Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

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.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. I agree with you: "I think I will be a better mom because I keep this vital piece of myself." It shows that you're not looking for someone/something to fill a vacancy in you. You've fulfilled yourself, and you're coming at things from a place of relative wholeness.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I like to think that I am whole, despite the losses I've been dealt. I'm so lucky to love what I do and feel so fulfilled by it. :)

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  2. I work and am glad I do - I enjoy my time away from home and honestly think it makes me a better mom!

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    1. Thank you for weighing in -- I have heard that sentiment from other moms and it makes me feel less like a weirdo for not being sad about a limited time home full time.

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  3. I wish I had a career like yours that I could have gone back to. My work as an actress is so sporadic, but when I did get a gig, I was thrilled to go to work and it really did energize me.

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    1. Our leave as teachers, at least in my district, is amazing in terms of the ability to come back after an extended leave. I have seen very few people take advantage of more than a year in the 7 years I've been with the district... I'm glad that working energized you -- I bet your job isn't boring ever, either... always a chance to be someone new.

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  4. Always good to know yourself and what will give you what you need to be the best you and the best mom to your child. Sorry to hear that you have had to make so adjustments to how much time you were planning to take once baby comes home. It can be disappointing. However, you seem to be taking it in with stride and focusing on the positive.

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    1. That part was really disappointing for sure, because it seemed like everything was whittled down the more we went through. However, the further I got into my career, which was fairly simultaneous with the further we got into infertility, the more I loved it and felt like, well, if it's not going to work out to be out for longer maybe that's not such a bad thing. :) We'll see how I feel when reality hits, but I see so many great role models for working AND mothering, and how my school accommodates flexibility... I think it will be okay! :)

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  5. My maternity leave is coming to an end, and I'm actually looking forward to it. I do get to work from home for 4 weeks, then he transitions to grandparent care, then he goes to daycare at 6 months. So I have time with him. But I find that I want to use my mind in different ways. Like you I trained and worked hard to get where I am in my career. It was really brought home to me when we stopped by our day care's open house and the woman in charge of the infant room just lit up playing with all the infants. She was excellent with them and loved spending her days with them. As much as I love A, people that love children so much that they make a career of it are the right people to care for my son while I'm at work.

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    1. Oh wow, that seems like such a beautiful transition... a slow move to daycare from being home. We visited and got on the waiting list for an awesome daycare facility (another post in the works), and touring made me feel so excited for how much care and love and social experience and education my baby will receive there. I love how you said, "people that love children so much that they make a career of it are the right people to care for my son while I'm at work." So true. (And since I don't work in early childhood, I can nix the guilty thoughts that I spend my day with other people's children...)

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  6. Oh no, I get this. It was a very hard decision to leave teaching. And for a long time, I mourned it. I still mourn it. I've found outlets, but it's not the same thing.

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    1. I am sure! It is definitely something to mourn. My best friend left teaching when she had her first of three children, and has been out for 8 years. She mourned, too, and still is sad thinking about not having her classroom and little microcosm of her own. For as much as I think for me it's best to keep on teaching, I can completely understand leaving it as the best choice, too. I've actually only been teaching since 2006, so I am relatively new to the profession... but I've learned as my grandma used to say, it's a jealous mistress. I see some of your outlets in the things you do with your children... once a teacher always a teacher! :)

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  7. When I had to go back to work after 3 months it felt too soon...but now I'm home because of other life circumstances and feeling guilty that I don't love it more...as much as I love my son, I miss that professional aspect of my life.

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    1. It's such a hard balance, and I think it's different for everyone. I think there are so many things to feel guilty about, but with so many things out of our control we can just do the best we can. :)

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  8. I always knew that I wouldn't be a good SAHM. I was able to stay home for 12 weeks with my daughter. I would have liked another month, but after I got over the initial first week of leaving my daughter, I was happy to be back in the working world. Trying to balance everything sucks, but I'm glad that I didn't lose the working part of me.

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