So, this post has been a long time coming...and even though it's baby post week around here, I am going to talk about it anyway. Work. Some things about maternity leave, and how things would operate if I returned have changed, or were different than what I expected based on the employee manual (which used lots of tricky language like "could" and "may"....you would have thought the lawyer in me would have caught that!). Basically, here's the situation:
-I can only roll over 90 hours of vacation into the new year
-I will get 6 weeks maternity leave rather than 3 months. While on leave, I will have to pay my health insurance premiums, which is about $350/month.
-When I return, I will have to bump up to full-time, rather than the 30-35 hours per week that I currently work, and there really isn't any capability to have a flex-schedule, or work from home.
So essentially, the baby would be in daycare from 8-6 every day of the work week. I priced out daycares in this area, and most are $3.95/hour for a newborn. For Justin this all means something simple: don't go back to work. Working for a non-profit isn't profitable enough to put a child in daycare all day, and even if it were, he doesn't want someone else raising our child on a full-time basis.
I understand, and tend to agree with him. And in this situation, I really DO need to let someone at work know whether I plan to come back before I leave for maternity leave (if I am coming back, others will carry my caseload while I'm gone; if I'm not coming back, they'll need to hire a new person, who I'd need to train before I left), so I know we need to make a decision. However, there are several issues that are still at play:
1- Can we actually survive on one income?
2-What will we do about health insurance for me?
I'm nervous about question 1. Right now, we couldn't put away my check in its entirety and survive. Then again, we don't HAVE to, so we definitely end up spending more on eating out and entertainment. Then again, so much of Justin's work depends on the economy, which is obviously variable. I don't know what it will be like in December. I know that Justin will do whatever needs to be done to make things work, but I don't WANT him to have to work so much that he's never home! I'd be willing to get a part-time job somewhere like Starbucks (they have great insurance too), but I have no experience, and who knows if I'll even be able to find a job like that.
As I've previously mentioned, it seems I'm unable to qualify for private insurance due to my allergies, and because of the economy, through J's work, we would have to pay for insurance for both of us....and it's a really terrible plan (we pay monthly, AND pay 50% of everything). I don't think I could afford a COBRA payment, and I'm not sure I'm even eligible if I just leave my job rather than be laid off.
Plus, there's the whole mental side of staying home....why did I spend all that money on college only to stay at home? Plus, I really love my job most days, and feel like I'm doing something meaningful. What if I don't like staying home?
In the meantime, I'm torn about what to do...do I use our excess money to pay down debt so that when the baby comes we'll have fewer bills, or do I use it to build up our savings for the baby expenses that I'm sure we don't even realize we will have yet and give us more of a cushion? Oye Vey.
So, lately I've been doing a LOT of thinking and praying over Matthew 6:25-34:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."