Parenthood Juggle: The Blessings of Both Worlds

hospital 2013My mom never had a career outside the home while her children were living there, but she always encouraged me to seek out an education that would allow me to get a job that could help support my family.  I think she must of had some sort of pre-recession inspiration because for a few years, I was the primary income provider in our home.

After graduation from high school I attended a local community college because my money went further there and I intended on going to nursing school.  Due to circumstances out of my control, I couldn’t get into a local program.  Instead, I ended up in a short but intense pharmacy technician program and at the ripe age of 20, began the career that I still have almost a decade later.

I was working at a hospital full-time at the age of 21 when I met my husband to be.  He was about a year off of his mission and pretty much just getting started in his schooling.  Ours was a summer romance turned long distance courtship/engagement as he was still enrolled 16 hours away at BYU-I.  We decided that he would leave BYU-I and move to Eugene, Oregon and finish schooling where I was already established with a good job that could provide for us.  I don’t know what he was more thrilled over, moving here to get married or attending a university where he could grow his goatee and hair as long and bushy as he liked.

Between my job and finding work as apartment managers, he was able to graduate debt-free, which in the current economy is no small blessing.  Our first child was born three and a half years after we were married, during my husband’s last year of college.  Because I worked in a hospital that cared for patients 24-7, I was able to adjust the days and shifts that I worked so, with the assistance of family that watched our baby once a week, we didn’t have to find outside daycare for our child.  I was also able to reduce my work to 20 hours per week and still retain full insurance coverage for our entire family.

Two more little boys later, we’re finally in a position for me to further reduce my hours this coming year to one day a week and half of that money will go towards our “fun fund” wherein we save up for things that we want but don’t necessarily need, such as vacations and a king-sized bed.

Being a pharmacy technician in a hospital setting has been a HUGE blessing for our family.  As a benefited employee I am required to work every other weekend (my husband’s M-F job means that he is available to care for our children), so during the weekdays I only need child care once or twice that fortunately my family has been able to provide.  Only being able to attend church every other week has been difficult; not in terms of how other people react to me, but I do better as a spiritual being when I can attend every week as I discovered during my 12 week maternity leaves.  It has also been good for my husband because he sees exactly what I do as a SAHM when it’s his solo parenting weekend.  He even takes all three boys (ages four, two and infant) to church by himself.  It makes him appreciative of my work as a mother, and understanding of why the house is a mess and no dinner is waiting for him when he comes home some days.

I am incredibly thankful that my mother encouraged me to find a job that could provide financial security.  Graduating during a recession meant that even with a shiny new degree in accounting, it took my husband nine months to find a local job and the job he took came with a lower wage then one would ideally like when starting a career.  Since we had my job, however, we could accept the job without financial fear and in the past three years his career has blossomed.  I find myself more appreciative of the time I am allowed to be home with my boys when I leave them to go to work.  My job provides a different type of stimulation, adult conversation and a sense of pride since I am good at what I do.  I also have a wonderful sense of security knowing that with my set of skills, I could immediately go back to working full-time if something unforeseen should happen to my husband.

So thanks, Mom for your sound advice.  I wouldn’t trade this ability to have pretty much the best of both worlds for anything.

Submitted by Lauren Yorgesen, Eugene, OR

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