Lately I've become even more uncertain about my working mother status. Part of me knows that I have to work in order for us to buy a home and pay down some of my husband's astronomical law school debt, but more than ever I feel like I'm never done with work. The hours are demanding (well, not lawyer or banker demanding, but I get home at 7:15 most nights); the competition is high (and it's hard to compete when you have kids but are the secondary breadwinner); the pay and benefits are adequate but by no means amazing.
I feel preoccupied with work when I'm home, and I feel preoccupied with home when I'm at work. I run the numbers in my head nearly daily. Net, I make more than twice the cost of our childcare, so there would definitely be a dent in our finances if I stop working. The thing is, I like my job; I really do. But I don't feel defined by my work or fulfilled by it to the point I could never imagine leaving. Some of my friends feel this way, so it's a slightly easier decision to stay at work full-time. After all, I totally believe happy people make happy parents. I'm just not sure I'm that happy. I love the perks my job offers and the people I work with, but I get home and have an hour-and-a-half to eat, get E bathed and ready for bed and tend to D. If it weren't for my mother, I don't know how I would manage to do even that with two kids to juggle.
My husband feels I really can't stop working until the year 2007, and by then I should be on another level at work, so the decision could be even harder... In the meantime, I'm afraid, I will continue to spend a percentage of my time at work wishing I were at home, and a portion of my time at home worrying how I'm measuring up at work.