Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A question for you…

Speaking of being too chicken to take chances, I need some advice from all you mommies out there. I need to know if the chance I am thinking about taking is the stupidest thing I've ever thought of, or a plausible idea that can be pulled off with a great deal of planning and perseverance.

I would like to quit working at the newspaper, and make Prairie Girl Design my primary paycheck.

More than anything in this world, I want to be at home with my baby. Baby is only going to be a baby once. I have only one chance to shape baby's life, and to share in baby's discoveries and giggles. I have only one chance to watch baby's first step, hear baby's first word, kiss baby's boo-boos and make them better. How could I possibly give those moments away to a day care worker?

But economic reality dictates that I must work for us to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. So, what to do? For the last couple years, I have been taking in a few graphic design clients here and there to supplement our renovation budget. Judging by the reception I've got from those clients (and the number of potential clients I have had to turn down due to insufficient hours in the day to get all my work done), I think that with a little self-promotion, I could turn my small side business into a full-time job from home.

But here is my question: Is it stupid to think that I can do this and look after baby at the same time? Will I be able to get any work done during the day? Will I be able to sneak in an hour of work here and there while baby is playing or napping, and then finish up after baby goes to bed?

Or will I be dooming myself to waking up at 5 a.m., spending the day running after baby, (hopefully) putting baby to bed at 7 or 8 p.m. and then putting in 8 hours at my iMac? How long can a person function on 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night?

What if I found somebody to come to my house for a few hours in the afternoon to watch baby while I work? That way I'm still there if needed, but I can get some work done?

I'm just not sure if it's the right decision. It's not a guaranteed paycheck - and we NEED one of those. If business gets slow, we'd be in real financial trouble. Going back to the newspaper is certainly the safer choice in that respect. Plus, we are shareholders in this newspaper. We have invested a significant amount of time and money into that paper, and I would have a hard time watching someone else do my job. And I really, really like working with my husband. I would miss sharing in that part of his life if I left.

I just don't know. I have this giant weight on my shoulders and I lay awake at night trying to decide. And people are starting to demand that I make a decision. Nathan would like me to go back to the newspaper. It's a safe, guaranteed paycheck, and we will definitely need that now that we will have a new addition to the family.

There's a part of me that will always regret it if I take the easy way out, and don't at least try to find a way to stay at home with baby. Part of me says that I should just take the chance, commit to it, and then do whatever I have to do to make it work. But the other part of me - responsible, common-sense Denice - says that taking that big chance is foolish and completely irresponsible; that sometimes people have to do things they don't want to do - and maybe this is one of those times.

1 comment:

Martina said...

Okay... breathe... don't stress too much just yet. You have a year from your mat leave to make a decision. Technically they can't press you to make a decision. I would think 3 months prior to the end of your mat. leave is more than enough notice for them to find a replacement? By then, you would have a chance to hash out your finances, figure things out and maybe test the waters by picking up some extra clients.

The first year (for me) working from home was actually a breeze. They sleep a lot. But somewhere approaching the first birthday (when they become mobile) I was forced to work more at night because naps become fewer and baby needed more attention.

Anyway, good luck with your decision!