The going back to work conundrum

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Here we are, again.  It's time to face the music, come to grips with, make the decision---to go back to work or not.  I found out today that I can take a leave of absence until January and then it's either go back to school (most likely in a different grade) or resign.

The rose-colored glasses are coming off---and the tough love, honest truth follows..

When I worked full time the mornings were the worst.  I hated rushing Carter every morning and fighting with him to get dressed and eat breakfast in the car at 7:15am on the way to daycare.  Rushing was just part of the day.  I rushed to get to school, rushed to prepare for the day, rushed to get my work done, rushed to pick him up from daycare to finally get home around 5:00 to spend a little time together before bed.

And that was when he was well.  When he was sick I was always panic stricken figuring out what to do and relying on Christian or my mom to help when I couldn't get a sub.

Am I ready to do that- only this time with 2?

Just the other night I woke up and thought about what day it was and took a sigh of relief when I realized that I didn't have anything to worry about the next morning- no work stress and anxiety keeping me up at night (and it did a lot!)

But shopping without a second thought- that was nice too.  And now that we don't have my benefits (and my $1500 PT bill) I realize how wonderful they were.  I realize once I resign from this job the likelihood of getting another public school teaching position is next to impossible.  That's scary.  There are parts of my job that I really love and it's a separate part of my life away from mom responsibilities.

When you are home your life revolves around your children.  But somewhere along the line you can get lost too.  You get stuck in this downward spiral where no parts of the day are about or for you.  My poor husband has heard all too often "I only had 12 minutes or 5 minutes or zero minutes of dual naptime to myself today."

 How long can you continue on when you don't sit down all day but have nothing to show for what you actually did all day? Or you decide to forget the errands you planned because you just don't have the strength to get the kids in the car and in the cart/stroller and in the store.

This summer I've worked hard to plan fun activities almost every day.  We've been to the water park and rides and parks and picnics and fruit picking.  We've played in the sprinkler, the water table, the baby pools.  We've baked and made popsicles and a few projects.

This summer I made an effort to make new mom friends.  It's been great having play dates many mornings when Carter plays and is happy and I get to be social too!  Those new mom friends make it feel not so lonely.

But I'm reminding myself that these nice, warm summer days will one day be replaced with long, cold winter days and those days aren't nearly as fun.

So---in 10 years am I going to regret missing the every days of their early childhood?  Or will I regret not returning to my job and the extra money and benefits from a full time job?

Tonight at dinner Christian asked Carter if he thinks I should go back to being a teacher and Carter's answer:  "I think you should just be a mom."

If only it were that simple.