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?
Any advice for me?