Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Back" to Work

Before we even started trying to conceive, David and I had already decided that when we had children, we would do everything possible to allow me to stay home with them.  I worked the first few months of my pregnancy as a teacher’s aide, but when the school year ended and then we moved a month later, it wasn’t practical for me to get a job just until the baby was born (and by then I was obviously pregnant, so my chances of being hired were greatly diminished).  I did, however, apply to substitute teach because it seemed to be the perfect compromise.  I could work if and when I wanted to.  It wouldn’t be a big deal if I took a big break after the baby was born (or indefinitely).  And it would give me some experience in my desired job field in case I wanted to find a teaching job down the road.  But the school year started and I still had heard nothing.  In December Lucia was born, and I all but forgot that I had ever applied to substitute teach.
 
Then about a month ago, I received a letter saying that I had been approved to substitute.  This was nine months after originally applying, but I realized that this had probably been God’s plan all along.  (Sometimes I wonder why I bother to make plans at all!)  When I applied, I didn’t realize that it would be so long before I would be approved and if I had, I wouldn’t have applied at all.  But I also didn’t know that I would be wanting to substitute after our baby was born.  In fact, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  Lucia is now four months old and I feel comfortable leaving her for longer periods of time.  I’ve gotten down the hang of pumping, so a day away is doing.  David is finished with his dissertation and has nothing major to do before graduation next month, so he can stay home with Lucia while he is on the job hunt.  Most of all, the extra income will be such a blessing, especially if it takes David a while to find a job.  I don’t know how often I’ll be able to substitute, especially since it is toward the end of the school year, but any money I make will be a welcome addition to our income. 

Tomorrow is substitute teacher orientation and my first experience leaving Lucia for more than just a few hours.  But instead of being worried about leaving her, I feel guilty that I’m not worried.  I know I’ll miss her and will be so happy to see her cute little smile and cuddle her in my arms at the end of the day, but David is a great father and I know she’ll have a wonderful day with him.  
  
How did you feel the first time you left your baby for an extended period of time (not just for work for any activity)?   
Any advice for me?

19 comments:

  1. What an exciting opportunity for you and your family! No need to feel guilty at all! Lucia is safe in the arms of her daddy and you are supporting your family! I hope you are able to get some days in! As a former teacher, I know a lot of teachers use sick days as "mental health days" as the year comes to an end! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the best part is that she is not being left with strangers. I have often thought about doing some part time work but could never bring myself to leave the children with strangers for longer periods of time. If they were instead being raised by their dad during those hours then I would be happy to do some part time work! (Unless of course I HAD to go to work and then I would do what needed to be done.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. No worries about there being opportunities to sub. A lot of teachers will be needing to take a day off as the end of the year approaches. What grades are you most interested in teaching?

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's good to know!  I was worried that I wouldn't have much of a chance to sub (and since I had to pay for a physical, I need to sub at least twice to get my money back!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never went to daycare as a child because my grandma always watched us.  My mom has already offered to retire to watch Lulu if we move back and I get a job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did secondary education (history), so I feel much more comfortable with middle and high school.  I don't know the first thing about teaching elementary!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mandi, this is fantastic news!  You're always saying that God provides in places where you aren't expecting it, and He has again!  I'm really excited for you.
    PLEASE do not feel guilty for not being worried.  I say that as someone who feels guilty over my feelings (or lack thereof) as a mom all the time, but my mind knows it's not correct.  I have to admit that I *still* have not left my daughter for more than a few hours, mostly because I haven't had the opportunity -- and frankly, I wish I had that opportunity, which makes me feel guilty.  But I shouldn't, and neither should you!  You're a great mother, and you've lovingly made arrangements for everything Lucia needs.  Plus, she'll be with her daddy, which is fantastic! 

    ReplyDelete
  8. Catholic Cookie JarApril 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    That is such awesome news Mandi! Congratulations!! :) I hope your first day goes well!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How exciting! God knows what is best! His timing is perfect. Reminds me of my morning prayer....
    "Dear Lord, I do not know what will happen to me today. I only know that nothing will happen that was not foreseen by You, and directed to my greater good from all eternity. I adore Your holy and unfathomable plans, and submit to them with all my heart for love of You, the Pope,and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen."
    Enjoy the experience. Alas I do not have advice as I do not have a little one yet, but I will be asking you one day I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's wonderful to hear!  I started back at my part-time volunteer gig when my baby was 8 weeks old.  That first day we got so busy that I hardly had time to miss her!  (But I only got to pump once in 5 hours, so that was kinda rough.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amy_YouShallGoOutWithJoyApril 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    This is great news for you! Lucia will love spending the whole day with Daddy. I first left Gus with Jon for a whole day when he was about 6 months. I was so nervous, and for no reason, as they had a perfect day together. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I knew I liked you for a reason! I taught high school history for five years; so much fun. Ditto on not knowing jack about elem. best of luck!

    ReplyDelete
  13.  Ann-Marie, I didn't realize that!  what a coincidence!

    ReplyDelete
  14.  Louise, yes, I am always saying that, yet I am always surprised when it happens!  What a blessing!

    ReplyDelete
  15.  It went great!  And I just checked the sub list and it looks like I can sub whenever I want!  Yippee!

    ReplyDelete
  16.  Yes, pumping is the most difficult part about it!

    ReplyDelete
  17.  Imagine my amazement when I came home and not only did they have a great time together, but the house was cleaner than I can ever make it when I'm home for a day!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Amy_YouShallGoOutWithJoyApril 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Beginner's luck with the cleaning, I'm sure ;)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say! You can also contact me directly by emailing me at messywifeblessedlife@gmail.com.