10 March 2013

A season of ... working full-time

I can hardly believe it's March! A quarter of 2013 has gone by since I last visited my blog.  My free time has been radically shortened, and I spend most of my days like the lady in the picture above, since I started working full-time at the beginning of this year.

Although the first few weeks were just a blur, lately I have started to question the advantages and disadvantages of working full-time. 

For us, the most obvious advantage is money, with which to make long-awaited changes at home, besides allowing a little more freedom to purchase (without having to count every cent).  We have a long list of needs, including car repairs, roof repairs, gas installation, bathroom renovation and flooring.  Then there's the even longer list of 'wants' like a new lounge suite, a deep freezer and so on.  I know you have a list too - even if it's not written down, it's in the back of your mind, constantly. 

This is what motivated us to accept the full-time employment offer.  Is this what motivates you too?

However, I have subconsciously been keeping another list in the back of my mind... This list includes all the sacrifices that had to be made along the way to our new financial 'freedom'.  And here's where the silent tears start to well up...

My family is suffering without a mom at home.  Even though we pay someone to help out once a week, our home is missing it's 'heart'.  By that I mean, you (the mother or homemaker) is not there to keep everything in order, meals start to become less planned, damage-control in the kitchen is the new 'norm', washing and shopping has to wait for weekends, husband and children have to wait till evening to speak to you, Dad has to pack his own lunch... Then there's the decluttering that never gets done, the sewing and mending that end up in the give-away bag, etc.

My pride-and-joy food garden, has almost become a waste-land, since there is no time to tend it. Vegetables that could have been harvested and preserved, end up rotting on the plants.  No time to plant seeds, no time to make preserves, no time to breathe that fresh morning air in the garden...

But worst of all, is the realisation that we're no longer PRODUCERS (making our own), but have become CONSUMERS!  That goes against everything we've stood for and worked so hard to overcome in the last few years.

Is it really worth it?  Did we anticipate that over R3000 a month would be deducted for a provident fund, or that another R2250 would pay for a compulsory medical aid?  That the paid help at home would cost us over R1000 a month?

A big eye-opener was when I marked every item on our budget that is a 'want' (iow, we could live without it if we had to) and it adding up to almost R10,000 a month!

Again I ask, is it worth it to work full-time?  I don't have a definitive answer yet, but as I consider all the above, my heart is leaning more towards home... no matter the cost.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the 'comments' section below.