The Opposite of Writer’s Block

I guess results in the same outcome– nothing.

I have had so much to say for so long and yet never find the time or display the decision making ability to sit down and actually pick a topic and blog. I  have  many friends with blogs and they are so good about updating. Guess I could make it my new year’s resolution to blog more but truth be told, I don’t really believe in resoultions.

So instead I decided to pick a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a really long time and that’s to discuss the work outside the home vs stay at home mom dilemma. I’ve probably mentioned it before but it’s interesting how life’s twists and turns take ordinary decisions and help you find more focus and clarity when you least expect it.

I won’t lie. Some days I hate working. Hear what I’m saying. I hate WORKING. I don’t hate my job or my students or my colleagues or getting up early or any of that. I hate leaving the house while my son is still asleep and knowing that he is growing up and learning new things and exploring the world and I’m not there to see it.

And I think the reason I’ve decided to talk about this particular topic now instead of the 1000s of others I could have picked that have strayed across my brain over the last few months, is because the decision to continue working outside the home after having a child is particularly trying after a holiday or break. I just got to spend 2 weeks reminding myself about what I miss when I’m at work.

So the easy answer is, “If you want to stay home so badly, then just quit.” But it’s no where near as simple as that. For one thing I just spent 3 years and a lot of money earning my Master’s degree in education. I think I owe it to myself and my family who made many sacrifices for me to actually USE my degree.

The other thing is that in the world today, with the economy such that it is, I could not fathom being able to justify leaving a good job with health benefits, quote frankly, no matter how bad it is (which it’s not). There are too many people without jobs for me to just up and leave.

So I come to the conclusion that I reach over and over and over again every time I let my head go to this space where I have this debate in my mind. I have decided that when it comes down to it, really comes down to it, I’m good at what I do. And leaving my job would be selfish. So I would get to spend time with Andrew, so I could stop feeling guilt about not being there. At school, I get kids who can’t read and I help them read. I’m not a miracle workers but I’ve seen enough to feel like I am doing something. I am making a difference. I mean heck, if you are going to leave your child for the day you sure as hell better be doing something worthwhile, right? I guess I just decided that my students need me more than Andrew needs me. And that’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes when I miss him so terribly during the day but this is what I have chosen. And I respect all those moms who have chosen to leave careers to stay at home with their kids. It’s an admirable thing to do. But for now it’s not for me. Not when I have 20 other kids who need me too. If I sound a little defensive it’s because I get the looks from the SAHMommy crowd. I’ve heard the subtle jabs at my decision to work. I’ve felt the unspoken pressure and the guilt guilt guilt. I’ve heard argument that staying home is soooo much harder (Um… no, it’s not. I still have the same amount of crap to do at home and 40 hours less to do it). And I’ve come to the realization that people can say “to each her own” all they want but that sometimes it comes across in such a mildly transparent way I feel like shaking them and saying, “Go ahead, tell me how you really feel!” I wish people would be a little more respectful of my decision. Sadly, the people who have made me feel this way won’t even read this since they’re not my friends.

In the meantime, I just have to jam as much as I can into the few hours I get with Andrew when I’m home from work. I guess in the end it’s the quality of the time you spend together more than the quantity. And when I have a hard time believing that myself, I just look at my calendar and remind myself that there’s just 92 days until summer, and I get to be full time Mommy again.

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