Sunday, May 12, 2013

Shifting Gears

This story begins in September of 1985. This was the year that would set the stage for the rest of my life (Dramatic hey?), it was the year I started kindergarten.  Since that fall, I have spent most of my days involved in education in one way or another. My experience morphed from elementary school to high school to college with an opportunity to studying abroad to a teaching practicum and finally into being a teacher myself. School has been my life for as long as I can remember.

Despite the fact that I enjoy my job, it has been a difficult year for me as a working mom. I feel like nearly all of my creative energy goes into my students and very little is left for my children. I miss out on spending week days with Tizita, volunteering in Harold's class or doing all those fun projects I see on Pinterest. ;) When it was just Harold at home, I felt like I could manage everything and feel good about my life as a working mom. Having a second child has changed that. Now I mostly just feel exhausted. I know that stay at home moms are tired as well but holding down a full time job compounds the struggle of being a parent.

C.O. has done a fantastic job the past few years of managing our household, being the primary caregiver, running his own business and working various jobs on the side.  Meanwhile, my job has provided a steady income with health insurance, a retirement plan and all that good stuff but best of all it allowed us to have summer vacation. Every year we've had two and a half months off together as a family. How many families can say that? I will forever be thankful for those summers at the cabin, traveling and spending time with our friends and family in Minnesota. But our plans and lifestyle are always evolving. This winter, C.O. and I decided it was time to switch rolls. I will temporarily be putting my career on hold and C.O. is looking for full time employment, ideally in the field of engineering.

C.O. is actively searching for a job and I am just two weeks away from living the new dream. I still have professional goals I'd like to pursue in education and I plan to go back into teaching sometime in the not too distant future. In the meantime, I will continue on with this story of being active in the school setting but this time as a "parent volunteer".

I think I will miss teaching but then I take a look at these two . . .

and I know we are making the right decision.


Anonymous said...

I understand so completely how you are feeling! I have 3 children, the youngest is 7 and has autism. I always worked fulltime, and felt that I was doing everything in a rush, and not being able to enjoy or complete anything to the best of my ability. I made the choice a year ago to 'switch gears' and work part time in a different field all together. I got ALOT of heat about this choice from people...and very little positive feedback from friends and family! I was shocked! In the end I have to say it was the best choice I could have made! Instead of being super stressed every second of the day(I actually work harder at home than I ever did for any employer) I feel fulfilled and thankful that I have the time to listen, read a story and eat with my boys! Best of luck to you on this new choice! -Cristi Craig Edwards

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