Friday, June 27, 2014

The best of both worlds

When Nathan was born, I had an amazing work setup where I got to to work from home which meant Nathan only had to go to part-time daycare in the morning which is when I would get the brunt of my work done. Then I got to spend the afternoons with him and finish my work around his nap schedule. But when he was 10 months old I got laid off and had no idea what my next step would be. I was suddenly faced with the decision most women have to make when they become mothers, will I go back to work or will I stay home? I didn't want to do either.

I've heard many people say that being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to them. Although it didn't feel like that right away, it turned out to be true for me as well. When I thought about working full-time I cried that I wouldn't see Nathan enough. When I thought about staying home full-time, I cried that I would be bored. I wanted to work part-time but those jobs are few and far between and in my case didn't pay enough to cover the cost of childcare. So I explored my options and eventually decided to go back to school. I had always thought about becoming a teacher but the timing had never been right. Suddenly, the timing was perfect. I got to stay home with Nathan during the day and go to class in the afternoon/evening.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to stay at home with Nathan and eventually Ryan for so long but in the past few months, I have really felt like I needed more and am excited to be working again. It took me three years but I graduated last month with my Masters in Elementary Ed. Since January, I've been working full-time and although it was a LOT of work, I loved every second of it. It's the most tired and overwhelmed I have felt in a long time, it is also the most fulfilled I have felt too.  Being a full-time at home mom is incredibly hard work and I have huge respect for the millions of women who do it everyday. Working a full-time job and then coming home to take care of your kids is also incredibly hard work and I have huge respect for the millions of women who do it everyday! I feel very fortunate to not have to choose to do one or the other, being a teacher allows me a little bit of each lifestyle.

I worked as a first grade student teacher for four months and have spent the past two months working as a third grade assistant teacher. Most days I was able to pick the boys up by 3:30 and take them to a playdate, a trip to the library or just hang out for an hour in the backyard before starting the dinner/bath/bed routine. I love going to school each morning and I feel like the classroom is where I'm meant to be, but I also love being able to have some quality time together with the boys in the afternoon. And the best part of my job is it's officially summer vacation so for the next two months, I get to be a full-time, at home mom again!

I am excited to not have to rush around in the morning to get everyone dressed, and fed, and out the door by 7:45. I am excited to not have to pack lunches for three people every night! I am excited to have lazy days where we hang out at home and busy days where we spend hours playing with friends.

Will I miss working? Yes. Am I overwhelmed at the idea of having to entertain two maniacs for twelve hours a day every single day? Yes!  Will I be sad to go back to work in Sept? Probably. But I think knowing that my summer break is only for two months will make me appreciate being home with them more now. I plan on taking advantage of our freedom and making sure we have an awesome summer together. That's the plan anyway. Cheers to the summer!

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