Every year, I have mixed feelings about going back to work after being off for the summer. Fortunately for me, I only work part-time. I teach first grade but job share the position with a colleague and friend. My mixed feelings combine a love for the two months of Summer I’m able to be home full-time with the kids, the excitement for getting back to teaching and a little bit of me missing the full-time career I used to have before I had my last child. Mixed feelings always have me questioning whether I’m doing what’s best for everyone.
Up until Little H was born, I was teaching full-time. When she came along, we knew that my days of full-time work were over. Balancing a full-time career along with being a wife and a mother to three wonderful girls is far from easy and, of course, that’s just my opinion. So many mothers manage it and do it well. I have just chosen not to. After much contemplation, Hubby and I decided that the extra money just didn’t trump getting to be with the girls while they grow up. By no means am I making a judgement on other parents who place their children in full-time childcare. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it and up until my third child, I did the same. Once Little H came along, things changed for hubby and I and as much as we knew we would miss the extra money, we really wanted for one of us to be there for our girls more than just before and after work. I am extremely grateful that we can financially manage this. Being the teacher and having the more flexible job, there was no question it would be me. Big home renovations, fine dining, extravagant purchases and deluxe vacations would just have to go on hold for a while. Being home with the girls as much as possible while they’re young is way more important to us right now.
The Benefits of Being a Career Mom AND a Part-Time SAHM.
- I spend half my week at home with the girls. I get to bring them and pick them up from school. When two are off to school, I get to spend quality time with the little one. It’s amazing how different your kids can be when you get to be with them one on one.
- The half of the week I’m home with them, I schedule play-dates for the girls and plan little outings for us to go on like trips to the local library to get new books to read.
- Being home for half of the week allows me to attend parties, events and fieldtrips through the school the girls attend. I never feel like I miss out on anything school related. It’s wonderful.
- The week I spend at work makes me feel important and valued in a different kind of way. It allows me to do the other thing I love in my life, besides being a mom, which is being a teacher.
- Teaching part-time allows me to get my fill of the students I love to work with and learn new things from them. Believe it or not, spending time with other people’s children only makes me miss and value my kids more. I’m always excited to see them at the end of the day.
- Teaching part-time allows me to bring new ideas, activities and books home to share with the girls. They love it when I come home and tell them I have something fun for them to do or try.
- Working outside of the home part-time gives me the interaction I need with other adults. I value the relationships I have with my colleagues because of this. To me, they are my family away from home and when I’m away from home I really enjoy interacting with grown-ups and having adult conversations.
- Working outside of the home part of the week also gives me the other half of the week to run errands, clean house and do a few of the things I love like reading and blogging. These two things usually get pushed aside until the kids are put to bed but once they’re asleep, the computer is mine! That is, until hubby kicks me off or whines that I’m ignoring him. *Sigh* There’s always someone who needs us, isn’t there?
I wouldn’t change anything about our situation right now. It has been working successfully for the last five years. I don’t see myself going back to work full-time for a while. With my youngest being almost five, I still have a while of her and the other girls needing me around. Maybe once they become more independent, I will consider substitute teaching on my home days or maybe I’ll go back to school to complete a Masters in Education. Who knows? I’ve also been thinking about starting up my own business. As far as I can see, the world is my oyster and as long as hubby and I aren’t missing the extra money and enjoying our time with the girls, life is good.