Monday, September 21, 2015
#Microblog Monday: I'm Not Really Sad About Not Staying Home
Every year that infertility dug a little deeper, the amount of time I could stay home once a baby arrived got leaner and leaner. We first started out with the hope that I could stay home for the whole two years that still guarantees me a job in the district (assuming a position exists and hasn't been cut), and then shifted to the one year, that supposedly guarantees you YOUR job back (although again, if there's cuts, there are no true guarantees).
And then I became the insurance carrier, and every month after the 12 week FMLA period would mean shelling out a significant amount of money in COBRA, without my salary to offset it.
At this point, we are hoping for six months, especially if summer falls within the timeframe. Four minimum, but six is the dream. (Very, VERY little of this is paid, a topic for another day.)
But I'll be honest...
It took me such a long time to find my dream career -- teaching, special education, focusing on ELA. I'm not sure that even if I had the chance to not do it, that I'd take it now. I love my job. I look forward to every day (even when I'm tired from staying up to watch the Emmys and feel totally bleary-eyed and brain-fogged). I love my students and want to help them become their best versions of themselves. I love the busyness of my days, and how it is never boring. I love that each year has its own climate, and that I could do the same literary works year to year and get different thoughts.
If I became a stay at home mom, I'd lose that. It seems maybe a little silly, since I've worked so hard to bring a baby home... but teaching is part of who I am. I don't actually have the option to not work outside the home, but regardless I think I will be a better mom because I keep this vital piece of myself. While on leave, you don't accrue seniority, so your ability to survive cuts is hampered. And if you resign after two years, there's no guarantee that you could return to the same position, same school, same district. It's just so competitive.
I do wish that I could have a little more time, and that full year would be fantastic... but you just can't have everything. And I am grateful to have the chance to have my baby while working in a building that is the epitome of family-friendly, with leadership that is flexible to working mothers and all the complexity that entails. It won't be easy, but nothing truly is.
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