This time last year we made a massive family decision. After a month that had seen both Erin and Dylan admitted to hospital for different infections requiring me to take yet more time off work, we decided to get off the treadmill we were running.
Deciding to leave a well paid, well respected, teaching job that I in the main loved was no flash in the pan idea. Our children simply had to come first. Whilst my wage was not an essential part of paying the bills my wage did give us security and paid for the extras. We made the decision to cut back where we can and for me to carve a wage from writing and running my blogs. I registered as self employed and now work from home and life is good.
Ironically this year sees the children being healthier than ever and it has led to others asking if I made a mistake or regret the decision we took, did I jump ship too soon? After thinking about this I know we made exactly the right decision. I honestly believe the children are healthier ( and are having less time off school) because I am now at home for them. For us it wasn’y just one school year of ill health, Dylan has a recurring infection that hospitalises him most years and little Erin has a multitude of conditions that need regular check ups.
This change in lifestyle means they get up later in the morning and don’t go to the childminder they adore after school. This means that we are eating better home cooked foods and we are not running about in circles (unless you count the laps of the park which I now run several times a week).
When you take out the childcare costs and fuel costs I had we are not so much worse off. It can be done. I used to think that I could have it all – I was told that women can compete in the workplace and have a successful and well run home and family. I now think why do we try to have all of that at the same time? Is it weak to be at home and put my children’s health and happiness ahead of my own career aspirations. Am I letting my girls down if they see that I have opted out of 9-5? Ask my children and they will say no. I am a role model to my children, this year I have spoken to them more, supported them with their schooling more and been able to take them to all the dance show rehearsals, hockey rehearsals, football training and so on without dropping any balls.
How have I made it work for us?
I found something else I am passionate about. Blogging might not make as much cash income as teaching but it still offers us opportunities, reviews and some paid writing. I work the hours that suits me, I have taken a few risks and I do have to put myself out there more but the rewards benefit my family.
I can honestly say this is the best decision I could have made and if you are looking to change career or be at home more then plan for it, do your maths and see if you can make it a reality. Money saving doesn’t have to be boring or mean going without and the rewards it could bring you are priceless.