Monday, October 1, 2012

Musings on being a working mom

I should be grading papers right now and planning tomorrow's lesson, but instead I'm thinking about the term "working mom". 

Before I got pregnant with Gia, Jon and I had planned for me to stay home with her. At that point it was just a discussion though, and something I thought sounded good in theory.

Once I had Gia, I dove into motherhood. It took about a week for me to hit my stride: to trust my mommy instincts and fully realize how deep my love is for this little person that had been in my belly for nearly 42 weeks. Don't get me wrong, not every day was peaches and cream, but Gia was an exceptionally good infant (and now she's a great little kid) and life was really really good. I loved staying home with her and cooking and baking and making our house a home for our new family. My theory was correct--I loved being at home.

When Gia was 5 months old I went on an interview at a local high school just for the fun of it. (I didn't even wear a suit! The horror!) They were looking for a full time, tenure track English teacher. I thought it would be fun to see if I still had it.

Well, apparently I did still have it. They called me back before the day was over and wanted me to come in for a second round of interviews and do a sample lesson. I hung up the phone and started bawling. Seriously, it was the ugly cry times 10. I was changing Gia's diaper and crying my eyes out and Jon walked in the door. He, of course, wanted to know why I was hysterical.  The conversation went something like this:
Jon: Why are you crying? What's wrong?
Me: I don't want to go back to work (sob sob sob). I can't leave Gia!
Jon: So I take the interview went well?

I told him what had happened and my adorable, supportive, wonderful husband told me to call them and tell them thanks, but no thanks, which is what I did. Tough phone call to make but I wasn't ready to leave my 5 month old just yet.

Fast forward 8 months: it was a summer morning and Gia and I were hanging out. I got a text from a very good friend of mine who is also a former colleague. She now teaches developmental English at the local community college. (Developmental English is for all the students who didn't place into 101 and need some extra reading and writing practice before they take 101.) They had an opening and she told her boss about me. The next day I interviewed for the position and got the job. I was so excited to be going back to work. It was the perfect gig at the perfect time--2 days a week, 4 hours a day. Just enough to keep my teaching chops, and earn a little money, but not something that took me away from Gia for too long.

Over the course of the 2 years since Gia has been on this earth, I've met plenty of new people and I've often been asked if I "work". That's a tough question though--and I think all moms would agree with that. Even if you don't work outside the home, you still work. Hard. And, a lot. Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job--much harder than teaching all day. 

So I guess, after this long winded explanation of my work history these past few years, what I'm trying to say is this: being a mom is a full time job. Anything else I get to do that earns me some moola is just the icing on the proverbial cake.  At the end of the day, I'm lucky to have so many jobs that I love.

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