Thursday, September 3, 2009

Switching gears

Yesterday was the first day back for all teachers in my school district. Of course I wasn't there, but what did I end up doing? I checked my district email like five times, called my former department co-chair for an update and went in today to "visit".

What the heck is wrong with me?!?!

I wanted out for so long so that I could spend some quality time taking care of my kids, and now that I am out, I longingly peek back in?

I know we made the right decision for me to take some time off with the kids, I'm not second guessing that, but I am having a hard time letting go of that part of me. I thought it would be so easy to let her go...but not really.

I kind of skated my way through college and started teaching at 23. For about 7 years I was super career oriented. I was on my way to my Master's and even considered an Administrator's Credential. Then I had Joaquin. I thought I would be able to go back to work and just keep on truckin' I didn't think I would turn into one of "those" moms. But I did.

Once it was time to go back to work I just physically couldn't do it. I was a basket case. I cried on the phone to my Principal and begged for at least a part time position, and I got it. I finished that school year working 4 days a week and the next year I was working 3 days. Was it the perfect answer? No, but it was better than working full time.

Last year I had to go back full time because of Dan's job situation and then I got pregnant at the beginning of the year. As you probably know, that was seriously the hardest year for me professionally. All I wanted to do was be at home with Joaquin and my soon to be baby.

Well, we are making it work. Not without some HUGE sacrifices, but I'm here with my two kids. I should be on cloud nine, right? I am happy, I love them and I love watching them grow, but at the same time I'm kind of shocked at who I am now. Not that I'm not happy with myself, it's just not who I ever expected myself to be. I was a completely different person when it came to my career once I had kids.

I look at on of my school's Vice Principal's, the one in charge of my department and I wonder if that could have been me. She is my age, and it seems she took that path that I veered off of. I wonder if I'll ever get back on it...I wonder if I'll ever want to?

I'm not one of those that "wants it all" the great career and the great family. I can't do it all and I don't even want to try. I'm happy with staying focused on one thing at a time and right now that is my family. Switching my focus is just taking a little more getting used to than I though it would.


BM said...

I can't help but wonder if this will be me. I love my job, but how will I feel about it once I have this baby? I just don't know. My husband really wants me to keep working (even though I make so little it's not very economically smart) because he wants me to be happy and he thinks I'd be miserable staying at home. I don't know if that's true. It's nice to heart that other strong, motivated women struggle with the same question.

The Mrs. said...

Ten years ago, if you showed me what I would be doing today - staying at home to raise my son - I would've keeled over from the shock. I was spending 15+ hours in a newsroom, living on espresso and ambition, and didn't EVER think I would have time for marriage and/or kids.

Sometimes I get a twinge when I see classmates and friends who made it on to the next phase in their thirties. Then I look at the boy sleeping in my arms, and think...hey, who woulda thought? Here is happiness encapsulated in 10 pounds and 23 inches, right in front of my nose. Just a different path is all. :)

NixonsMamma said...

This entry brought back so many memories! When I stopped teaching almost 3 years ago, I did everything possible to stay connected... it was so hard to "let go" of being in the loop! I even missed getting in my "teacher clothes" each morning, rather than slobber! :)

But, like you said, I KNEW in the deepest of hearts I could only do one job to the best of my ability. School? or Home? I'm so thankful I chose home. And... I can't believe I don't really miss the stress, standards, budget-cuts, staff meetings... :)

We'll go back one day! :) and then we'll love it because our kids will be on our same schedule! :)

eiroc said...

It is difficult adjusting to change, but you have two beautiful babies. They will grow up remembering you being at home with them. I remember grandma taking care of me or babysitters. You are a stay at home mom, which perhaps is more difficult than being a VP or any other job. You get to see your children grow up and don't have to miss out on those special moments. Careers and school will always be there, but those special moments will not. In no time you will not miss it. IEPs, meetings, trainings, upset students, etc.