Back to school is always a strange time of year for me. I go from having a lot of spare time to almost no spare time. I look at the list of summer projects that went undone and wonder if I’ll be able to squeeze them in on weekends here and there, or if they will be put off for yet another year.
Having children has exacerbated this feeling because I will go from being with the girls all day to basically only being around them for about 4 hours on weekdays, 3 or 3:30 until 7 or 7:30 when they go to bed. Last year I was really fortunate to be able to work part-time, but financially we can no longer afford to do that.
I have constantly debated about whether it’s better to keep the job I have (and for the most part enjoy) and not get to be around the girls as much or to find a job with different hours, extending my timw with the girls while they’re awake, and eliminating the need for daycare, but not getting to be with Will as much. In all fairness, I haven’t actually tried this second option, but I just feel like there is no good solution.
An evening job would likely be less time-consuming, (You don’t bring home grading if you’re stocking shelves or doing data entry) but likely also less fullfilling. It’s important to me that I’m working for something other than just money, and I guess I haven’t explored other evening/night-time options enough to really know if there are other jobs out there I would find meaningful. I have enjoyed teaching enough the last couple of years that I don’t WANT to find something else. I’m just worried about the time commitment that I know full-time teaching entails.
I realize the choice of whether or not to, and when and how to work is something that all mothers (and many fathers) struggle with. My situation is not unique. But even though I’ve made the decision (for another year, at least) I don’t seem to be done wrestling with it yet. Maybe that is just how my mind works: I agonize, and even after the decision has been made, I agonize some more. I wish I could feel confident about it, or even ok with it. Instead I just feel very uncertain.