Why I decided to earn $40k less a year

Some parents are fantastic at the work / family life balance. Me… not so much. I felt guilty. A lot. It wasn’t that they were in care – they love day care. They have more fun there then at home! It was more how our home life flowed once we actually got home. I would be tired from work, they would be tired from care, and what came next wasn’t always the best combination of the 2. I was just losing my patience constantly. I couldn’t switch straight into Mum mode like some can. Not to mention when they got sick – I was frustrated that my first thought when they fell ill wasn’t ‘oh the poor thing’ it was ‘of sh*t another day off work’. This just fed the guilt.

I struggled to keep up with the house work and I struggled to stay on a budget because I was so tired. Everyone was stressed. So whilst I could have gone back into full time work for my employer, I decided to leave there and do night fill work for $40k less then my full time wage would have been. I now work 3-4 nights a week, 4 hours a night and am a lot calmer. Once my daughter starts school next year I will be there to walk her to the bus, meet her off it and hang out with her during school holidays. Just like my Mum did with me.

After I lost my Dad this decision was cemented for me. During the days we were in palliative care I realised that everything material doesn’t matter. Doesn’t even come close to mattering. The relationships & the memories you have mean everything. I will never regret the money I didn’t get to spend. I will regret not being the best Mum I could be to my kids because I was too stressed out.

Our home life is much calmer now and I think after a period of adjustment (wondering what the hell I was going to do all day every day) I feel more certain I made the best decision for our family. It certainly sometimes isn’t easy. With such a difference in pay between what I was earning working days to now we need to be very careful with our money. We need to budget and I need to watch every dollar. There are lots of things we cant do that others can which can sometimes be hard (the whole grass is greener) – we drive old cars (my car is 14yrs old), don’t go on fancy holidays and don’t have fancy stuff – but then I remember back to how I felt juggling all those balls up in the air and I feel content again. I take my hat off to those that can juggle it all well.

I think every family just needs to find the right balance for them. For some they can juggle it all and still be ridiculously happy – for us for now at least it needs to be this way for our lives to run smoother & everyone to be happy.

So for now, I’ll make the most of being home with the kids while they’re small, stay frugal and take in my slower life 🙂



8 thoughts on “Why I decided to earn $40k less a year

  1. Please be encouraged and let ALL that guilt go. it’s in the past and you’ve learnt from it. We chose to homeschool when my daughter just finished 4th grade, so all three have been with me everyday, all day for their growing up years. My youngest is now just graduated from high school and is leaving for uni this fall, the middle child has Asperger’s, but is a great worker on the farm – we’ll see how he handles life, it’s tough for him, the eldest graduated uni 2 years ago at 21 and has spent the past two years teaching Kindergarten in Honduras. I would not trade all the time we’ve spent for anything – was i the best mom – no way! I would stress out and take it out on them sometimes, but we are all human with frailties that we deal with best we can, say ‘i’m sorry’, and then go on. Staying at home saves a ton of money, allows ample family time, and encourages the children to take on chores and responsiblities of their own interests which being in govt schools would not have allowed the time. (we also didn’t have to deal with all the drama and debauchery which is a tremendous blessing). Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’d be surprised at how rewarding home educating your children is. Frustrating at times, sure, but it all works out for good. It does take patience and commitment, but so does a lot of things.

        Liked by 1 person

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