Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Week

It’s been a whirl-wind kind of month since Christmas. I’ve been unable to post about the girls’ every move, the holidays, or the milestones because there’s been this big, dark cloud of life happenings tainting my thoughts. I’m returning to work next week. I haven’t been in the classroom since May and as I march back into the working-mom-having-it-all-I-mean-DOING-it-all existence that I dread, I return to a helluva a work atmosphere. While out, I lost half of my classes. It’s of course illegal to say, punish a mother for taking maternity leave . . . and yet I find myself going back to work in a financially impossible position. Probably not punished in retribution for having a baby, I do feel confident that I lost classes because . . . well, because I wasn’t there to teach them last semester. They went up for grabs so to speak and found themselves new homes. I will, therefore, make just enough money to pay for the child care required for me to work . . . to make that money . . . to pay the child care . . . and you see the problem. I’m facing this semester with the looming threat of needing to find a new job. I mean, a new career. A new calling (is there such a thing as more than one?). A new identity. A new life away from teaching. It’s all rather unfortunate because I was never in it for the money. But there HAS to be some money in it. And there is only one thing that would make me jump ship and turn my back on this passionate-but-abusive relationship I have with teaching.

Well, two things really.

A n A 


Annie 6 mos 


Through all of the bullshit I am facing with work right now, I’ve come to realize that I can’t keep dragging my family along on this dream of mine that is clearly not coming true. In fact, it feels like it’s falling apart, and breaking my heart into a million little pieces along the way.  Not only have I worked myself to the depths of possibility for this career, but I’ve built my life around it as well. I’ve developed my own sense of motherhood in this identity and schedule and have not one idea how to revise the vision. I never wanted to be the mom who dropped my kids off in the morning and picked them up in the evening every single day. It wasn’t in the plan. I worked full time AND stayed home full time. It was more than two full time jobs, but I did it willingly because it gave me the best of both as long as I could withstand all of the work, which of course I did.

As the semester has neared, I’ve found myself lost in a cycle of horrible negativity, depression, and anxiety—all of which I will have to discuss here at another time—mostly because I’m not out of it yet. So as I prepare for working again, I not only fear that I can’t love it anymore because of its abuses. I also fear that I shall love it more than ever because of our separation. And while I remember every single day that I have all of the things that money can’t buy, I also face a very real financial struggle for survival as I cross the bridge into unknown territory. I have never felt so financially prohibited in my adult life and here I sit with two babies, a family, and a whole life to make work.

At what point do you give up on your dreams? What is more detrimental to your children—you giving up? Or not saving for college? Leaving them at day care all day? Or pulling them out of preschool because of cost?

Where do you hold the line? I have no idea, but wish me luck as I begin to figure it all out, one shaky, unstable step at a time.