Work at Home, or In an Office?

So far this has been a busy week.  I had an interview with Starbucks on Monday and I got the job.  It is just an entry-level barista position, but there is a lot of room to grow and it’s a fairly flexible schedule.  Plus the manager is super nice!  My plan is to work the morning shift, spend my afternoons on Mrs. Pea’s stuff, and relax with Mr. Pea in the evening.  Going in at 6am is not going to be so fun, but getting out at 2:30pm is perfect.  If this proves to be too much, I always have the option to cut down my hours to part-time.

Of course yesterday I got a call from a recruiter looking to fill an architect position.  I have been out of work since September and this is the first peep from my field in all that time.  As they say, when it rains it pours!  So I met with her this morning and while this particular position wasn’t right for me, they are going to keep an eye out.  I learned long ago, never say no to an interview.

However, this has stirred up a lot of conflict in mind.  For months now I have worked towards building an online business, and I see taking a job at Starbucks a continuation of that.  The money from that job will help fund the Mrs. Pea’s project.  Right now, an independent career has become very important to Mr. Pea and I as we’d like to start having little Peas running around.  On the other hand, my career in architecture is something I’ve been working on since I was 15 years old and not a career to walk away from lightly.  Heck, I’m not even sure I am walking away from it exactly, but taking a few years off means it’s going to be harder to get back in.

In my mind I am having the age-old struggle of deciding to stay home with the kids (at least until school aged) vs. child care from the get go and continuing the career path.  This debate has plagued me ever since I started thinking about careers in high school and now is the time I need to start gearing up for one or the other.  The idea of putting a 3 month old into child care has never sat well with me.  My mother stayed home with us, but always had side businesses running out of the house.  Her model has always seemed to be my answer, and it feels great working on my own terms now.  The last few years have been tough as an architect.  It feels good knowing that if this business makes it we don’t have to choose between career and child care.

I know people change careers all the time.  I also know I am not alone in this struggle, and feel grateful we are in a position where we have this option.  But I have to know, where do you weigh in on this issue?

Related Articles, featuring both sides:

Sometimes Giving Up a Career to be a Stay at Home Mom is the Right Choice

Am I too cleaver to stay at home?

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4 thoughts on “Work at Home, or In an Office?

  1. You know how things turned out for me but the plan was always for me to keep working and to have the kid(s) in daycare. When Lena was born, I stayed home with her until she was 6 months old but by then I had such horrible cabin fever. I got a job in a veterinary hospital where I was supposed to work 3-9 four days a week. Well, they changed by schedule as soon as I was hired. I regretted the decision to go back to work as soon as I started missing milestones (that and I hated where I was). A year or so later, I found a great job that I loved. I worked mostly M-F and didn’t miss out on seeing the hubby or kiddo. Once the boys came, I decided not to go back to work. I actually stayed out of work until they were almost a year old. Then we tailored my schedule so that the kids were only in daycare 2 days a week. With all of the little guy’s problems, I ended up up having to leave my job again. I have not gone back to work, conventionally since. I work from home now and am so much happier. Would it be nice to have 2 full time incomes? Of course, but it’s nicer to be able to take the kids where they need to go and not have to put off household chores until the weekend.

    Whatever you and Mr. Pea decide, it is not a static decision. You can change your mind at any time. Just remember, daycare is very expensive where you live. It’s much cheaper here… maybe you should consider moving here. 😉

    • Thanks for leaving your story Kel! You are so right that decisions aren’t static and as you pointed out life has a way of making decisions for you.

      I did look at the cost of living down there vs. the cost of living up here and was VERY tempted. I guess we’ll just have to visit you guys and get a feel for the place. 😉

  2. Sometimes you plan something and it doesn’t work out the way you envisioned. I worked two, three jobs to get my husband through school. We dated for six years before getti g married and then were married for two before getting pregnant. The plan was I would put the child in daycare and continue to pay the bills. That was t the “real” plan in store for us. We had an amazing gift of twins. The twins were very sick when I was pregnant and I was put on bed rest at 13 weeks, ultrasounds every three days… Then you get these babies, these fragile perfectly imperfect little creatures that are yours and suddenly you know what you want. It becomes clear. You may find a hybrid version of office mom and SAH mom. So much discussion and stress but honestly getting pregnant and giving birth and getting spit and puked and pees on and not sleeping help moms and dads make the important decisions. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the advise Abbie. What a tough pregnancy! I’m picking up a general theme that you don’t know what curve ball life is going to throw your way. We don’t get to control our pregnancies or the results, so we should do the best we can and life will give us our answer. I like it!

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