Monday, April 25, 2005

Back to Work?

I've been keeping in touch with a co-worker from my former life as an engineer with a medical diagnostics device manufacturer. We email each other from time to time and, less frequently, get together for a beer and a bite to eat. It had been a while since we had seen each other and I sent an email suggesting a get-together. Part of his reponse follows:

I hope all is well with you. Are you still at home with the kids? Any chance we could get you to consider coming back to work with us? Your name came up again just last week. [Engineering staffing manager] asked me if you were interested in coming back.

Lets try and get together for a drink soon. How about on Monday May 9th?
On some levels, I am definitely interested in a return to paid work. It would certainly help with some of our financial pressures, goals, and desires. Further, there are days where I struggle with whether or not I am doing such a great job as a stay-at-home parent.

On the flip side, I am not very excited about the prospect of finding alternative care for the beasties. While it would not be easy on me and M, I am sure that LuLu would be fine with a nanny or au pair or even a high-quality daycare. It is Four that I would be concerned about. We still wonder about the possibility of an ADD/ADHD diagnosis (we have an evaluation process scheduled for 3-days in June with a highly recommended behavioral pediatrician), and feel pretty strongly that it will take (and does currently take) someone special to help him thrive. '

Another potential pitfall to returning to paid work is the net cash flow. A google led me a Smartmoney.com article "Should You Go Back to Work?" with an accompanying worksheet to calculate the additional net cash flow created by a return to work. Unfortunately, after taxes, childcare, commuting costs, etc., the net ain't nearly what I would have hoped for.

There's also a part of me that would regret all the things I haven't done that I had hoped to do as a stay-at-home parent. When I first started this job, I was going to turn the world on its ear. Not only was I going to be a great SAHD, but I was also going to create businesses, write children's books, and generate income without being dependent on corporate culture. To date, I have done OK -- could always do better -- on the SAHD part, but I've not even truly made an effort on the other fronts. On some level, I feel a return to work at this time would signal a surrender of these goals. But, as M points out, a return to work and writing children's books are not mutually exclusive.

I am torn right now about what to do. I guess it wouldn't hurt to hear what they are offering?

3 comments:

HE said...

Hello,

I got to your site from a link at celebrity babies.com. Anyhow I read your post that mentioned your son may possibly have ADD & ADHD. My son previously saw a pediatric neurologist for febral sezures. However this doctor also saw ADD & ADHD children. He mentioned once that often times ADD & ADHD occurs in children with hightened tonsils. And that sometimes if the tonsils are removed, the ADD & ADHD symptoms go away. Sounded strange to me as I had never heard that before. Just thought you might want to ask your doctor about it in the even that your son would be a candidate. Best of luck with his diagnosis.

Philip said...

Keep all your options open and definitely write the books. But maybe use this thinking as a catalyst to really do all the things you want to do as a SAHD. And I love that you stole my term! Doing what's best for you right now, and the kids, is never a surrender. Things change all the time.

kevin said...

Philip, I prefer think that I am borrowing the term -- with your permission, of course!