Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Pause in Gainful Employment

This is my last week of the summer semester. Since I'm taking off the Fall for the arrival of Little Sibling in October, I won't go back to work until January ... or possibly even later. I'm still not sure how childcare is going to work with two kids: one a 3-year-old who is going to AM preschool Mon/Tues mornings, and the other a newborn. Add that to a class schedule that will definitely NOT be Mon/Tues mornings and it just seems so messy. In theory, I do want to go back to work. I know that I'll miss it. In reality, me going back to work for one or two classes in the Spring may cost us more money that I would make. We'll see what happens.

I want to be excited about being home full-time. I was more excited about it, when it was further off. I'm starting to get worried, though. Honestly, I just don't know what kind of stay-at-home mom I'll be. From my perspective, being a SAHM seems like a LOT of hard work—a lot of unpaid, underappreciated hard work, 24/7. I foresee my patience constantly being tested, and very little time away from home and children to refill the inner serenity pool.

Balance is something that I am constantly seeking, but rarely find, in my life. Work/home balance. Spending/saving balance. Time for self vs. time for others balance. It seems like there's an opposite side of the coin for nearly all important aspects of my life ... and one side always gets short-shrift. I'm afraid that the idea of balance is going to get even further out of my reach when I'm home.

I know; I'm looking at this all the wrong way. I'm looking at the negatives, and not the positives. I know there will be positives, too. There'll be more time to run errands, so I won't be as stressed to get them in. We'll have more lazy afternoons and spontaneous trips to the playground or museums. (That part I definitely am looking forward to.) What I'm most looking forward to is not constantly splitting my attention between home and work. As a teacher, I don't get to leave my work at the office. So, every naptime, I'm always asking myself, "Do I try to get work work done, or accomplish something around the house?" I'm greatly anticipating the lack of that question, and being able to be happy, at the end of the day, with getting things done around the house and not worrying about all the work work that may be lurking on the computer.

This is the point where my own wise mother would probably tell me to "cross that bridge when I come to it." There's no point in worrying about being a SAHM until I am ... and then I can really find out what annoys me. I'm (mostly) looking forward to it ... I think!

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