Monday, April 7, 2014

To work or not to work...

I haven't blogged in a bit (not counting my announcements or H54F) but when I saw Bonnie's and Brooke's posts today, I knew I had to chime in.

After I've received congratulations on my baby, I immediately get asked "Are you coming back to work?" It's almost a given. My answer is always the same.

Yes.

My husband is a budgeting genius. You think I'm exaggerating, but it's completely true. I am absolutely sure that if push came to shove, he would find a way to create a manageable and livable budget on his salary alone. It would be hard but we could do it.

But here's the thing. We like the lifestyle our two incomes provide. We like the fact that we will be able to provide many things for our baby without worrying about if it fits into the budget. Corporate world isn't the steady place it used to be. Jobs get cut and departments get shifted. We like the fact that if something (knock on wood) happened to his job, we would still have my steady job to get us by.

Teaching jobs are hard to come by in my district and in surrounding districts. My position would get filled immediately and who knows how long it would take for me to find something. A small part of me has always felt like I have the best job to be a working mom. I'll have off at the same time my kids will. Same holidays and everything. Working part time is an option but it's difficult because you have to find someone to be willing to job share with you. Someone willing to give up their benefits and a full paycheck.

After we had this conversation the other night, my husband told me something that stuck with me. "You are an amazing teacher. There are too many crappy ones for you to stop teaching." And it stuck with me. I love what I do and I think that being a mom will help me be an even better teacher than I am now.

I know I will want to be home with my baby. I'm already fretting over the fact that I'm planning on taking 8 weeks of leave (my district makes you burn any paid leave before you take FMLA and I don't want to be stuck without sick days). But I think something else that eases my decision is knowing that my mother has agreed to take care of our baby. My mother retires in August and won't even let us entertain the idea of letting us put this baby in day care. I know that besides me or J, a family member is the next best thing to take care of our child.

My mother was a working mother my whole life. She made it come together. She never missed a parent teacher conference, a field trip, and stayed home with us if we were sick. Now I know it was a sacrifice to her, but looking back  I never saw that. Only thing I saw was a mom at home making us dinner and getting us ready to go to music or baseball practice. A mom who took care of us and loved us. She also lucked out that she had my grandmother to take care of us too.

I don't knock mothers who choose to stay home and I don't knock mothers who work. We all do and plan to do what's best with our families. Something I've discovered during this whole pregnancy thing is that every decision you make as a mother will be judged. Want to breastfeed your child or bottle feed? Someone will judge you. Want to co-sleep or put baby in a crib right away? Someone will judge you. Want to have a home birth or a hospital birth? Someone will judge you. The list goes on and on.

I for one want to stop that. So I say if you want to be a working mom? Go for it! You'll be a great example to your kids. Want to be a stay at home mom? Go for it! You'll be a great example to your kids too!

I hope you respect and understand my decision. :)



5 comments:

  1. I definitely respect it! GO YOU!

    I am so excited for you!

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  2. I'm so excited for you to be able to work. And I loved what your husband said about being too good of a teacher to quit. It is a great reminder that we haven't been given the talents and abilities we have for nothing. Not to say that you can't teach your children, of course you can, but it is different. Thanks so much for linking up!

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  3. It really is true--there aren't that many good teachers anymore. But, that sucks about having to use your PDO before you can use your maternity leave! Thanks for linking up!
    Our Fairy Tale

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  4. Interesting no one asked me if I was going to stop working. I never considered being a stay at home mom. I agree leaving your teaching job...especially during these times where teachers get RIFed all the time...is hard to think about. I was due in April and came back by august...I was happy to be back at work...and I love that summer is just around the corner to spend it with her!

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  5. I really love this. You are such a great teacher, and it will be so amazing for your future students to have a teacher like you. And what a blessing that your mom can watch the little one! Here comes an amazing, new, scary, awesome future with kiddos and teaching!

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Thanks for leaving me some love!