I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. Career and education have always been extremely important to me. I've been a teacher for 8 years, but within that time have become Department Chair and have taught Masters level University classes. I'm ambitious and I'm not done progressing in my career. I doubt it will end in the classroom.
But when I first had Dylan, I didn't care one iota about work and basically never wanted to work again.
So it's complicated.
I go back to work on Monday and I'm kind of excited. It's a complicated excited because it's kind of nice not to work.
But being at home is a lot of pressure. I feel guilty if I'm not interacting with Dylan 100% of the time that he's awake. But there are only so many things you can do with a baby. So after we've done tummy time once an eaten twice and read a book and sang songs and made funny faces and taken a walk...I run out of ideas. And then the guilt sets in. I do most of those things multiple times throughout the day, but it's really a struggle to keep it up.
I know that the research states the the total number of words a child hears in a day has a huge correlation with school success. I'm very verbal, but I also like my quiet time. So I have to push hard to keep talking. The other day we took a long walk. And instead of being silent like I would typically be if I was walking the dog, I instead narrated everything that I was thinking. This ranged from worrying about the high school of the area we are in...to working...to how much Dylan eats...to whether the dog was going to be okay around him...and back around again. He's going to think I'm nuts! (Or maybe I am?)
So I'm going back to school.
It's about as easy as it could be since it's only 5 1/2 weeks at the end of the year, after testing. Not a lot of pressure. Then I get the whole summer with Dylan. And I've had a nice transition back. I went last week to go over essays with the AP kids, then another time to pick up the next batch of essays. So in total, I've seen 3 out of my 5 classes so I won't be quite as nervous. AND...I have a two hour prep period at the beginning of the day Monday morning which is awesome.
I'm excited to have a role in 150 more children's lives. And I'm excited because I'll be able to give 100% to Dylan from about 3:30 until he goes to bed and every weekend. And people that really love him (my parents) will be giving him 100% throughout the day. So he'll probably be getting more total interaction.
I have huge respect for SAHMs and I definitely have some additional guilt for not being one. (Detecting a guilt theme?)
But whether I work in the home or out, I know I'm doing the very best for my son.
I have a lot more to say about the state of maternity leave in the U.S. and using this as an opportunity to re-evaluate exactly what I want to do for my career, but I'll save that for next time.
If I ever have time for next time.
Don't worry...I'll make time.