Saturday, January 27, 2007

To teach or not to teach

How do you decide whether or not to stay home with your children? Money aside, I mean.

I spent very little time with Ashlyn on Tuesday, and I missed her. She was in hourly care in the morning. I picked her up in time to bring her home for a nap, and then my dentist appointment ended up being VERY long (which is another story on its own) so Allen spent the rest of the afternoon with her after her nap. I ended up being glad that Allen was half asleep on the couch when it was her bed time, so I could put her to bed instead.

I thought as I was putting her to bed that this would be every day if I was working. Part of me REALLY wants to go back to teaching art. I mean, I love it. I love to see what elementary kids are capable of creating and learning. But, sometimes I wonder if I am just afraid that I will make myself totally unemployable if I don't teach again SOON. I haven't taught in 4 years! I only taught for 5 years before that. With four years out, I will probably just be considered on the same level as a new teacher. I don't know.

Some days it is really HARD to stay home with an infant or toddler. I don't regret any of the time that I've spent with her, but it can be very trying. And boring. Sometimes. Sometimes I want my brain to work on something different than "milk, Ashlyn, can you say milk?... Baby, yes, that's your baby. Pat, pat... Are you going to color with the GREEN crayon?" Or cleaning the house. Fortunately, I have been working on my master's degree while staying home with her, so I had something else.

But, if I'm at work, I will be missing things. Of course, when she was 3 weeks old, I started crying and said to Allen, "she has changed so much already, and we've missed it!" We were both with her practically 24/7. I guess I just wish we could hold on to each and every moment, so even though we enjoy the changes, we could still have her brand new baby-ness to hold onto while she is actually a screaming toddler, throwing herself on the floor. I guess I need to take A LOT more pictures.

Of course, all of this wondering doesn't even matter at this point. Noone is knocking down my door to offer me the BEST JOB EVER. So, I may be staying home, no matter what I think. Or maybe we will just play it by ear. Or, maybe I will be offered the best PART-TIME job ever.

OK, rambling over.... Here are a few pictures.


Katie said...

I know!!! I go through that same dilemma all the time. If you work until 5 p.m. you only see your kid for a couple (crabby) hours a day!!!! However, not working makes my brain feel like it has turned into rancid whole milk and spilled out my ear as though it were a lost sippy cup. Part-time always sounds good--but hard to find!

I defnitely do not recommend working from home. I am hating that choice!

Grandma Harris said...

Glad to see that Ashlyn (and her baby) still like the slide. I guess it will be going with the unaccompanied baggage tomorrow so she'll have to be without it for a few months. Fortunately she'll be able to keep the yummy playdoh!

Jamie Lynn said...

You will figure it out. I bet that Germany will be challenging in that regard. Hopefully you can do somehting on post. If all else fails you can always volunteer a few hours a week somewhere. I know it won't pay the bills but it may challenge you the way you are hoping and you can be put on a resume.

KimS said...

I'm firmly in the stay-at-home camp-- of course, it probably helps that I was an exhausted and overworked high school English teacher during my four years in the classroom, and an underpaid, overworked (but not quite so exhausted) university employee for years after that.

...But these first few years are so precious (to me) and important to my daughter's development. I worked for a day care once, and no matter how much the workers love the children, no one child is getting very much individual attention or stimulation.

If something happens to my husband and I MUST do the work/daycare shuffle, that's one thing. But as long as I have the option-- if I need to eat beans and rice and shop at thrift shops to get to stay home with her during her first few years, I'm totally willing to do that.

It seems to me that teaching elementary school would be one of the careers that could really not be hurt at all by a few years' absence to raise kids... am I wrong? If I were a principal, I'd value people who valued sacrificing for their children.

...just my two cents... everybody thinks differently on this issue, I think. I know lots of awesome moms who wouldn't necessarily agree with me.