Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quality vs. Quantity

Today was one of those know the kind.  Running all over the place but not really accomplishing much at all.  I had a lot of school stuff to do and a standing social obligation that I didn't want to pass up.  Hence, I had very little time with the boy today.

Still, when we were together, we were cuddling and laughing and happy.  Certainly that counts for something, right?  I hope it counts for a lot because come the fall, when I start my full-time student teaching stint, that's the way things are going to be for us, most of the time.

I'm literally split right down the middle about the major changes that are headed our way in a little over a month.  One part of me is excited in a great anticipation sort of way and one part of me is terrified in an, "I don't know if I can do this" sort of way.  On top of my own anticipation/fear came the news that we will need to find new child care arrangements for C.  This development was not terribly surprising but still makes me feel sad.  We had a great arrangement going last year and I'm sad to see it go.  On the other hand, C. is getting to the age where it will be very beneficial for him to be around other kids and to have a little more structure to his days.  Yet again, I feel split right down the middle:  One part sad and one part excited to see what the next chapter holds.

I know it will all be fine.  I know plenty of people work full time (plus!) and still manage to maintain a great relationship/bond with their children.  I know many of you do it.  My sister does it.  I also know plenty of people who greatly enjoy their work away from home because they feel truly connected when they come back, rejuvenated rather than burned out.  Besides, it's not like I've been home full time forever.  I've had the blessing of two beautiful, languid summers with C. but I've also been pretty consistently busy with school since he was four months old.  I guess what I'm most worried about/scared of is the loss of my flexibility.  School allows for that...not only in terms of scheduling but in case anything unexpected comes up out of the blue.  While I do place attendance high on my list of priorities, I don't have to go to school if I don't want to.  With student teaching, I will put my very best professional foot forward and work...probably harder than I ever have before {not that I don't work hard now or haven't in the past} and it will all be for no pay.  That's an exhausting prospect no matter how you slice it.  At the same time, I can't wait to experience the whole picture of life in the classroom as someone other than the substitute teacher for the put all the pieces of the puzzle together, so to speak, and get my feet wet for what my future career will really be like.

Ahhhh...I'm just so mixed, so all over the place about how I really feel.  And the time is flying by, fast!  Today was a glimpse into how I'm going to feel every day come the fall and it was bittersweet for me, in a big way!        


Becky said...

Dear Melba!! I needed to read this and thank you for sharing!!!
I have been home for 10 yrs. Quit teaching after adopting our first. I've worked part time but, in situations where my children have gone with me.
Now, after having adopted #3, I'm faced with going back to work full time! I feel exactly like you described!!! Excited, anxious, guilty, unsure...........
I think I feel most guilty about wanting to return for me......but, not being here for #3 like I have been for 1 and 2!!!
SO hard to be a mommy!!!
Yes, many do it but, doesn't make it easier when it is you and your child!
Thanks!! hugs!

Richele said...

Things are never easy, are they?

I'm struggling with this in a parallel way - wondering if it would be better for me to go back to work so that ours can enter a more structured environment ... crazy.

I know it will ache for you to be away from him, but you'll be spending your day doing something you love (and worked so hard to achieve!) and then pouring yourself into him when you get home. So maybe its not quite quantity vs quality, but quality and quantity, all mixed together!

Rebekah said...

It's definitely a difficult balancing act, but once you get in the routine you'll become super mom and make it all work. During the week I only get 30 minutes with Ty in the mornings and an hour in a half in the evenings.

I hate that we spend more time away from each other during the week than we do together. But, like you said, you just have to make your time count. No phone calls, no house cleaning, no distractions.

My time with Ty is precious and I soak every second in. Some days are tough, but for the most part it all works and are family bond is strong!

Debbie B said...

It is hard. Hard to make the right decisions for your family and your career. I'm dreading the day I find a job and hoping that it will just be part time. I've truly enjoyed being a full time SAHM these past few months.