Wednesday, March 25, 2009

To Work or Not To Work, That Is The Question

I used to be a chemistry teacher and I loved it. I had a great connection with the kids at AMES and that is what made the teaching experience so great. A month or so ago I got an invitation for the AMES science fair. I, of course, wanted to attend. I promised that I would come back and visit with my baby after he was born and hadn't made good on that promise yet so I thought this might be a good opportunity to get that done.

I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed attending the science fair. I felt like a celebrity. All my former students came to talk to me and tell me how much they missed me. I even enjoyed hearing them say that I was a better teacher than the new chemistry teacher. (Is that bad of me?) Honestly, I don't know if that is true. I helped pick out the new chemistry teacher and she has a Masters in chemistry and many years of teaching experience. But I like to believe that it is true.

I walked up to the Principal of AMES, Al, and we talked a little. I said how much I loved the science fair and then he asked, maybe just jokingly, "Would you like to help teach the science fair class next year." Without even thinking I just replied, "sure." His jaw dropped, "Really?"

AMES has an entire class dedicated to science fair. The current teacher Tawyna Vickers is amazing. She puts in many hour of hard work to help these kids be successful. She has even written a book about science fair. This Tribune Article is about her book and AMES science fair. She does a wonderful job, but needs to cut down on her time working, hence the job offer from Al. I would help her teach or something. I'm not quite sure all the details yet.

I am meeting with Al about this job next week. He basically told me that I have the job if I want it and to come prepared with questions about the position.

The class is taught every other day for 90 minutes plus I would have to be there a little before and after which means that Parker would have to be babysat for 2 hours or so every other day. I would also have a lot of work that I could do at home: lesson plans, editing reseach plans, double checking paperwork and applications, corresponding with students and their assigned mentors. I figure I would be working about 10 hours a week on average: 5 at the school and 5 at home. It doesn't sound too bad until I think about Parker.

Leaving him with a babysitter is one thing, but I also worry about trying to work at home when he needs me and then not getting anything done and then having to work in the evening when I need to be spending time with my husband.

I don't NEED the job for the money. We are getting along just fine on Matt's income, but the money would be nice especially come next year when we will probably move to bigger house (with a bigger mortgage).

But then again, this is a great part-time job where I can still use my degree and keep my career fresh.

But then again, I don't NEED to work.

So I feel a bit of guilt. Does it make me a bad mom if I CHOOSE to work when I don't NEED to? I love being with Parker. I know some mothers have a hard time just staying at home all day, but I have adjusted fairly well. I keep myself occupied with projects and Parker is such a cute kid. I like...I should say I LOVE being a stay at home mom, but I feel like this is a great opportunity. They would be very flexible. I even think I might be able to bring Parker to school often. I've seen other teachers there do it. It is a laid back atmosphere.

So what do you think? Am I crazy for taking this job or would I be crazy not to take this job? It is a hard decision for me.


Allie said...

Oh the work question...
I work part time from home. I will admit sometimes with two little kids and a husband that works full time and goes to school full time, it is very stressful. There are times that when Bret gets home he is in charge of the kids for an hour or so to let me have some time that is uninterrupted so I can get my work done. I work on average 30 hours every 10-12 days. Do I need to work, no. But I enjoy my job and it allows me to have a life outside of being a wife and mother. Don't get me wrong my husband and kids come FIRST ALWAYS! But its nice to have an outlet of something that I enjoy doing, just for me.
Do I think that it makes women a bad wife or mom if they work, no. But there also is a very fine line with that statement as well. I am sure you understand that, since working is weighing heavy on your mind. Too often I think that women who stay home take care of the house, kids, husband, friends, neighbors, etc. loose sight of who they are or who they were before they stayed home. For me working part time allows me to be me, aside from all of the trivial daily stuff. Plus the extra cash is always an added bonus!
I think that if working allows you to be you... go for it. It doesn't make you a bad mom!

Roberts Family said...

I agree. It is important for us to not only be a mom but also be us! It is important for us to better ourselves weather through school or a job. As long as it doesn't interfere with the important things in life. Plus you could try it and if it doesn't feel right or work out you don't have to stay. I think the best way to decide is to take it up with the Lord(which i'm sure you are). It sounds like a great opportunity! Although, growing up having my mother work out of the home I would never want to have to do it! Just don't worry about what others think because only you Matt and the lord know what is right for your family! Good Luck!

Jer and Jules said...

I think you should do it. Not being a mother, I can't completely understand how hard it would be to be gone, but it sounds like a PERFECT job situation, especially if they're flexible and it's not very many hours a week. And just think of how much extra you'll be able to save for the house. Definitely pray about it and do what you think you should, but in my humble opinion, you should do it!

brittany said...

I think you would be crazy not to take it, if it's something you enjoy doing. Everyone has to have things that they do for themselves, whether they are moms, dads, aunts or whoever. If it's something you enjoy then why not?

The Oldroyd's said...

Well in my 3 years of being a mom I have gone back to work 2 times. Not really because I have to but because it just worked with our schedules and it was something that I enjoyed doing. Every one needs something of their own and their own outlet. Some people go running because it is a good outlet and something they enjoy that makes them feel good. If Science/chemistry is that for you than you get an added bonus. You get paid for it. I am a firm believer, like others have said, that we are wives and mothers but we also have to stay true to ourselves. And make sure that we are happy too, if mom isn't happy no one is happy. Not that you aren't happy, but if teaching again will make you more fufilled or give you that something extra that you need than go for it. Good luck on your decision.

baxtersrus said...

I think if you're ever going to work, going back with only one child is probably the best time. When you have more, it'll probably get more crazy, and you'll have to take more time away from all of them. I've loved working in my home. But I'm like you, I still try to make sure it doesn't take any time away from my daughter, because they are the most important, afterall!

Niki said...

I don't know if two hours every other day really counts as "leaving Parker" I probably leave Sarah that much when I leave her with my mom to run an errand. Plus I'm sure we could arrange "play days" with all his little friends in the ward, I know Sarah and I would love to play with Parker for a couple of hours a week. It sounds like a great compromise to work, I say do it!

Tamara and Alex said...

Tam says you would be good at it, and if you needed help with Parker, she could help. I'm sure you have been praying about it, so if you're not getting an answer, God must be leaving this one up to you because he knows you'll make the right choice.
10 hours a week would pretty much zap all your free time away though. Then on the other hand, if you're good with money, the extra income could be used to pay down this mortgage so the next one will be smaller... Tough choice. I would probably try it out, even if it's just one year.