Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ever looming question

parker's 3rd birthday is coming up in less than 2 months!  i am super excited about his party that my sweet friends jennifer & shalini are helping plan.  but that is not the topic of this post.  for almost 3 years since sweet parker's birth, i've contemplated staying at home.  i often wonder if it is better to work hard & sacrifice now so james and i can have more financial freedom in coming years, or if staying home now on a tight budget would be better for our kids and our mental health.  i don't want to look back in coming years and wish i would've stayed home.  at the same time, i don't want to look back on the great opportunity i have at work right now and wish i would've worked another year or two to have the freedom of no house payment.

it's a never ending debate that sparked again while calculating our taxes this year.  for kicks i figured our tax with and without my income--we would save $xx,xxx on federal income tax alone if i quit working!  if the government wants to give motivation to quit that is pretty strong encouragement right there.  looking at our excel budget to see how much we could save on childcare (even though the boys are not in full time day care) just adds fuel to the fire.  what is the true marginal utility of my second income?

but then i think about how good we have it--i have a flexible job schedule, 3 weeks of vacation time plus holidays, weekends, etc. some spouses go overseas and miss out on whole years of their children's development to serve their family/country.  if i work 40 hours a week (and some of that from home), i am not missing out on very much of my children's lives. 

many firefighters get second jobs, but again--what is the marginal utility of that 2nd income?  not that i want to make less money to pay less taxes but our tax system highly rewards such choices.
an article pops up in my newsfeed about "how the happiest people spend their money" and then i watch a contrasting suzie ortman show about saving and planning for the future.  torn.

i can lay my head down to rest each night knowing that james and i are doing our best to love on our kids, provide for our kids, and make every choice with their best short term and long term interest in mind.  while we may not always know the best choice to make, they are choices we make together.  we are not trapped or locked into to a choice forever, whether it is continuing to work or staying home.  only God knows what the future holds and we need to seek his guidance and wisdom along the way.  g'nite yall.  love and peace in all of your decision making!