Easy answer for most parents usually. Family. That precious time together, you can never get back.
And if someone else had the same decision, we as a family currently face, I am pretty confident I would be harping on about quality time together, the importance of being present whilst they are young and how money isn't the key to happiness.
However this time it's me in the spot light. And now I'm really unsure.
The (loosely) explained scenario is this.
The Husband commutes currently 2 hours to work and 2 hours back. The great father he is, he gets up at (literally) the crack of dawn, so he can start and finish work earlier, and be home every night at a respectable 5.30pm to see the children and give me some respite.
I'm very lucky to have married someone who cares enough to do this.
However, he has now been offered a shift rota. Primarily, this means for 4 days out of 8 he won't see the children, and a fair amount of weekend work would be involved, and just to add the 4 days off wouldn't actually be 'off' as he has other work too.
Now it's not every weekend, but let's just say enough to bring any mother out in a sweat at just how much 'alone' time she is facing with the children.
The thing is. It's money. A lot more money.
Enough to make me, the 'money does not even touch the importance of being together' and 'no turn down that extra money for Sunday lunch' person that I am, it's made me seriously question if we should in fact just grab this opportunity by the balls and run to the hills, or maybe fly off in our new helicopter (kidding).
Part of me thinks of the stability it will give us financially, our home, savings, saving for our 4 daughters future education, it would bring us so many possibilities, for all of us, as unfortunately, money can make a lot of difference.
But yet, I cannot shake this feeling, a feeling of its totally against every principle I have ever had, it's against the one thing I have always advocated. Being together.
Yes, we could move nearer to his job, except neither of us want to, we are totally agreed that where we live is such the perfect place to raise our children, that the alternative fills us with dread.
Our daughters are settled here, we may not have family near by, but I have built up such an incredibly strong network of amazing friends since moving into our little haven, that when the catastrophe of needing to go and watch a school play, but no children allowed (it's distracting apparently..) and I sit and look at my 3 young toddlers and wonder if leaving them outside on a lead is legal, I know I have friends to call upon who my girls love, and those friends will sit and have tea parties with them until I get home.
We are happy here. So happy.
But when do you sacrifice for money? Do you ever?
I thought you didn't, but my lines have become blurred, between, is it really just the family time I'm concerned about? Or is it the thought of being on my own a lot that is eating away in the back of my head?
Both, in honesty.
And that is when I feel I need to pull my socks up, think of the future of the family and is it really that bad?
He won't be away for weeks at a time. He won't be posted abroad for months, and so many admirable women and men support their partners who do have to work away a lot, so why shouldn't I.
I fear it's being too selfish.
I want the financial stability.
I want the husband at home every evening for supper.
I can't have both. So how do you choose?