Thursday 6 September 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

 WARNING: This post is full of lots of words and not many pictures and you are not obliged to read it. It was an important post for me to write and get it off my chest but I don't actually expect you to stick it through to the end. But you can if you want.

Takabisha Roller coaster - Composite Image by Alex Brogan via Wikipedia
Oh my. It feels like our household is on a roller coaster ride lately. If you are wondering why I haven't posted so regularly in recent times, it is because...well...I'm struggling to stay on top of things lately. Come on, if I'm going to be real here I must confess I have always struggled to stay on top of housework. And all the more so since having my bubba boy back in November. He will be ten months old on Thursday, and unfortunately for him, those ten months have been some of the hardest of my life. Not his fault by any means, just that we have had a whole lot of ups and downs in his short life.

In our little pocket of the world a rather strange phenomenon is occurring right now - a huge number (what's the latest they are reporting - 15,000 to 20,000?) of people who work in state government departments are going to be losing their jobs in the next month or two. Obviously, this is affecting so many individuals and families in a huge way. And while I neither my husband or I work for the government, we are affected also - because my hubby lost his job in the private sector about a month ago. This makes looking for work rather tricky at present, as so many others are madly competing for the very few jobs in his field that are being advertised. He has been looking far beyond the field he spent so many years training and studying in, and even there, there are just not many jobs about at the moment. 

So the logical decision is that I go back to my "real job" while he is with the kids, right? Hmmm. This is what I have been praying about and agonising over for weeks, months. It seems to be a fairly straight-forward decision. Not enough money coming in, I can earn a decent amount in less than full-time hours, so I go back to it. Unfortunately, there are so many more factors involved. For example, the rather difficult labour and birth process I went through with my bubba boy took its toll both physically and emotionally. In ways that are not socially appropriate to talk about, except in birth trauma support groups and psychologists' rooms. I've been doing my best to let the healing process take place, but as a psychologist, I know how important it is that I don't return to work before I am emotionally ready.

I feel rather embarrassed typing this, as I have the nasty little "Shoulds" whispering in my ear - "You SHOULD be over that by now", "You SHOULD do the right thing and earn money to support your family", "You SHOULD just push through it and get on with the job". Well, you know what? I've been in survival mode for so long now that even though I feel like I am just beginning to get on top of that emotional stuff, I don't think it would be fair on my kids and my hubby if I go back to work just now. Poor little Theo has only really known me in survival mode. And I can almost guarantee that if I go back now, survival mode will continue...

One of the most important things I learned from my parents while I was growing up was that what seems to be the most financially sensible thing to do is not always the right thing for the family unit. Of course, it's a very personal decision, but I know they never regretted my Mum being at home with us kids even though it meant going without a lot of physical things and living within a very tight budget. And I didn't regret it as a kid either. It was what was right for our family, and that is a part of who I am. I am in no way suggesting that Mums who work outside the home are doing the wrong thing for their family - it's about being true to yourself and your own family's values, and for many people, that does involve working outside the home. But I've finally realised that for me and my family, for right now, the right thing is for me to be at home.

That doesn't mean I won't be working though. In fact, I feel like I have been released to do more with Candykins Crafts, and move it from being a hobby to being a legitimate small business. And that, my friends, is exciting!


  1. Hi Candy, the only thing that you SHOULD do, is what you want to do!

  2. Oh, Candy, I'm sending you a huge hug from across the sea (to be followed by a personal note via email!). I'm thinking of you and have you & your family in my prayers. You've done a wonderful, brave thing by expressing yourself so honestly. I have no doubt that "being real" helps heal those difficult emotions you're struggling with. Much love to you! - Karen

  3. Hi Candy,
    This is the very first time I have ever replyed to a blogger, but I was touched by your story and wanted you to know. I feel like you are a personal friend from Homespunland and my prayers are with you and your family.

    Jan from Angel and Annie

  4. Candice, you are such an inspiration to so many people! I applaud you for being open and honest and vulnerable. It takes great courage to be transparent, especially when the stakes are so high! Brava!

    And as for the job situation, I'm a SAHM too, working my own business. I could go back to work and earn a decent amount of money doing so, freeing up our budget immensely, but that is not the right decision for our family either. It saddens me that people put their expectations on others and diminish others' value systems because they don't align with their own. I digress.

    I'm so proud of you for making a decision and working hard to follow through with it. I support you from over yonder and pray your success in all things you set your hands to do! And as for the job market... hopefully that will open up for your husband so you guys don't have to continue stressing about it. I'm glad you are not going back to your profession when you've been on survival mode and haven't healed completely yet. I wish more people could understand this, no matter what their fields may be.

    Go Candy, go! *hugs*

  5. Hi Candice,
    Your expression of decision making is so easy to relate to for so many. I admire your putting it out there for everyone, making it easier for all who face similar situations. A choice to be with your family over physical things is to be admired. I also am not faulting mothers who work, most of friends do so. But choosing to be with your kids, more so at such a young age, is just as admirable as bringing home the paycheck. Hoping hubby will find something soon, and best of luck with Candykins Crafts!

  6. Hi Candace. Your post hit notes with me on so many levels - what a really difficult time your family has had, and how stoic you are in dealing with it. Really. You may feel less than adequate, but you will look back at this time and be amazed with your resilience so feel very, very proud!! p.s. love your work!

  7. Thank you lovely friends, one and all! I so appreciate you taking the time to comment. I feel so blessed to have friends like you, even though I have not met many of you in person (yet!). Thanks for the support and encouragement. :)

  8. Candy,

    Thank you for 'getting naked' and sharing. Beautiful post. Sending you lots of love & healing thoughts.


    p.s. don't have an account yet so I'm anonymous....but it's me, Tracey, a.k.a. The Thrifting Magpie


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