October 17, 2007

Is This Normal, Or Is It Just Me?

I've been struggling a bit lately with what it is that I want to do. Not in the "what direction do we take in dealing with infertility" sense, but in the job sense.

If you'll recall, back in February R and I decided that I should quit my job and embark on a new career as a Realtor. I'm working with another Realtor friend, and the plan was for me to have more time to do things like exercise and cook, to get healthy for another pregnancy.

Yeah, well, the best laid plans...So far, that free time hasn't materialized. Instead, I'm working more hours than ever before. And I'm not having a lot of fun, because our niche market is foreclosures. And when you deal with foreclosures, you deal with things like:

  • transients living on the back patio of your property
  • dead landscaping that ticks off the HOA (this week)
  • phone calls from police saying "there's been a shooting and we think the perps might be holed up in the house you have listed..."
  • dead rabbits in the yard (today)
  • dead pidgeons in the driveway (today)
  • phone calls from a utility worker saying "I'm in front of one of your properties...the door is wide open, the lock has been messed with so that it won't lock, and it looks like it's being used as a drop house..." (today)

That's not to say it's all bad, because I definitely enjoy not having to be at a desk from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and I don't have a boss that I answer to every day.

But I'm working harder and making less money doing so. And I don't have more time to do things around the house, which I told R I would do to take some of the stress off him.

So I'm debating what to do. I used to be a very focused person, at least, I was before infertility struck. It's been 5 years, and it seems like it has sucked the life and energy right out of me. And now I'm floundering.

Here are the different options I keep stewing over:

1) Find a full-time job. If I do this, I'd prefer to find one at a company that has infertility benefits (not easy to do, since I don't live in a mandated state) and one that pays about $10,000 more than I was making before. That part of the goal is probably more feasible. We need at least one or the other in case we have to go back to infertility treatments at some point. And if we get both, I'll use part of the extra money to pay for a house cleaning service, so that my ceiling fans get cleaned more often than, say, once a year...

2) Stick out the real estate career. This is the one that R and my therapist are voting for. Both keep saying, "But it has to get better..." And, yes, it probably will. But the issue isn't that there's not enough to do, because in the foreclosure market, that's not a problem right now. But my goal was never to be a traditional Realtor as a career, it was to get into the field so that R and I could start buying and flipping properties. And I still think that's a legitimate goal at some point, but not right now, not in this market.

3) Get a part-time job and adjust our spending habits to make it work. When I left, my former company split my job into two full-time positions. It appears that they've since switched one of those (the duties I'm more interested in) to a part-time position. I may be able to contact them about coming back, although I have mixed emotions about that for a variety of reasons. But even if I do that, do I then still do some of the real estate work, or just do the 3 days a week and use the extra time to really focus on my health? From a financial perspective, if we are disciplined, we could probably make it work without losing too much ground. However, even when I'm working full-time, I feel guilty about not making as much as R does, so I'm sure I'd feel even more guilt if I was only working 3 days a week.

4) Stay home altogether. Ok, this one isn't really an option. But it's nice to dream.

Honestly, I'm not a lazy person. In fact, I used to be an ambitious person. But in the past 25 months, there have been 4 miscarriages, 3 failed adoptions, 1 failed fresh IVF, 1 failed FET and three months of illness/major tests that resulted in an IBS-due-to-stress diagnosis. In the 2 years before that, there was 1 more miscarriage, 4 canceled IUIs and 4 failed IUIs. At this poitn, ambition is only a distant, faded memory. I know R has gone through his share of it too, but even so, I think it's at a different level when you're the one actually swallowing daily meds by the handfuls and having all those needles/ultrasound wands/IVs stuck into you.

I want a break. I need a break. I guess I need to think about why I made the change in the first place - to give myself the best shot at being healthy enough to have a successful pregnancy. And I don't think I'm doing that right now. And there will be many, many more years for me to work hard at earning more money, but not many more years when my eggs are still (hopefully, potentially) viable.

If only we were filthy rich and I could go with Option #4...I'd be the best darn potato a couch ever met! :-)


Beagle said...

I vote for 3.

(Not that I should actually get a vote, it's your life!)

My husband is/was a realtor and did it for three years before getting a regular job with predictable hours/income/benefits.

Real Estate is a tough go in the beginning. I'm not sure how long it *normally* takes to get to the place where you are established enough for it to get easier.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!

Tracy said...

I was always a career woman before TTC. Now I share your dream of #4...if only IF wasn't so darn expensive.

Grad3 said...

I have been struggling with some silmilar things. It's hard... I hope that as time goes on one becomes more clear. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!

(personally, it sounds like #3 has the most potential to get you where you want to be but beagle is right- we don't have to live your life!)

Nico said...

It does sound like the real estate option isn't giving you what you were hoping for. Is it possible to do that on a more part-time basis? I think that taking care of yourself should be your #1 priority for the moment, as you say, you can earn $ in the future. I hope you can figure out a way to make that happen like you wanted to.