As the school year draws to an end, I find myself feeling a little lost again. As I mentioned when I first decided to take a hiatus from teaching, teachers live by a different calendar than other working adults. The first month of the year is September, not January! Even though it has now been a whole year since I've been in the classroom, I find myself still going by that calendar. I am feeling the excitement and anticipation of the end of the school year as if I was still there. The last days of school were always long, but also some of my favorites. I was the type of teacher to party the last couple days--not cram in a bunch of tests and last minute assignments. After all, I wanted to walk out at 2:10 on the last day of school and not look back again until September as much as the kids did!
Even though I was happy at my job, I couldn't help myself but to look at job postings every spring. This year is no different. I looked the other day, and let me tell you....there are a few jobs I am tempted to apply for. I even ran some scenarios through my head, but it always comes back to money. Unless these jobs are miraculously going to pay FAR better than my last job, we're back to the reason I left in the first place. I'm not willing to sign 2/3 of my paycheck over to a daycare provider. We also have the added complications of preschool for Connor next year (transportation), Bryce's PT and EI schedule, and the fact that I can't imagine sending Bryce to daycare, even though I'm sure he'd do just fine.
This year of stay-at-home motherhood was probably the hardest year of my life. Dealing with two little boys is far more exhausting for me than dealing with 25 middle schoolers, believe it or not. I am still not convinced I was made to be a full-time mommy, but I also realize how blessed I am to have this time with my kids (even though some days I have to remind myself CONSTANTLY). There are days that I love being with them during the day. I am so thankful I was able to do music and ECFE classes with Connor. I love doing things like going to the zoo, or story time at the library. I love making Mickey Mouse pancakes on random Tuesday mornings. Those are the times I realize how lucky I am, and how much I love this time with my little ones. But it was a LONG winter, and there were days that we are lucky everyone survived. There were days it was miraculous I had any hair left in my head. There were days I wished with all my might that I was working.
Just as deciding to leave my job was a huge internal struggle last year, deciding what to do next is my current struggle. We really could use some more income. Should I try to get a better paying job in a different field? Should I try to get a job at a public school, which would pay slightly better? Should I stay home until Connor is in kindergarten as I originally planned? I don't know.
When Connor randomly tells me I'm beautiful, or that he loves me "the whole world", or Bryce smiles at me or gives me those big open-mouth kisses, the answer is pretty clear. When we're on our 6th poopy diaper or 4th temper tantrum of the day, the other answer is pretty clear. I guess all I can do is pray the answer will come to me. Maybe someone will magically call and offer me a REALLY REALLY good paying teaching job that I won't be able to resist :) While I wait for that to happen, I guess I will count my blessings (and poopy diapers) and enjoy the "summer vacation" that will always be "summer vacation", whether I'm still in the classroom or not.