Friday, July 31, 2009

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

As most of you know by now, I was laid off from my job. Today was my very last day. But I haven't been able to share the details with most of you.

This was not a great surprise. The threat of something like this happening has been hanging over my head off and on for almost a year now. The company I work(ed) for is a vendor for the mortgage industry.

I had a slight choice in the matter. I was told that I would have to take a significant pay cut to remain on the payroll. (You may recall I had already taken a cut back in October) Once I went home and ran the numbers, it was evident that we would not be able to afford our full time childcare at the new salary level. Conversely, if I went on unemployment and took Miss D out of preschool we would be about even. In addition, Husband and I had been holding off determining how we were going to pay for childcare for 2 once the baby was born. (Things have been very up and down at both our employers this year) Even if things stayed exactly as they were (with no pay cut) we would not be able to afford the childcare. Meaning that even if I had decided to stay on, I would most likely have to quit when the baby was born- leaving us with no additional income at that time. Whereas now, we will at least have unemployment coming in for a while after the baby is born. Giving me some time to work out a new source of income.

So for purely financial reasons, it made the most sense for us to take the layoff.

Now there are also a number of fringe benefits....:

- I will get to have several months home with Miss D before the new baby comes. I am so looking forward to getting to spend the one-on-one time with her. She is old enough now that I hope we can create some great memories she can carry forever.

- I will get to have plenty of time at home with the new baby. I had to go back to work 8 weeks after Miss D was born and felt immense guilt for most of the first 2 years of her life for not being around. I feel so blessed that I will get to spend time with both of my children.

- I have been unhappy at my job for YEARS. It was not a career that I went into intentionally and the workplace became increasingly more unpleasant and didactic as the years went on and on.

- I have the opportunity to search for work that is meaningful and fits the lifestyle I want. When we first decided, my immediate thought was to try to find the highest paying part time job that I could. But Husband said, "Why not take this time to find something you actually want to do. After all, you won't want to be unemployed forever..." It took him saying that to make me realize that now is the time to do what I've been struggling with for YEARS. If this recession has taught me nothing else, it is that life is not all about the Benjamins for me.

This is not to say that this decision is all sunshine and rainbows. Husband's employment future remains insecure so we will be on our toes for a while.

So I'm not sure what these life changes will mean for this blog. I don't know if I will blog more or less- but I'm willing to bet there will be a big shift in content! I'm very excited to get started.


Anonymous said...

Yay! Doesn't it feel good to be free? The childcare thing does become "an equation" with 2 kids. By the time you take after tax pay, and subtract childcare, most people aren't really clearing a whole lot. Even if it's 5K or 10K, is that really worth it? For me, it became a question of what can I do to make that income (10K), while at the same time taking care of my kids? The problem is, you get accustomed to it. I don't miss "working" at all...and have little desire to go back. And trying to get a job with an enormous hole in my resume...that will be no easy task I'm sure. Anyway, enjoy your time because it will fly by! Lisa

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

I'm guessing there will be even more family blog entries and possibly more foodie ones too!

You're not unemployed too many times in your life and this really is a good time to figure out what you WANT to do. That said, your answer could be different now and 5 years from now when your new baby goes to school. So maybe you think of a 5 year part-time job that would lay the foundation for a career AFTER your children are in school. That could make sense.

alexis said...

ooo, Joe that is really good advice. Something you could train in and have to spend a lengthy time in part-time/apprentice period could be a good use of time.

Dad said...

Whatever you do, you and Hubs are taking things as they must be taken, with logic, balance, determination and as much good humor as possible.

My experience is that these are the keys to overcoming challenges.