Why Don’t You Just…

Quit.  No…not TTC’ing.  Rather, my job.  I know this is a bit off topic and somewhat self indulgent, but it’s been on my mind A LOT, so I thought I’d turn to the blog to work some of these thoughts and feelings out.  Please bear with me!

From time to time I think I’ve made mention of the fact that I really really dislike my particular job and actually even the field of HR.  I won’t bore people with the details of why I dislike my job.  Even my husband (who much to his chagrin cannot avoid being bored by the details) doesn’t fully understand why.  He gets that the politics and cultural dynamics in play at my particular organization are daunting, and that some of the issues I deal with are equal parts petty and soul-draining (he refers to it as the Land of Whiners and Cowards), but as he says – “You usually get to leave around 5:00, you don’t take work home, you make a great salary…what’s your problem.”   All that being said, he’s tired of hearing me complain and he feels that the stress I’m carrying around as a result is affecting our ability to conceive, so he often urges me to quit.  He’s even resorted to bribery by saying we could buy my beloved but up until now unpurchased Mac if I would just do it already.

It’s surprising to me how many internal struggles this decision is sparking.  Everything from financial security to my independence to trust levels between LG and me …not to mention how this fits into our long-term family planning.

Given everything going on in the economy, LG and I are comparatively blessed.  We’re by no means well off, but we are able to meet our relatively simple needs without concern.  LG comes into the relationship with investments (which of course have taken a big hit) including college funds that he started for his future children in his 20’s (that’s how much and for how long he has wanted to be a father).  I have far fewer investments (read: none), but earn a comfortable salary.  A salary that happens to be 3 times LG’s.

LG insists that we can make it on his salary and still be fine.  I don’t think so.   When I try to express my concerns about this, it leads to an argument because he thinks I’m basically saying that I have to keep working, because he doesn’t earn enough.  I hate myself for it, but that is kind of what I’m saying.

I’m also afraid that if I leave the workforce, I won’t be able to get back in.  Certainly not now and definitely not at the salary I’m making.  The 2nd part is OK – that I could live with.  It’s the first part that’s scary.  I know first hand from the other side how tough job hunting is right now.  I recently posted a job for my own team and had 150 applicants within the first 24 hours.  I don’t have time to go through all of those, so the first few that looked good, I brought them in for an interview and hired one of them.  I would guess that I didn’t even look at 100 of the resumes or more.  There could have been incredibly qualified candidates there and because of how many resumes flood my inbox every day (not to mention recruiters phoning me with their candidates), they never even got a look.  I’m terrified that I’ll make the decision to quit, discover I’ve made a terrible mistake, and have no recourse.  There’s also a part of me that feels incredibly selfish – here I have a job in these times and I’m flitting around being all cavalier (not really) about whether or not to keep it while others are struggling so much.  Who do I think I am…some kind of dilettante?  I have considered staying in the field (ugh) but looking for another job, but see above: tough times.  Also, the one thing this place has going for it, is that my boss is aware of and understanding of our efforts to have a child and what that entails for us in terms of time away for work for doctor appointments, retrievals, transfers et al.  What if my next employer and/or manager is not as flexible?

This next one’s a hard one, because it goes a little deeper and makes me question a number of things I hadn’t considered before.  Namely, I’m scared to death to be financially dependent on LG – regardless of his salary.  I’m scared that something will happen to him, or worse, he’ll leave me, and I’ll have nothing.  We’re not having relationship issues, so that shouldn’t be a concern, but I’ve seen it happen far too many times, when you think everything’s fine and the next thing you know someone’s walking away.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, this fear is not a new one – it’s a large part of what kept me single so long.)  This makes me feel like I don’t fully trust him (or us) and that’s confusing to me and sad.

So with all of that, it’s probably hard to tell where the decision comes in….  All compelling points, so why would I even consider leaving without another job in hand?  The flip side is that I’m absolutely miserable in this job and it’s starting to take a toll on my physical and emotional wellbeing as well as LG’s and my relationship.  While we all know IF is infinitely more complex than just relaxing, I do believe that stress plays a role, and how I feel right now most days can’t be helping things.  At the very least, LG and I have decided that I will take a leave of absence around my next IVF cycle in June.

I guess there is another option…bulk lottery tickets.

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4 Responses

  1. I can totally relate to where you are, and to be honest, I left. I took my ball and went home. I see LG’s point about the hours and the salary, but when it comes down to it spending 8 hours a day being miserable (as I was) just didn’t make sense. We are all afraid of the unknown and of losing control, but sometimes you get the best blessings when you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone. I did.

    After leaving the miserable job I spent four months “drifting” but eventually I found a way better job with a way better company, making more money and am glad I took the plunge.

    All that to say, I’m not wanting to influence you one way or another, just letting you know my experiences with getting out of the comfort zone in an effort to have a better life.

  2. Is there any way you can take a leave of absence NOW? Is there any way you can look for something else now?

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this.

  3. I practically beg my DH every month to let me quit my job! It’s not that it’s so horrible, but I do feel the stress of TTC has made sitting in an office all day even more confining and stressful and soul-sucking. We don’t need my salary to survive either, but it sure makes our life easier, and easier for us to continue to pay for our family building via IVF.

    For our next cycle I am going to take a medical leave of absence (pending approval)…maybe for 2 weeks, maybe for 2 months, I’m not sure yet. I’ll see how I feel about my job after that time off, but at least the option will still be open to come back if I have a change of heart.

    Good luck with your decisions!

  4. my dh apparently buys a lottery ticket on a regular basis. i think that he is really hoping that he wins and can quit his job 🙂

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