with him at 6:30 am, again if I'm lucky and he sleeps that long. I would have to be super disciplined to sleep when he napped (if I'm lucky) in the afternoons. WAY too many, "if I'm lucky" disclaimers in there!!!

I would have two days off during the week, but be working weekends. I am thinking that we would have all day Saturday and Sunday to do family things since I would not have to be to work until 4:45. My husband and I would have two nights to spend together after the baby went to bed- my days off, basically. I know that some of this down time will be devoted to sleep too, though. This schedule would mean no more blogging and less drug-store gaming (getting stuff free at CVS and Walgreens). I would have to get super organized when it came to housekeeping, making lists and setting a schedule so that my husband can pick up where I leave off, because I cannot do as much as I do now and work too. And the sad part is I don't feel like I keep up with it all that well now! I think that if I took this job, I would do some once a month cooking deals too so that our freezer was well stocked with pre-made (hopefully healthy) meals. (BTW, side note, if you are looking for some scheduling tips/ routine for household chores, check out Totally Together Journal. Stephanie O'Dea of slow cooking fame blogs about how to get a routine going for your house, and it just started Jan 1. Plenty of time to catch up!)

The other HUGE upside is health insurance that starts the first of the month after I do. In this case, that means February 1. We are still on COBRA and still only paying 35% of the premium, thanks to the new laws that they've enacted. I am grateful for that, of course, except that my old company changed plans for 2010 and switched to something that involved an employer funded Health Savings Account and a VERY high ($7500 for the family) deductible before the health insurance actually pays on red cent. Except that when you're on COBRA, and no longer technically an employee of the company, you don't get the employer funded HSA. Which means that if any of us go to the doctor for anything other than a well-baby or well-woman exam, we pay out of pocket until we hit that lovely $7500 number. Then and only then do they start footing any portion of the bill. That means that if we were to have another child, we would pay for all of it ourselves. I know that people do this, but we are just not in a position to come up with those funds ourselves. With the new job, we'd have better coverage for about the same cost. Still not the best situation considering how little I'd be making, but better than now, I think. It at least puts the idea of another child on back on the table, something that's important to us.

I also know that this is a job that I can do without having to try too hard. It's customer service and I know that I am going to deal with angry customers, but it's not sales, not preparing detailed sales presentations, not having to follow up, not having to call on prospects day in and day out. It would be a lot of following scripts, hopefully a lot of handling routine calls, stuff that would not be a stretch for me, compared to what I used to do. After dealing with the illogic, non-sensical tantrums of a 16 month old who doesn't talk, an irate customer or two should be fairly easy, right??? ;-) Part of me wonders if I am so attracted to this position because I am afraid to fail at something more challenging. I was used to going into a job and being good at it right away- quickly being a top performer. With my last position, the one that I lost, I wasn't good at it immediately. There were times that I was downright bad at it and in danger of being terminated for lack of performance. I found my groove eventually, but then the market turned and everyone was bad at the job, relatively speaking! I think that the whole experience, then being laid off on top of that, has really shaken my confidence in myself and my abilities. I don't want to take this position just because I am afraid to try to do something else.

Finally, though this is an entry level position and I've more than entered the work force, thank you, it is with a big company in the area who promotes from within. That means that if I took this position, it would almost definitely lead to other things within the company- other things that I could not get unless I took this position. I kind of fell into a sales job after college and since I had one sales job, it wasn't hard to get another, then another, and now all I've done is sales. I like sales, don't get me wrong, but there are other places that I think I might be able to better use my skills. The problem, though, is convincing a prospective employer of that when all you've ever done in sales. This position would kind of give me a clean slate with this company and let me move into other areas, like training or compliance.

So that's my dilemma right now. I'm considering taking all the positives of being a SAHM and combining them with the positives of being a working mom. (I can't wait to get to use my very own semi-private bathroom stall! I'd also get a 30 minute meal break all to myself!!!) The flip side of that, though, is all the negatives of being a SAHM PLUS all the negatives of being a working mom. It would be a strain, no question, and I am very concerned about being the kind of mom I want to be and the kind of wife that I want to be on that little sleep, not to mention that little time to myself. I really wonder if I can handle working AND being the primary caregiver for our son. Working and having a child is a lot to manage when someone else cares for the child 8-10 hours a day. Remove that other caregiver from the equation and it becomes a lot for one person. (I know that my husband would have the baby for 8+ hours every night, but the baby would be asleep for all but 3-4 hours of that time.) I would loose any down time I had after bedtime since I would generally be working during that time.

I welcome to thoughts and ideas from anyone who actually managed to make it all the way to the bottom of this very long and winding blog post. Part of the perks of having your very own blog is that you get to type things out, right??? ;-)

(BTW, did Blogger move the spell check function for posts or am I just really tired tonight? I apologize in advance for any errors, I cannot find the silly button!)


  1. I don't know! Is there a downside to trying out the job and seeing how it goes? (such as, losing COBRA benefits) I'm obsessed with the health insurance aspect because we're in a similar boat of huuuuge deductible (I think $7,500 is what they raised it to this year) from our self-employed insurance and no maternity benefits. As in, even if we pass $7,500, no maternity benefits. Grr.

    But back to you! I would be afraid of having no downtime, but maybe it will turn out that the job won't be stressful and you won't need as much. And maybe getting out into the work environment will make you appreciate being with your child more when you are. Being home full time is definitely hard. But being primary caregiver AND working sounds like a challenge, too! What is your gut saying? Where do you envision yourself in five years? I'm trying to think like a career counselor here. :)

    And, btw, I can never find the spellcheck button. Oh, well.

  2. HI! Thanks for reading AND commenting! I know what your Google Reader looks like, so I feel REALLY honored that you came to visit! If I take this job and cancel COBRA, then hate this job, we can't get COBRA back. I actually didn't really think about that until you brought it up... I know about your health insurance situation and have actually been following your posts about that. Sucks what happened with your HSA administrator too. Thanks for your ideas. I really appreciate the input.

  3. Wow, Jamie, it really does sound like you've reasoned through a lot of this. There's something to be said for a low pressure job that you can walk away from at the end of the day and just go home and be mom and wife. I'm an English teacher, so I bring papers home to grade and there's planning to do, etc... The insurance benefit does sound good if you like the job, and the opportunities for a clean slate sound great, too. You've got to listen to your gut and heart, and only you can know what's best for you. I'll be praying for wisdom for you!

  4. Thanks Laura! I really appreciate your input and kind words!