Since I was little I can remember wanting to be two things: a teacher and a mother. I would make my sister and cousins sit down to play school and would make them do real assignments for which they received real grades. We played house a lot too and as the oldest of five, I did a quite a bit of bossing them around (it was my job, after all). Now, at the age of 27, I have my teaching degree and two small children and am left facing a very big question.
How do I choose between two halves of myself?
I know that many people out there struggle with much bigger than the debate raging in my head right now, but to me it’s my entire world. I have been blessed with a husband who understands my need to be at home with my 2-year-old and 11-month-old. He supports us and while we don’t have a lot of extra money at the end of the pay period, God always provides for us and I’m able to stay home.
Now I am finding myself at an impasse. I have taken on a teacher maternity leave position at our local elementary school. The school board allowed me to put my son and daughter into the school daycare for the six weeks. My son goes to the daycare though I chose not to send my daughter because I didn’t feel she was ready yet. I thought it would be nice to see how we like the daycare and to see if I’m ready to cut the cord, so to speak.
My son has been enjoying his “school,” though some morning dropoffs are rough. We are into our second week and I am loving teaching. I’m in my element and the day goes by quickly. I haven’t missed my kids as much as I thought I would and that is part of what brings on my guilt.
Though my kids still need me, they don’t need me. Currently, my son is happily playing with his barn and horses, not at all worried what I’m doing and he’s happy. He had a good day at school today and always has to be pulled away from toys and friends at pick up time. My daughter does fine when she is away from me as well and though she’s happy to see me, she doesn’t fuss when I go. They are doing just fine without me, as sad as that might make me. And as bad as it sounds and as guilty as I feel about it, I am doing just fine without them.
When I pick them up they are always happy to see me and our evenings together are wonderful. My son has been helping me make dinner and we play outside before bath time. The quantity may not be there, but I feel like the quality of our time together has increased. My son is also learning new things. He didn’t want to learn to potty train with me, but at school he goes with the older 2-year-olds and does what they do. He comes home every day and shares something new he’s learned. They do art and have circle time, there is so much to gain from his time at his little school with his caregivers. My daughter could have that as well if I were to take a position at the school next year. The biggest problem seems to be their mother.
I don’t want to miss out on my children growing up.
I only get to do this once and I don’t want to look back years from now and regret that I gave up this time with them to let someone else raise them 40 hours of the week. I have always envisioned myself as a stay-at-home mom, but would it really be so bad to be a working mom? If I stay home, I can be there for everything and go back to teaching when they go to school. If I go to now, I can provide my family with more financially and the kids can go to their own school and learn to be independent and well rounded.
So, as I struggle with this over the next months I have a lot to think about and would really appreciate any thoughts and input from anyone willing to give a piece of experience or more to think about. I think that no matter what I will feel guilty, but for now, I will just enjoy having a little taste of teaching for the next four weeks before it’s back to mommy mode.
Our guest blogger Bonnie is “just a mom.” She enjoys writing in her spare time and likes to spend as much time with her family as possible.