The Fork in the Road

So aside from going to BlogHer (which I do plan to get back to talking about soon), life has been more than a little crazy for me.

Right before BlogHer, I was offered the job I was hoping for. I’ll be an RN in a labor & delivery unit at a small hospital in the greater Columbus area. I started the job on Tuesday, and while I’ll be working night shift eventually, I’m on day shift during my training. The pay isn’t as high as it is in the larger hospitals, but the atmosphere of this unit really called to me. OK, and the fact that they were the only ones to offer me a job. That helped, too.

I still have to pass my license exam, too. That’s coming up August 17. So forgive me if you ask me a question and I rattle off, “Normal potassium levels are 3.5-5.0″ to you. I’m only a little frazzled.

The schedule is an adjustment for me. It’s been two years since I held a job I could explain to people in only one sentence. (So yeah, I work as a blogger. It’s essentially a freelance writer, and I work from home and set my own hours and yeah, it’s a real job. Well, sorta. It sometimes pays, but sometimes it’s only from ad revenue. What’s ad revenue? Well…) Working for 12 hours straight takes some getting used to, although that single-sentence description is quite nice.

And it’s the first time that I’m spending a significant amount of time away from Mira. I quit my part-time job when she was born, not only for nursing school but to be with her, too. We had to put Cordy in full-time daycare at three months old, and I hated myself for those seven long months she was there. I felt like I missed seeing her grow during that time, and I vowed to never do it again. I got to spend all that time with Mira, however. And now she’s two, begging to go to her summer camp five days a week. She’s ready to venture out into the social world of preschoolers, and she doesn’t need me as much. Which means I need to accept that and find a way to not need her as much, either.

That’s not all the change that happened this week, though! Nooooo, not for Aaron and I – when it rains it freaking pours and hails and produces hurricane force winds here. For not only was I offered a job, but then a few days later, Aaron was offered a job! Hallelujah and rainbows and smiling babies!

Aaron’s job offer was for an office job on the opposite side of Columbus from us. At first we were giddy with excitement – new job! They’d let him dress casual! We’d finally have a stable, steady double income! The pay isn’t the best, but money is better than unemployment, right?

But wait – there’s more! Then Aaron got an interview with a company to do freelance work! Much higher pay, too! At the interview, they really seemed to like him, and it’s very possible he’ll be offered a chance to do projects on a semi-regular basis with them.

Months of no job, and now suddenly job prospects everywhere. I’ve been waiting for change for a long, long time, and as you know this past year was a special kind of hell. Now that we’ve got our change, though, why do I find myself screaming, “Whoa! Too fast! Slow it down! I CAN’T HANDLE ALL THIS CHANGE!”

So we’re now trying to process everything. That first offer for a job for Aaron has some trade-offs we’re just now realizing. The hours would require a babysitter, and that sitter would need to work weird, sporadic times and need to transport the girls to their various therapies and activities. The cost for a sitter, along with gas for the 45 min. commute, would eat up much of Aaron’s salary. Plus it’s a 45 min. commute each way. Suddenly the giddyness is wearing off.

But the other position isn’t a sure thing yet. And if it does become a sure thing, it’s only freelance work – no amount of hours are guaranteed – making it not really a sure thing. But it would pay more, so we could budget appropriately for the lean times. Assuming he’s offered the position, of course. Aaron would also be home with the kids if he took this option, making sure they get to therapies and school and whatever they may need.

If. Assuming. Possibly. The control freak in me is going crazy with the lack of certainty right now.

We have to make a choice now about which road to take. The riskier choice, which still has one parent home at all times, but no guarantees on any money greater than my salary (which is enough to cover bills and necessary items), or the stable choice, which could still result in no more money than my salary, plus needing a sitter, but a stable job with some chance for advancement and more money.

Have I mentioned I’m lousy at making decisions? I can’t even pick the fastest checkout lane at the grocery correctly – how can I participate in making a life-altering decision like this?

Someone tap me on the shoulder after all of these changes pass so I can pull my head out of the sand, will ya?

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  1. I don’t know what to tell you. But I know that you will make the right choice for you and your family. I agree with Amelia, considering things like benefits does weigh in heavy. I remember 2 years ago when Jer got offered his job. The $$ really blinded us and when it has come down to it, sure he makes decent $$ but we hardly ever see him. Is the trade off worth it? I really don’t think so, but in this economy searching for a new job is scary.

    Sorry I didn’t get to spend more time with you at BlogHer. You looked awesome BTW! Next year hopefully we will all get to go to NYC! xoxo

  2. You’ll make the right decision.

  3. Amelia Sprout says:

    You know I’ve got nothing but support. Ok, maybe a few ideas. None good though. Figure out what you need to pay the bills, then go from there. If needing a sitter is temporary, then maybe figure it out. But if it is long term, look at the cost vs. what you get in return. Especially consider things like benefits. That has been a big intangible cost for us.

  4. I’m new here- congrats on your job and I’m jealoous that you were at BlogHer. Next year!

  5. First of all congratulations!

    Second. Breathe. You’ll make the right decision for you guys.

  6. Tough decisions often come with great rewards.

    Hang in.

  7. I know you’re overwhelmed with decisions, but I’m so glad that the options are finally presenting themselves to your family! You and Aaron will make the best decision for your family, but in the meantime, get really excited that things are working out for you guys!

  8. So tough. I hate decisions like that. Sometimes it’s worth it to just close your eyes and jump though.

    It’s great to be able to have the choice though. Great news for your family.

  9. Yay for job offers! Tough decision but the best part about all of this is you HAVE choices! I know whatever decision you make it will be right for your family. I made the tough choice to quit my job and go freelance a few years ago and it definitely has it’s good and bad sides.

  10. Ok, well, YAY for this kind of quandry, right? At least it’s on this side of the employment spectrum instead of the other.

    Good luck. Tough choices, but you’ll figure it out.

  11. Good luck making the choice. I am sure that thinks will work out for the best for you and your family.

  12. Yup…when it rains, it pours. Not always a good thing.

    Personally my choice would be the freelance work. Aaron would be home with the girls when needed and I cannot imagine turning over therapies/etc to a sitter. No way.

    It just seems like the commute/gas/time away/need of sitter negatives are too large for any positive to outweigh.

    Whatever choice you two make…congrats on hanging in there and coming out on the other side!

  13. I’m with Poppy. Good luck with your decision. Now send some of your awesome job vibes my way! Hubs hasn’t had stable work for 7 months now. Sigh.

  14. I don’t have any advice since I’m lousy at making big decisions too, but I wanted to let you know that I literally shrieked a little when I read about Aaron’s job offer. The last year has clearly been so trying for your family, and I have every confidence that this is the start of a wonderful phase of your lives.

  15. So many good opportunities – congrats and good luck!

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