I recently made the decision to start working outside our home for the first time since Noah was born. While I was fortunate to be able to work from home for several years, the position I held was eliminated last June and I found myself unemployed for the first time since I was a teenager. Due to Noah’s schedule – preschool, daycare, and speech, occupational, and feeding therapies – my husband and I made the decision that I would not seek employment for awhile in order to be able to have one of us available to manage that schedule.
It was very difficult for me to not be working.
Although I was very glad to have the time to get Noah everywhere he needed to be and be able to attend to things like dealing with insurance issues related to his care, I very much missed working. I missed contributing to our household finances, I missed working in a field I was passionate about, and I missed the people I worked with. I felt like I was constantly waging an internal battle between deep gratitude that we were able to make ends meet without my income so I was able to focus on meeting Noah’s needs and a deep sense of guilt that despite that gratitude, I also missed the professional aspect of my life.
In February, I saw an advertisement looking for part-time teachers.
It touted “flexible evening and weekend hours”, which intrigued me. Was it possible that I could work part-time in a field I love (teaching) and still manage to attend to Noah’s needs? Turns out that with a little tweaking of our family schedule, the answer was a resounding yes, and I was hired the day I interviewed for the position. I love the work that I am doing. It turns out I missed teaching (I taught high school science from 2000-2009) more than I realized I did, and I’m so happy to be working and contributing to our family’s finances again.
I am finding balance.
Although there are some aspects of my return to work that I am struggling with a little, primarily missing bedtime (which I love) with Noah four days a week, I feel like I am finally starting to find the balance between my responsibilities as a mother (and a wife) and my need to maintain some sense of self-identity (which I really struggled with during my 8 months of unemployment, and not solely due to my lack of employment). I am finding joy in so many different aspects of my life right now, and that is such a wonderful feeling.