Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Frustration and debate

I am frustrated. This is what I've been thinking about, almost constantly, for the last couple months.  Turns out, I've been thinking about a lot.  

 Zac and I have been married close to two years.  That entire time he has been working in St. Louis while I work in a little town two hours away from St. Louis.  This little town is only 20 minutes from my hometown, where we live.  I say we, but Zac spends 3-4 nights a week at his friend Lou's.  We are fortunate to have friends kind enough to let Zac basically live with them without asking for a penny, but it's not the newlywed years I was hoping for.   So, the big question....do I keep my job here, stay near my family and the new babies, or move back to St. Louis to be with my husband.  

Zac and I will have our 6 year anniversary this fall.  A family is not terribly far off in our future.  But you don't want to start a family when the Dad is gone half the week.  Zac can't quit his job as he carries the insurance for us.  He has a good job, that he LOVES, with great benefits and he is frequently promoted.  Seriously, 3 different raises in the last 2 years.  He is moving up and as he is earning double what I am, I don't think it's fair for me to ask him to give it up for a job he won't like near as well, that doesn't pay as much (which is all that seems available around here).

This would all be easy to decide if I hated my job or my boss, but I don't.  He is a nice, honest guy.  My patients are very sweet.  I like it here, but not everything about my job is good.  I am an associate doctor, which means I am an employee, I get no decision making power, which drives me nuts as I want to be the boss.  I will eventually (next 2 years or so) be able to buy in or purchase this practice.  But do I want this practice?  The pros, it's a 25 year established practice that has solid collections and billings and I like our office manager very much.  The cons, after 25 years, patients want what they want, when they want it, and it becomes difficult to change/update based on what I want for the practice to be.  But I have a practice already.  I have patients that come to see me.   They like me, and I lose the efforts of my last 2 years if I walk away from it.  

Why not start my own practice you ask?  Because we're poor.  We've dumped every extra penny we've earned into paying off debt and we do a good job of it.  Zac and I don't have the savings for me to hang up my own shingle and start working away.  If I were to start a practice, I'm looking at a minimum of 3-5 years of hard, everyday, unrelenting work to get it up and off the ground.  That means no family for 3-5 years, long hours, little pay, lots of struggle.  

If I move away, I have to start my practice over.  I may not like where I practice, or who I practice with, but Zac will be there.  It will probably be longer before we have kids as I try to get things rolling somewhere else.  But once we have those kiddos, our support system is 2 hours away.  I want to see my nieces and nephews on a regular basis.  I want to be able to build a house on the land my dad gave me.  I want my kids to know their grandparents and have their cousins feel like brothers and sisters.  Hard to do from a distance.  But again, I will actually get to live full-time with my husband and comes before my family.  

My family keeps telling me to have my kids and the other things won't matter near as much anymore.  But I want to be able to provide for my family and have my children be able to have a dad that's home everyday.  I can't really justify being a stay-at-home mom after putting myself $160k in debt to do what I do.  As much as that is appealing, how would I ever get out from under that debt?  How could we ever buy a home, or start college funds?  But then again, maybe those are the "other things."

So this is my big dilemma.  I've got 5 months to figure it out.  Stay here, or find a different job and a new place to live.  Keep on keepin on or start anew.  For now I will sit, contemplate, occassionally cry, and wait for it to become clear. Know that if any of you out there would like to pay off my student loan debt, hire Zac, and help fund the opening of my practice, I'd be thrilled for the help.  


  1. You are an absolutely amazing person Abbie Jane! I don't know how you do all the things you do but one thing I know for sure... You'll find your way and it will be perfect for you and Zac! Pray about it and keep praying and the answer will present itself. It may take awhile...be patient...it may not be anything you expect.

    Wonderful, amazing things will come your way because you are truly special person. Have faith and an open heart! Love ya!

  2. I say go, be with your husband! You seem like a fantastic person who could fit in anywhere and you could easily get into a practice. I know this seems like an impossible decision right now, but you will make the right one. :-)

  3. do you want my opinion? i've said it a long time...zac needs to search and really search for a job here. he loves his job but he might find one he loves here even more. and if the pay isn't as good as it is now, at least he's home and you can be together, be with family, and work on your practice more. i know a lot about you, but the biggest thing is how much you love your family, especially the kiddos. zac loves us too and you know you can't leave us again. so start searching the web and get him home! plus, i'm not taking care of your trailers/renters, if you move. no way...unless i get all the money and none of the debt :)

    p.s. it's not always about money, even if you are full of debt. i need more nieces and nephews and when you have one, you'll know what i mean. i would give up everything for caroline and pinto. plus, you're getting old. haha!

  4. Pray and listen...he will reveal the answers. Ellen is absolutely right. God has the only plan. You can plan all you want but his will win in the end so sit back and listen. Also money is not important at all. Home is where your family is whether it is a rented apartment or a palatial estate.God will provide for your needs.... insurance, food, clothing should not rule your life. Money does not buy happiness.... relationships do. You will figure it out. I am anxious to see what HE has planned.

  5. Abbie I don't envy you for being in this position :/ It's very complicated with many variables. I agree with Maggie though that family is really important and that would be very difficult to leave behind especially when you start having kids. I think Zac could find a job closer, and one that he loves, even if he doesn't love it as much, having a family is about making sacrifices. But I think waiting to have kids is a good idea. Maggie will fight me on this one, but don't listen to her! ;)

  6. OH Abbie, this is a toughie! First I say pray and pray hard. I see it both ways, so my comment probably is not going to help you. I say be with your husband, that's why you married him, to be with him. It is very hard to ignore all the "other things" that pile up and seem to pretty much consume and run our lives, so I also say try to focus on the real important things in your life, like your family. To me this is just a double whammy, you are focusing on family, Zac is family and you want to be with him, but you also have an amazing family here that you want to be around. It's so darn complicated! Yes it's true, money doesn't buy happiness, which isn't fair because it can certainly cause misery! Follow your heart and do what's best for you, because it's your life and you have to live it missy! I guess if I had to absolutely choose for you, I would say go be with Zac, and the rest will start to fall into place. Sorry Fox family I don't mean any disrespect, I just know if it was me I would have to be with my husband! I hope you don't have to stress too much over this, and maybe the answer will be a whole lot clearer after praying and taking a long hot bubble bath! :)


  7. Hi I came over from your mom's...honestly...your husband, you and your future children are your family now first...I come from a large family...9 of us kids...and the hardest thing was to finally realize that we all have our own little families and those come first ...then we all get together and have fun. I really believe you need those first years of closeness...that comes into play way down the road. That being said please..you have worked so hard to become what you wanted to be...not so much for the money but for your own self-esteem realize your career is important too...

  8. Tell God what your ideal situation would be, then ask Him to work it out - you'll be amazed at how things fall into place when you let go of the planning because He sees so much more information than you are currently privy too. That being said...My hubs and I lived thousands of miles away from family (as in Hawaii and Seattle) the first 10 years of marriage. We started our family on our own with no granparents around, and can I tell you that though it wasn't always easy, we have a much stronger relationship and rely on each other more than our couple friends who've always had help from their nearby parents. Now we do live near his family which I'm glad, but I wouldn't trade those times that it was just us. You can do it!!!! Your family is still close enough to visit a couple of times a month. I say go for it! But tell God what you need first :)


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