Saturday, August 4, 2012

And I Become a Working Mama

If you've glanced at my profile on the right sidebar or my "about" page in the last week, you may have noticed that it says "part stay-at-home mom, part Spanish teacher".  That's right, I accepted my first teaching position last week as a part-time K-8 Spanish teacher at a Catholic school!  Obviously, that's big news, so you might be wondering why I've taken so long to share it.  The truth is, I've attempted to write this post several times in the past week but I've struggled with what to write.  You see, I'm still struggling to figure out exactly how I feel about my new job and the changes it signifies for my family.

I wasn't looking for a job.  Before we moved back to Colorado last month, I applied to substitute in the local school districts while David looked for work.  Applying for teaching positions didn't make sense since we may have to move again soon if David found a job to which he couldn't easily commute.  And  once he did find a job, he wouldn't be able to watch Lucia and I wouldn't need to help contribute financially; it would be easy to stop substituting to stay home.

So what changed that would make a teaching job more sensible?  Nothing.  All these circumstances still apply.  Yet the job presented itself and we couldn't help feeling that this is God's plan for me right now, the answer to our prayers for financial stability.  This isn't the answer we were expecting, but I have to trust right now that His plans for our family are greater than any plans we could make.

The first Sunday after we arrived "home" to Colorado, there was an advertisement in the church bulletin for a part-time Spanish teacher at the conjoining Catholic school.  How could this not be a sign?  Especially since this wasn't our obvious home parish in my hometown; we took my grandparents to Mass that Sunday at their church (which also happens to be the church we were married at and where Lucia was baptized).  I then had the opportunity to meet the new principal a few days before my interview at a reception for our new Archbishop.  Imagine my surprise when she told me that she felt that it was meant to be that I contacted her the job because she had been asking St. Anthony to help her find a Spanish teacher and was only going to advertise in the church bulletin for one more week before she started looking elsewhere.  If that's not an indication this is where I'm suppose the be right now, what is?

There are still many questions for us as I start this job.  David just interviewed for a position 2 hours away and if he gets it, he plans to either commute there daily or stay with his parents Monday through Friday and come home to be with us on the weekends.  If he doesn't get the position, he will look for a part-time job at a restaurant, coffee shop, or retail shop, and limit his job search within an hour of here.  We don't know who will watch Lucia if we are both working, and that is perhaps the most difficult aspect of going back to work for me.  But I continue to trust, because I know in time He will reveal His plan to me.

I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mother.  I love being a stay-at-home mother. I worry about missing the big moments.  Will I miss Lucia's first steps?  I am heartbroken that I will miss the little moments.  I will especially miss breastfeeding my daughter and connecting with her in such an intimate way at regular intervals throughout my day.  (I will be pumping and still breastfeeding her while I'm home.)  But these thoughts and worries are manageable while Lucia stays home with daddy.  It's a special time for the two of them to bond in a way that most dads don't ever get to experience.  But once (if) he finds a job...I just can't bear the thought of my little one in daycare.  No one can teach and care for baby like mama and daddy. 

Lest you think I'm viewing my job in only a doom and gloom manner, I will tell you that I am very excited to get back in the classroom.  Nervous?  Absolutely!  Overwhelmed?  Yes, yes, yes! Teaching K-8 means nine lesson plans to write which is so, so daunting, especially as a new teacher with all of 0 lesson plans in my repertoire.  But excited?  That too!  I've already bought a few books and decorations for my classroom and a few new "teacher" outfits.  Ready or not, the first day of school is coming soon. 

Working moms, how did you prepare to go back to work?  What were the greatest challenges?  What is your best advice for a "new" working mom like me?

19 comments:

  1. How exciting!!! You'll do great!!!

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  2. Good luck Mandi! You are going to be a great teacher! :) I'll be praying for David's job search.

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  3. You're going to be a great teacher and still be a great mama too, Mandi! Lucia is so lucky to have you and David as parents :)
    I've been struggling with the same thoughts this week, realizing that I'm going back to work here so soon. I figure, though, that since we know mamas are on duty 24 hours a day, and there are 168 hours in a week, I will still be working about 140 hours a week as Emily and Erin's mama :) That made me feel a little better, and put the balance in perspective. Hope it helps you too!

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  4. Goodluck! Your going to do a great job! I def. think it's a sign from god the way you got that job.

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  5. Michelle @ Liturgical TimeAugust 5, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    It will work. In my daughter's 18 years of life, there have been times when I was: a full time mom at home, a full time employed mom with a stay at home homeschooling husband, a part time employed mom sharing at-home parenting with a part time employed dad, and a full time mom employed at school while our daughter was in class....It works. God provides. You, your husband, ...and most importantly your daughter...will be blessed.

    Our daughter has a remarkable relationship with my husband. that relationship grew out of the times he spent with her at home. I believe moms should be at home when possible. I believe that there are sacrifices when mom works. But I also believe that God knows best. You will be covered by his love and grace.

    Blessings to you and your family
    ~M

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  6. Thanks so much, Michelle! I am working on trusting God's plan for us!

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  7. Thanks, Beth Anne! Glad I'm not the only one that thought the way I got the job showed a little more of God's grace than normal!

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  8. You will rock it! For what it's worth, I put a lot of stock in to "signs," I think you and Sister were right on with this one!

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  9. I am vey excited for you. I will be praying for the transition to work for you. I know you will have a fabulous time setting up your classroom. It is a lot of prep work, but I hope you will haves fun eith all your different classes.

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  10. Hi Mandy, I'm very curious to hear all your thoughts on this as we are pregnant with our first baby girl right now (due in November). I'm curious to hear your perspective on going back to work and if you will continue to cloth diaper etc.

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  11. Alexandra, I certainly will be updating the blog about all this! Congratulations are your own little one! Lucia was due at the end of November but ended up being a bit late and is a December baby. For the time being, David is home with Lucia, so we will continue cloth diapering, but if he finds a job, it will all depend on who watches Lucia and how they feel about cloth (although I suppose we will continue to cloth diaper at home).

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  12. Oh, I'm so nervous, but SO excited about setting up the classroom and about those first few weeks of lesson planning!

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  13. I try not to put too much stock in "signs" because sometimes I think I'm just making them out to be more than they are, but these ones I just couldn't chalk up to coincidence!

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  14. Way too much in common! I'm a NC girl now living in CO too. Full time working mom figuring it all out. Found you through the For Love of Cupcakes blog hop!

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  15. Oh wow!! Congratulations!! That's so exciting/scary all at once!! :)

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  16. I too worked at a school while my daughter was little. Just think - best of both worlds. Lots of time off so you will get to see your little one just not in the original way you imagined. I always found great joy in being so excited to see her and her running up to me so excited to see me. Heaven. They're are good things about being a working mom. If you have the right job it truly can be the best of both worlds. Trust me. It's not as horrible as some make it out to be. Now there is a time of adjustment but you'll get there and you'll have dinner on the table by 6 to boot!! I never thought that would happen but I found a way and you will too God speed. Enjoy your new path. Also don't be so afraid of day care. There are some really good ones out there. We LOVED Ava's school - it was a special place and I was super sad when she left.

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  17. As for practice advice, have her care giver (dad or school) take pictures so you can enjoy her experiences too. If dad works too, plan meals out a week ahead of time and find recipes that you can make within an hour or less. (I assume you'll get home between 4 and 5 since you teach) so get home cook and by the time dad gets home dinner is ready. It can be done an I'm not even the Martha Stewart type! :-) I definitely spent more quality time with Ava while working bc I knew my time with her was limited. You find laser focus when your with her now. Be excited. It's great. The first week is a bitch but it really can be awesome. <3

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  18. Kelley @ Over the ThresholdAugust 10, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Wow, I missed this post while we were on holiday. Big news--I wish you the best and I hope you adjust well!

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