Sunday, October 28, 2012

I will survive.

To work or not to work is THE million dollar question.

This post has been-a-brewin for awhile now.
It's long, full of emotion, and scattered.
And I'm aware that everyone's thoughts and *strong* opinions on the matter are completely unique.

But here are MY thoughts.

This topic is what has consumed my brain and heart.
Since August 19, 2012 to be exact.

The funny part is that I never ever thought this would be a topic up for debate.

Because I'm a psycho-planner, I was just sure this was exactly how my life would play out:

Finish my masters in education.
Get a teaching job.
Get pregnant when we were ready.
Go back to work after baby (possibly even early because I would go stir crazy).
Become the world's greatest teacher.
And the world's greatest mom.

I've learned full well God tends to laugh in our faces when we have a "perfect plan" for our lives.
We were reminded of this the moment we found out we were first year of teaching.

But life continued of course.
I taught.
And enjoyed it.
And dreamed of the future.
With my baby and career co-existing.

And then,
Baby Lyla was born.

Oh my.

Suddenly, my dream bubble burst
as my little family became
the center of my world.

I mean.
I did not even know it was possible to love something or someone so much.
It's ridiculous really.

Something inside me changed.
I developed a deep desire to stay home with my baby.
I cannot imagine leaving her.
Or missing out on all the exciting firsts.

Unfortunately, there are several obstacles and circumstances that are currently keeping me from this new-found desire.
At this exact moment in time, staying home is not even an option.

And as my maternity leave is very rapidly coming to an end,
I'm praying that God will give me the strength and peace to leave my babe and go back to work.

Sounds so dramatic, right?
I'm aware I sound obnoxiously whiney.
And I know thousands of women, most women, go back to work after having babies.
And most suffer greatly through those first weeks back at work without baby.
And most women do just fine.
And thrive even.

So I am quite aware that I'm not alone.
And I'm also aware that we are often products of the choices we make.
Ahem, going back to school and subsequently going into debt.

And I hate to complain because I truly do love my job.

*I just love my Lyla a teensy bit more.*

Plus, I had no clue that I'd want to stay home with my babe. Was never even on my radar. And to be perfectly honest, I would ideally LOVE to have the best of both worlds: be at home with my baby AND still work in education somehow. I mean, I did give up a fabulous career to go into teaching. But I don't even think there is such a thing as part time in education.

And while I'm opening my heart...
I've had a down-right bad attitude about the whole situation.
I feel so envious of other moms.
All but two of my friends with young babes either stay home or work part time.
I would give anything...

But you know what? In time, the right door may open. And it's important for me not to just stand by and wish for time to pass until the right situation comes along. I must strive to "be content no matter what the circumstances." - Phil 4:12 And savor every moment with my little sugar and enjoy the time I do have with her.

I was reminded of this while reading this article via blogger Em's thoughts on women having it all.
I was particularly drawn to the following idea:
"We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing, even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were."


Wake up call, Angela. Don't let life pass you by while wishing for a more perfect situation.

I've got things pretty good.
A supportive husband.
Happy, healthy daughter.
My mother-in-law is our child care.
And I get summers off. *Sort of*.
I really do love my job.

Given the ambiance of this post, it may be hard to believe, but I really do wake up every morning and thank God for all the blessings I have. And who knows? Maybe I'll get into a groove and love being back at work. Or maybe a part time position will fall in my lap, and I'll get the best of both worlds.

Only time will tell.

I truly apologize for all the boo-hooing.

But it feels so good to get it out.

And I know *many* of you can relate.

But let's be honest. Would YOU want to leave this mohawked sweetie every morning? ;)


Rachel said...

You wil survive! It will be hard, but you guys will be ok. I worked Finley's first two years, and I'm glad we did it that way. Earned enough that I can stay home now and looking back, I can't even remember what I missed. But I do remember it being tough for awhile. You will be great--she knows you love her!

Bethany said...

At 8 weeks to the day of delivering my little guy, I dropped him off and headed to work. Sobbing the whole.entire.way. Just like you, I teach, and staying home wasnt an option. The day I went back to work a girl ran up to me in the halls and threw her arms around me telling me how much she missed me and talking to me every day. It didnt take the ache for my babe go away, but it certianly made the situation a little more bareable. Praying for you!

Carolyn said...

I'm not a mom, but it has been my dream for as long as I can remember to be a stay at home mom. It's not in the cards for us either, and it makes me really sad. I love your outlook on it though!! :)

Crystal Seed said...

You will survive! Whatever you decide to do, you will, I promise! I went back to work when Chloe was just 12 weeks old, and I'm still working....but I do have a little plan up my sleeve. I hope to be able to stay home mid 2013. That's the plan, anyways. So we will see what happens, but I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do!

Jessica said...

Hi! I've been following your blog for awhile! We also recently had a baby and I struggled with going back to work as well :( However, for us a bunch of things fell into place and after 3 months of working, I started staying home full time. I am now working from home with part time hours for the doctors who created ProActiv. Its a great way to earn extra income if you decide you definitely don't want to teach, this is something you could do too...I'd be happy to talk to you about it more if you'd like. I know how hard this is! I also remember almost feeling guilty talking about it, because I felt like why should I not have to work when there are millions of moms just like me who don't want to either, but they do! Good for you for talking about it! Email me if you'd like to talk!

Kristen said...

Girl - BooHoo away! Yes, you are lucky, but once in a while you just need to let it out!
Until you are a Mom it is just so hard to understand how much a little one can turn your life upside down! I teach too, and a year later I am still hoping to stay at home one day (soon) as much as I love my "kids" I love my son more.
I will say though, once you get back into the "grove" of working the day goes fast and before you know it you are home to your wee one. Working does truly help you to cherish every moment that you have with your little.

Hang in there lady!

The Frenchs said...

Ang, thanks for sharing!!! I worked for the first three years of having my children and struggled so much with that decision! I was raised by a stay at home mom and have always thought I would be one, but absolutely loved my job and knew God had me there. I then came to a point last year where I knew I was finally ready and my heart was so so wanting to be home and through many many tears, I told my hubby I was ready to resign. However, for several reasons, he did not have peace about it, and one of the hardest things I ever did was to go back to work not feeling it was what I wanted or the best thing but trying to trust my husband. I will say though that working outside the home has built our marriage so much stronger and my productivity and balance so much more than I think it would have been. Now that I'm staying home this year, I have a stron conviction that I appreciate this journey so much more because I know both sides,.. This all to say, there are so many hard things but life and motherhood is hard, working or not, and you will be setting such a beautiful example for your child of using the gifts and passions God had given you! I will be thinking of you and anxious to hear how it goes!

Emily said...

Girl, this is EXACTLY how I felt! I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth. I had Carson in May and was lucky enough to spend the summer with him. I had to go back to work August 15th. I truly love teaching, but the whole time I was back to work, I just felt off. I finally put in for a leave of absence and I'm staying home with Carson this year and next year we're going to see how I feel...possibly back FT, possibly PT, possibly staying at home. If you can afford it, take this time to spend with your babe, you'll never regret it!
Email me if you ever need to chat - I was TOTALLY in your shoes!! Oh, and I love the Midwest onesie :)

Shoshanah said...

We're not planning on having kids for a while now, but even so I've thought a lot about this. I would love to be able to stay at home, but right now it just doesn't make financial sense. Although I guess you never know how things change in the future.

Kendra said...

Oh Ang I know it is so tough. At least you have a career that is worthwhile. You are teaching the youth of tomorrow! :)

Good luck going back. Even though it's a few weeks away I'll be thinking happy thoughts for you. I miss my babies every day but I have to go to work. Maybe someday it will pan out for both of us!

Mrs. Yellow Ribbon said...

This is something I have really been struggling with big time. But here's the catch: We're not pregnant and not trying right now. Ha I know, so what's the problem, right? Well, my husband is in graduate school which means that I need to be working right now. But I have a deep, DEEP desire to be a wife and a mother. And it is very frustrating to have to "put off" being a mom, but for us, right now, that's the best option. I got asked a lot in interviews for my new jobs (I'm a RN) about where I see myself in 5 or 10 years...and I totally had to make something up, work-related. Because where I really see myself is managing our home, being a wife and a mother. Not the answer that HR ever wants to hear ;-)

Katie said...

I'm not a mommy yet so I can't say I know what your going thru but I will say whatever decision you make will be the best for your family. Little Lyla is one lucky little baby to have you as a mommy :)

Amanda said...

Yep, this. All of it. Totally understand. You know I know how you feel :). I will say that five months in back to work, it has gotten easier, but the little heartache will never fully go away. I'm happy to report though that we haven't missed any "firsts" - he's actually waited to do all of his firsts for us! Hang in there - Lyla has a great mom to look up to.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Maybe you can just keep teaching until get out of debt. Or maybe you can just substitute teach? That's kinda like part time. You can do it! You'll figure it all out!

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