By Kelsey on October 10, 2012 54

The Hardest Decision

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but was waiting for some things to fall into place. The hardest decision I have ever had to make is how to spend my time now that I’m a mom. It’s been a tough balance for me to add the responsibility of parenting on top of what I already had going on. I have been wrestling with this for many months now, and am excited that I can finally share with all of you.

The cries of my heart:
  • I want my priorities (God, self, husband, child, extended family and then career) to be reflected in how I spend my time. Right now that is not happening. I sit stand in a cubicle for eight-plus hours a day, and see my baby for much less than that. Two or three. I have such an interest in parenting and want to do more of it.
  • I like having a job, having coworking friends and contributing to our family’s finances. I am a writer/editor and I love when I’m able to use my gifts to help others. When it’s done right, I feel really good about what I do.
  • I don’t want to wake up some day and feel like I missed seeing my child(ren) grow up. It has been hard on me emotionally to be apart from Rooney all day/week.
  • I want to be busy with the right things, and give my best to those things.
  • I can’t be two places at once. When I became a mom, I didn’t stop being a wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, employee, etc. There are still only 24 hours in a day, but I have more responsibility now and have changed as a person.
  • I can’t do everything and do it well. It is hard in many ways for me to balance being a wife and mother and employee – it has been a daily struggle.

So there you have it – I’m confessing that I wasn’t able to “do it all” as a full-time working mom. I was too drained after a full day of work to love my husband how I want to love him, to be as involved as I want to be in the daily upbringing of our child, and to stay on top of the dishes and laundry and groceries and errands. There have been many rough days, and even more tears.

It became apparent soon after I went back to work that we needed a better balance. I didn’t want to make a quick, irreversible decision out of high emotion or crazy hormones, but now that Rooney is 7 months old, it feels right and we don’t want to wait any longer!

I honestly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to say that I am cutting hours! I got a new job! At our church! Writing and editing! And I will get to spend Wednesdays at home with Roo!

Doesn’t it sound perfect? To me, this new situation feels like I am “getting it all.” And it is amazing, looking back, to see how God was at work and orchestrating this months ago, and how he prepared my heart and our family for the change.

I’ve wanted this for a long time. I’ve hinted at it here before, so you might not be too surprised. And I’m so happy that this is what Eric wants for me, too. It will be really hard on both of us to not carpool, work together and see each other whenever we want during the day. But this new situation will be really good for us. It’s been a leap of faith and a financial sacrifice, but so worth it. I’ll write more about how we made the numbers work, but I just couldn’t go any longer without sharing our exciting news!


This has been a really hard decision for us, and it’s even harder when I get emails from readers who are disappointed that we send our daughter to day care. Please know that just because this is what we think, hope and pray will work for our family, doesn’t mean it will work for your family. Thank you.


Facebook Discussion

Facebook Discussion


I love my husband, my daughter and the Internet.

  1. I can’t believe people actually email you to tell you they (complete strangers!) are “disappointed” with what you decide is best for your family!!! Ridiculous! I am so happy for you and your family. I’m not a mom, but one of my fears for the future is balancing work and parenting. Thank you for your honesty = it’s refreshing to hear!

  2. Amanda Krumwiede October 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    good for you! :) I struggled with giving up my career as a hairstylist- it was what I had always wanted to do- but God really laid it on my heart that what I thought I wanted for my life, may not be what HE wanted for OUR lives after having kids. It was a hard decision to make- but one I’ve never regretted! God has never ceased to amaze me with the way he continues to provided- even after making cuts to make it work to stay home. GOD IS SO GOOD! Excited for you and this step of faith you are taking! :)Congrats on the new job- and outlook on parenting- Rooney will be so blessed to have more time with you and you with her!

  3. That is great news! As a newlywed who also works with my husband and want to have a family soon I have been thinking about the same work-life balance issue that is to come. your stories and honesty do help. thank you! and congrats on the new job and more time with your babe.

  4. Kelsey, I wish you luck and happiness at your new job! No one knows what’s best for you and your family other than you and your family. Balancing a marriage, work, and a young child is never easy, and you have done it with honesty and grace. Love you!

  5. That is awesome news! I am so glad for you two :) You’re right, it is so tough to balance it all. It’s great that you’ve figured out a way to make it happen!

    I am so glad you’re going to write a post about how you’re making it work, numbers-wise. My husband and I have been trying to figure out how to make one income work for us, and we haven’t yet (primarily because I haven’t been able to find a part-time job that would pay enough for child care).


    • Finding a part-time job with benefits was the kicker for us! It was not easy, and honestly we had given up. We were to the point where we thought we were going to be $200 short every month, but we decided that this is what we had to do so we were going to take a leap. Because it’s not a leap if you have it all figured out, right? We kept praying that we weren’t being foolish by trying to be faithful.

      Well, God provided in a different way. When I got the job offer, I found out that I would get benefits. Good benefits, too. My current employer only offers health insurance if you work 35 hours. That is a big reason I am staying at 32 hours – so I can keep benefits.

      I hope my post is helpful to you, and I will link to others who helped me as well. I just have to say that we were blessed with the right opportunity and honestly don’t have to sacrifice as much as we originally thought we would.

  6. Congrats Kelsey! I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have a child and a job; it’s hard enough for me right now to have a live-in boyfriend and a job, haha. Priorities do have a way of figuring themselves out. :)

    I’m surprised people were sending you disapproving emails! I actually had a conversation with my friend’s mom recently, discussing day care. She asked what Jake and I were planning to do once we got married and started having kids; who would stay home with them during the day? I said we’d probably send them to day care, even though we would, of course, love to be with them. She was surprised, and basically said that no loving parent would send their kids to care care. I respectfully disagreed, and still do. As much as we love our kids (current and future, haha), we have to be sure that we’re providing for them as well as taking care of them. :) I wouldn’t want to miss out of my baby growing up (as you feel), but I would go crazy if I didn’t work, and I doubt Jake and I could afford it. No one has a right to judge your situation but you and Eric.

    I don’t get a lot of disapproving comments on my blog, but whenever I find out someone has been disappointed, it really upsets me. I never intend to hurt people’s feelings or do things that others disapprove of. But we can’t please everyone. Especially with raising a child, everyone does it differently. No one has a right to judge the way you raise Rooney. Haters gonna hate! ;)

    I hope you love your new job! :) PPL&M!

    • I’m glad you’re already thinking ahead and have an idea of what will be right for you, and being able to repsectfully disagree with others who may have different ideas. It is hard to think that I’ve disappointed others, but I finally had to realize that Eric and Roo are really the only two people I need to make sure I’m not disappointing.

  7. Go you! That’s awesome that you’ve been able to get this opportunity that sounds like it’s really going to work for your family. This is exactly what I want. In fact, I’m an editor, too, so getting a part-time writer/editor job sounds absolutely ideal! I work full time now, and I feel really guilty that I only see my daughter for two hours a night. I don’t think people should be giving you a hard time for daycare, though. Daycare absolutely has its place, and my daughter really enjoys it there. But I still wish I could see her more and have more of a hand in raising her. Congratulations on your new situation! Enjoy the extra time you have with Rooney!

    • Rooney loves day care, too! And I am honestly surprised by how much I realized I like working. Before she was born, I was pretty sure I wanted to stay home. Now, I think somewhere in the middle will be right for me.

      Editors unite! Our profession does lend itself well to part-time, contract work and/or working from home, but it’s not always easy to find exactly what you want. Especially the whole benefits thing. That’s the kicker. Good luck to you! I pray you will get the right opportunity very soon.

  8. Congratulations!! That is such happy news. I imagine it will be hard for you and Eric to adjust to seeing each other less during the day, but on your day off you’ll be able to get some of the housework done during your awesome little sleeper’s naps. And maybe some errands run too! That will give you guys so much more relaxing time as a family on the weekends!

  9. Firstly, congrats! I’m glad you and Eric are working to find what works for you guys.
    Secondly, who the crap emails you to say they’re disappointed that you send Roo to daycare. Isn’t it your child and your choice? Being able to send your kid to daycare is a luxury that not everyone has. Geez. I’d hate to know what those people would think about and my future plans (I intend to work full-time, while Joe prefers to work from home with any offspring we may have). Does that make me a potential horrible mother? No. And I don’t think you having gone back to work makes you one either.
    Are you able/wanting to work part-time? My mom was a SAHM and she really disliked not seeing other adults when we were really little (my dad worked 6am-7pm five days a week).

    • I know a couple guys who stay home with their kids, and I think that’s great if it works for them! I love that you and Joe have already discussed what your situation might be when the time comes.

      I will be working 32 hours, four days a week, which I consider part-time. There is also flexibility for me to cut down even more later, if desired. I think even one day will make a world of difference! I have realized in the past few months that I do enjoy going to the office, socializing with coworkers and contributing my talents! And, contributing to our family financially. I think it will be perfect – I am already so relieved and less stressed!

  10. you won’t regret this! so happy for you and can’t wait to hear about it as you start this new change. love you!

  11. your genuine excitement and joy over this turn of events is completely evident in this post. i’m so happy for you guys! :)

    and as for those folks who judge your parenting, via email, from stuff they read off your blog? ridiculous, lame, and not very loving. only you, God, eric and roo need to be at peace with your decisions together.

    that said — i’m super pumped that you’re going to be able to resolve so much of this inner tension! God is good!!

    • Thanks, Andrea! We have been praying for this for MONTHS, and were so weary of it! But now, we are so amazed at what God can do in His timing! His plan was so much better than ours!

  12. Hannah Cifuentes October 11, 2012 at 12:23 am

    That is awesome! I totally understand the not being able to “do it all” feeling. I’m a nurse, and even just working the three 12 hour(usually longer- so i ended up working 40+) days a week was beginning to really drain me and my husband. After a lot of number crunching and adjustments(like going to my husbands insurance), I just went to part-time night shift- by working weekend nights, I am able to make around the same amount of take-home pay.

    I’ve gotten some weird reactions, since I now attend wednesday nights at church vs sunday mornings(i NEED to sleep). But my husband and I have every Friday evening together(I worked every other weekend before anyway)and we are SO much happier!!!

    Yay for more baby time!!!

  13. I am so extremely happy for you!!!! I know you have been wanting this, and I love how God lines things up for us.

    I have been feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and like I can’t do anything (spend time with God, be a good wife, be a good mom, be good at my job, keep family & home organized, take care of my health, on budget) well. I have been feeling like there is no way to cut anything; but after reading how God has made it all work for you, and recognizing my own “too much” blow ups I realize He is just realigning my focus.

    Thank you for your post and may your transition go as smoothly as possible.

    • Thanks, Teresa! I am so sorry to hear you are overwhelmed! It sounds like you are feeling exactly as I am/was! I hope there is a chance for you to create some margin in your life very soon.

  14. I’m very happy you find something that works well for your family and you! I hope someday I can find a similar situation when I start a family.

  15. So happy for you!! I love how the Lord works everything out! This encourages me that I just need to continue to trust the He will work everything out for us too. My husband was asked to resign from his job last week, which is especially stressful with a baby on the way. I have peace that the Lord will work everything out, but my heart is broken over the whole situation.

    • Oh, I will be praying for your situation! I am constantly amazed at how God works through hard and unexpected times. Let me know how it turns out for your hubby!

  16. I’m so happy for your family that you got this opportunity. And–your church is lucky too. You will be a great addition to their staff.

    Like many others, I’m saddened that people would actually email you and say that they don’t approve of you sending Roo to daycare. Like you said, what works for one family doesn’t work for others. I was hurt by many friends when we had our first child who didn’t think that we should be sending our daughter to daycare. First of all, we wouldn’t have been able to do it financially and secondly, I’m not one of those people who’s created to be a stay-at-home-mom. I’m a much better mom if I have some time away from my kids.

    I hope that your transition from one job to the next is smooth. When do you start?

    • Thanks, Amy! I start Oct. 22! And as someone else commented here, we are called to provide our kids with stability, and sometimes that means providing financially! Hope you are doing well!

  17. what a blessing. so amazing how God answers the cries of our hearts

    • It really is! I couldn’t imagine Him putting these dreams in my heart and not leading me out of it, but it happened a little sooner – and WAY better – than we’d imagined. He is so good!

  18. This is surreal… I am reading this about 12 hours after we decided to make a very, very similar choice (right down to the job at the church!).

    CONGRATULATIONS – And I can really identify with your struggles with wanting a career, but when you line up your values like that it makes the choice so, so much easier.

    • Really? That is so crazy! Congrats to you on your new job! And I agree – it’s an easy decision when you lay it all out there, but not so easy to execute. Hope you love your new gig!

  19. I’m still trying to make the same decision before I have this baby and it’s encouraging to find someone else who went through the same struggle since most of my friends are stay at home moms. I’m so glad you took your time to make your decision too and it’s good to know everything fell into place. I know I have time, but I want to prepare and like you, we’re waiting for things to fall into place too. I hope you enjoy your Wednesdays off and I know all three of you will be blessed!

    • Thanks, Hillary, and congrats on your pregnancy! I have a lot of friends who are SAHMs, and of course I work with a lot of working moms, too, so I’ve seen both ends of it. For me, I decided part-time was the best. It can be tricky to find the right opportunity, but I think more and more companies are realizing it’s increasing importance. Before we had Rooney, I thought I’d want to stay at home, so I’m glad I didn’t quit my job before she came. I was wrong :)

  20. that’s great news! congratulations! i always love reading your blog! :-) that’s great that you guys are doing what works for you! people always seem to want to “help” with advice, but at the end of the day they don’t know what’s best for your family. (and honestly, it seems like a lot of people who give advice have a hard time taking their own advice.) i worked part time through my first 2, then had to quit when i was pregnant with my 3rd. (too expensive to go to work! :-) ) now i’m pregnant with my 4th i had to stop volunteering because it was just too much. people are always giving me a hard time about not doing more, but … my family is happy, healthy, and well fed and that’s all that matters. It’s funny to look back (even though I’m only 30) and see how God prepared me for each step. I did not think that I was cut out for full time, stay at home mothering when I was 25 … but it’s more exciting for me to have a 5,4,and 2 year old than it was when they were 3,2,and newborn. :-)

    • That’s so interesting – thanks for sharing. This is what we think will be best for us with one child, and maybe it will change as our family grows, as yours has. Congrats on baby #4, by the way!

      P.S. Your kids are really adorable. And I don’t just say that loosely :)

  21. CONGRATS! I know you and I have emailed about this since we both took our respective returns to work. I am still working 3/4 time and am still feeling like your post. I hate it. Thank you for having the courage to share this as it provides some idea for what to look for to maybe make a change possible. I am truly sorry that people have emailed you with their disappointment as I know you were probably already beating yourself up. I am so incredibly happy for all three of you. Blessings.

    • Thanks, Vanessa. I think about you a lot, by the way! I am sad to hear that you are not enjoying your current situation. :( I hope 4/5 time will be good for me, but maybe it won’t! And then we’ll be back to the drawing board. We have an open conversation about it and it will probably be easier to change again (if needed) since we already decided it was important enough to take a leap of faith, and the next time around would likely be less scary!

      Do you wish you could stay home full-time, or just cut to 1/2 time?

      • So maybe hate is a strong word especially since I’m VERY LUCKY to have 3/4 time as an option (today was a particularly bad day so I probably should have waited to post :) ). I think key for you is WHAT you’ll be doing and WHERE. Re-reading your post and our comments helps clarify that I don’t hate working, but I hate being away from baby boy for something I’m not passionate or excited about. 3/4 time is the first step and I think finding a better fit of an area in our company is the next. Your post – like so many of them – helped me think through that. Your candor and transparency (Ric’s too) are incredible blessings. A big virtual friend hug of excitement and congrats to you!

        • I totally hear what you’re saying! It’s so easy to resent your job because it takes you away from your baby. I was there! About every two weeks, I would have a breakdown because it was eating away at me!

          I definitely agree with you that if you are in the right job at a great company, it can be rewarding and fulfilling, and it makes a huge difference. Good luck to you as you continue to tweak and balance!

          • I still think about this thread of comments from time to time mostly because I so selfishly made this mini convo about me and my issues while it was truly time to celebrate you and your new opportunity. A retroactive apology. I hope the job and the set up continue to be blessings for your family!

            • Oh, don’t feel bad about it! I feel like we kind of went through all this together! Thanks for the well wishes. My job is going great – I have honestly never been happier! I wish the same for you! Are you still working 3/4 time?

  22. Awesome Kelsey! I made the same decision about a year and a half ago and love it…even though it is tougher financially, we make it work…we have to make it work. I get to spend half my days home with Betsy and half my days working! If anyone is thinking of cutting back to spend more days home…I totally suggest SUBSTITUTE TEACHING. I love it…I am a teacher by trade, but now I get to choose my days and assignments!


    • I remember talking to you about your situation a while back and I thought it was so great that you have designed your life in a way that works for you and your family. It’s not “typical”–working three jobs–but it works and it’s obvious that you are happy!

  23. Two thumbs up, Kels! You will absolutely NEVER regret this decision. You will have such a nice balance. So happy for you guys!

  24. Congrats! I am SO glad you ahve found something that works for your family! I work 4 days a week and that extra day at home with my daughter (Tuesdays!) makes a HUGE difference in my mom/wife/homeowner satisfaction!

    And I am SO sorry the internet and strangers can be so cruel about you all putting Roo in daycare–you are doing what is best for your family. No one can judge that!

    • Cara – it’s great to hear from someone else who works 80% and that it makes a big difference. Can I ask how/why you chose Tuesdays as your day off?

  25. Really, really, really happy for you! And, bummed you’ve had to put up with people telling you what’s good (or not good) for your baby. You’re a great mama.

  26. Congrats on the new job! I hope your work life balance improves as a result!

  27. Uggh, we know we are a little bit away from this decision, but I’m already nervous. I love my job, but can’t imagine taking my child out of a group orphanage situation and putting them into daycare. I struggle with what will be right for our family. I’m not opposed to daycare, but for our child it might be pretty confusing given their difficult start to life. I have to keep reminding myself that God will show us what to do when the day is upon us.

    BTW, stop reading negative emails! Family decision are different for EVERY family. What is right is different for every family (besides the basics of obeying God…same for us all). Preaching to the choir, I know!

    • Kara, that must be hard to anticipate. My aunt had the same feelings when they got little Ben from China. After trying to make it work, they eventually decided to send him to day care a couple times a week. I take comfort that God has this in His hands already and He will take care of you.

  28. Oh yah, CONGRATS ON THE NEW JOB! Sounds awesome!!

  29. Late to the party, but congratulations on the new job! I hope the new routine feels perfect!

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