Nick

Kara

7.29.2011

Tugging

I have this tugging...

And it's not one of my kids grabbing onto me. I walked in the door from an early bike ride this morning and within 5 seconds Kara was holding on to my leg and crying for me.  I'm so lucky to have my dad come over one day a week so I can do a longer workout day. As soon as I open that door, I have to be ready to be back in mom mode.  I think my shower was about 30 seconds long with Kara trying to pull herself up on the glass and whining at me.  But back to the tugging.

Over the past few months, I have been feeling like I have to get into something else. Being a mom is amazing! but I miss my identity as a teacher, team player, and hard worker. The 1-3 hours a day that I get to myself are just not enough for me, and I feel like I need to pursue another path.  Walking out the door with food all over my shirt, my hair never done and feeling like I look like crap 90% of the time is kind of dehumanizing. Add to that reasoning with a 2-year old why it is time to leave. I don't have the energy.  I want more. I need my own thing- my own success. Athletic training - training for running and triathlons now- is my outlet and I love it  - but it's not enough. Tutoring on the side is great - but I don't do it enough.  The nights that I get to tutor and get out of bedtime - I feel totally refreshed! I love using my brain and I even get paid for getting out of bedtime, it is a great feeling!   I just have had 1-2 kids over the past few school years and need to somehow spread the word and get more kids.

I love how some of the blogs I read have created their own business. I thought about doing that for a while with some kind of baked product but let's be realistic - I'll never follow through. And where do these people find the time? I seriously have a guaranteed 2 hours to myself throughout the day (not including 5-7am because let's face it, that's when people sleep and that is my workout time. So maybe 4 hours, but I don't count that). When I was home with just Nick, I looked into pursuing my PhD. However, again, with 2 small kids now, that is not happening.  I always wanted the option to teach at the college level.  Unfortunately, I recently found out that I need a Masters in Math, not Education, in order to teach any college level courses in math. My latest thinking is to go get that Masters in Math - but on whose dime? It's not cheap. It was stupid to get a masters in Education/ Curriculum &Instruction- what the heck am I going to do with it? At the time, I just wanted to move along on the pay scale (for teachers) and it was easy to do and convenient (classes about 5 min from my home). But now that I know I can't teach (only education courses which are impossible to find jobs in) math, I wish I had gone another route - had I only known.

I've been thinking about going back to work more in the past 6 months than in the past 1.5 years.  I had a similar thing going on with Nick, but having 2 kids with their age difference, is a real challenge for me I guess?  Nick's 2 year old state combined with Kara's dependence on me for everything and demand for attention 24/7 is tiring me out. However, I know that a 5 day teaching week with work that I'd be bringing home would land me in the loony bin (head spinning) or miserable very quickly.  Part of me wants to try it out and quit if it doesn't work out, but the other part of me knows myself well enough to know that I will be feeling absolutely guilty and missing my kids and like a subpar teacher and mom.  Also, I want to raise my kids. Not someone else.  Each time I have gone for a part-day of work on a few things I still have going on at school, I've missed the kids and felt sick driving there, but totally become immersed in the work to the point that it felt good. But - I've never done consecutive days or a full day of teaching.  Next April I will have to decide if I return in September '12.  Another thing is that I want 2 more kids.   I can't even handle 2 kids well, haha! So I might have to rethink this, but I think the first years are tough and I have always wanted 4 kids.

I am just so confused at what direction I want my life to go in at this point besides that I know that I want to raise my kids myself in the short time that they are at home with me before they go off to school then college and leave forever... but I am missing something and not feeling 100% happy being home everyday all day.  I need something else. 


So big regrets - 

I was 4 months away from my 3rd year in the same school and public school system - so tenure when I went out on maternity with Nick. I wish that I had planned out having Nick after I had the tenure (which maybe really doesn't even matter, but I'd like to be tenured).  I can go back to work to get this, but only at the same position.

Had I known, I would have obtained my Masters in Math and established myself already with a part-time college position that I could continue into motherhood.

Looking ahead thoughts- 

My happy medium/ideal - I think would be to teach 1-2 classes either at a college or local school. My job is 30 minutes away.   I think I would enjoy going back to private school - I still keep in touch with my students from my first 3 years at a private all girls school- great experience but the pay sucks and there are expectations for  extra time - after school meetings, night meetings, etc - without pay.  I don't even think I'd care about the pay, it's just finding a part-time teaching job right now- not easy.

I would love to hear from other moms!

13 comments:

  1. God - so many posts and I've only just managed to finally get 1 since Murray's birthday. the early days are tough. I'm tired too (see post). Think I'll email as my comment will be silly long! Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have been feeling kind of the opposite as you of late. I have been working full time since Eva was 3 months old and I love her daycare and I love my job. Being a librarian is part of my identity and something I went to graduate school for. However, lately, I feel like I just don't get enough time with my own daughter and Kyle has taken a new job that requires longer hours, which puts added stress on me to get things around the house taken care of, plus taking care of Eva, plus working, etc. I have been having thoughts of staying at home and wondering if that wouldn't make things easier for me to balance.

    I wish you luck in whatever you decide. You can't dwell on the past, so focusing on your current situation and how to achieve what you want with what you have now is the way to go. I will say that, knowing the feelings I am having now and then reading your posts it truly does seem like a "grass is greener" kind of situation that we are both in.

    I don't know if that was helpful or not but I hope it gives a bit of a different perspective to consider.

    Also, I chuckled when I read 4 kids. Eva will be lucky to get a sibling :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hopefully Nick keeps napping for you so that you get that time to yourself in the afternoon. I will admit that I am jealous that you get as much time to yourself as you do. With Elena waking up at 5am not napping anymore, and Adelaide going to be at 9pm, free time has been non-existent. The childcare at the YMCA has been a savior for my sanity. My new mantra is "Things will get easier, Things will get easier". Not sure if they really will, but that is what I keep telling myself.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. I think having young kids is hard no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 4 kids...wow, i am sort of glad it's being soo hard for us to have #2 because one is hard enough for me! i could never be a stay at home mom, so i understand your dilemma. are there NO school districts around you that ever have part time openings?? crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is Nick in a preschool? That might help a little bit. I'm a teacher also and I'd love to work 3 days a week if that was possible.
    It's funny how many people say that 2 years is a great age difference...and maybe that's true when they are older, but it's SO hard in the beginning!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I need to work to maintain sanity. That being said, I am like you and want to be a part of my kiddos day to day life. I think you are in a tough age-phase right now. I remember when my 2 were that age...super needy and in different ways. Something to keep in mind with college teaching...a lot of education classes are at night. This presented a problem at our house b/c we would need afternoon childcare and then the hubby had to do HW, dinner, bedtime, etc solo. Good luck...keep thinking and being honest with yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it's great that you are discussing this seriously before you start resenting what you are doing now. Honestly, I can't relate to your feelings, but I do have a couple of suggestions that may help. Nike is definitely at the age where you can start setting aside daily time to teach him things. You only have to spend 30 to 45 minutes a day. Check out Brightly Beaming Resources for great free "curriculum" http://www.letteroftheweek.com/
    Since Ethan knows all of his letters we will be starting in August learning a letter of the week. There are different activities and books to read. This age is so much fun to teach and Kara will love learning. Maybe this would help give you a little more focus to your day and feel like you are using your talents plus help your kids learn the things they need before they go to school.
    Another suggestion is to contact local homeschool support groups (you can do a google to find them). There are a ton of parents out there whose strength is not math (like me lol) and pay for tutors for their children. Some homeschool groups will let you advertise for free in their monthly newsletters to their members. Do you also teach science? I couldn't remember, but if there is a subject like that you could easily hold classes for homeschoolers in your home for a group of them if it's convenient for you. Those can definitely be done during the day (as well as tutoring homeschoolers).
    I hope you find what works for you and your family :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh and also....sometimes I feel discouraged because there is so much to do and not any help. My friends who have older children say that this is the hardest time. Once they are older they can help out on chores and it will be easier for you. So hang in there, it will be a few years but it will get MUCH better!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not sure if I've ever posted on your blog, but If been following it for some time now! I have 4 kids under the age of 6 and I will say this HAVING ONLY 2 WAS WAY HARDER THAN 3 OR 4 for myself. I felt a lot of the same things you are feeling with my second. I think for myself it was a time I had to figure this whole being less about me and more about my kids time of my life! I promise you this.... you will never regret staying home raising your kids and help build their character but you will regret working and spend more time away from them. THIS TIME GOES BY SO FAST! Being a mom isn't about you it's about your kids!!!!! It's awesome that you get 1-3 hrs a day for you, focus on that and find happiness in that. Every time you say yes to yourself your saying no to them. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to be "debby downer" I'm just trying to encourage you to do what's best for your family! And I don't know that answer only YOU DO!!!!!! Also I think it's VERY IMPORTANT that stay at home moms get "me" time!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What if you tried subbing once this new school year begins? That way you could get your feet wet being out of the house, and it's no big deal if you don't like it and decide to stop? I know it's not the same as teaching (I'm married to a 5th grade teacher!) as far as planning, grading, bringing work home, etc. But at least it would give you a feel of being away from the kiddos.
    I am fortunate to have a job where I can work part time. I do 2 10-hr days, and one 4 or 5 hr day. It works well for us, but I know that's not really and option for teaching.
    Hang in there, I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a solution that works for you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I haven't commented in forever but I still pop in now and then. Just wanted to add a few thoughts:
    -one of my friends still has all 3 of her kids (including her 7-year old - he's homeschooled) do "quiet time" every day for an hour - the toddler naps, the other two just sit in their room and play quietly or read. When they whine that they don't need it, she tells them SHE needs it, and it is just what the family does. Maybe this could help eliminate the fear of "once Nick no longer naps..." and ensure your "me" time?
    -I have only one kid right now (1.5 yrs), and am home full-time, but do still wonder from time to time "what the heck am I doing with my life?" It so often feels like I'm not DOING anything. But I know that probably 90% of the little girl in front of me is a product of the "nothing" I do each day. Yes, her daddy loves her, yes we have lots of family around and she has friends, etc. but most of the day it's me and her, and even when I'm in another room, she knows I'm there. My presence is providing her with security that forms the very foundation of who she will be as a kid/teen/adult. It allows her to have the courage and the confidence to explore new things and expand her little world. It's irreplaceable. I know some parents have no choice, but if it is at all a choice, I say choose being home w/ your kids at least until they are in school - you will never get this time back when they are such pure open books to having love (YOUR love!) poured into them. They only have one mommy and it's you. There will always be time later for you to get the PhD or teach more, but you can't get this stage in their development back.
    -I liked the previous person's idea of focusing on home schooling your kids - what an awesome teacher you would be if you already have that background! See if there are any co-op's in your area, and maybe you could get involved even before Nick is fully "of-age" to be involved?

    Sorry for the book... hope this is helpful somehow. Hang in there - you are doing an amazing job of doing the toughest job on the planet!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Working definitely keeps me sane, BUT I do have my husband or my mom who watch my son when I'm at work, so that makes it easier. You are a supermom, and I've always loved your blog. You amaze me how you stay at home, workout and look amazing, and cook some awesome stuff! You are such a role model.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! I know what you're doing is hard, but you are doing a fantastic job and have two terrific kids to show for it! I can understand your feelings about balancing work, your personal time, and raising kids. It is probably the hardest thing for mothers. And I imagine it is hardest when they are little. I hope you are able to figure out a satisfying career path in the near future, but I think being home with your kids is very important. I try to think of it as a short time in my life where things are just crazy and totally not about me, but I also know that it won't be this way forever. Kids grow up and the challenges change. But it seems like once they are in school, you will have more time to yourself. Hang in there, you're a terrific mom!

    ReplyDelete