Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Big Changes

So, over the past 2 months, since I have been quite sick with my hyperthyroidism, I have been contemplating whether or not I could return to work. I finally made a decision two days ago. I don't think you know how much I went back and forth and it was honestly the hardest decision I've ever made. Many nights where I didn't sleep well at all. It consumed my thoughts. Gary didn't want to talk to me anymore because it's all I talked about. There is no way I could return. I mean, I guess I could teach, but then Gary and the boys would get nothing from me but an extremely irritable, exhausted wife and mother. I have a feeling my condition would also get worse from the stress of getting the kids to daycare and running around at work all day. Teaching is awesome but it is exhausting. It's like a fetus, taking all of the nutrients from your body, leaving you exhausted:) You love the fetus, but still, exhausted.

This was such a hard decision for me. I love my job. I love where I work(ed). I love teenagers. I love science. I love getting out of the house without the kids. I didn't want to let the school/staff down. But, if I have learned anything over the years, it's that my kids are only little once and being a wonderful wife and mom is my priority (well, along with my health).

When I told my boss I wasn't coming back, I had a mini panic attack. For real, chest pains and everything. I have never not brought in an income. Well, I guess when I went to Kenya, but then I didn't have kids to provide for or a mortgage to take care of. Because I have the ability to bring in some money via photography, we should be okay. Well, as long as there isn't another van incident (sidenote: we had to bring it in AGAIN but it was a wire that had come loose when they were replacing the transmission and they fixed it for free)! I also feel the need to do photography because it keeps me busy and it's something I can do with my `condition' (one hour shoot and then sit on my butt in front of the computer). I am so thankful for this. Usually Gary and I do shoots together, because it's easier and a whole lot more fun, but we have done some by ourselves. I will try to do more on my own because Gary is busy enough with a full time job and coaching basketball.

So, the kids will have me around all the time. I'm worried about this in a way because it's really tiring for me to go out with them, but at the same time, I go a little crazy staying at home all the time. Socializing is absolutely exhuasting. I think going for walks, with them in the stroller, will be good. Maybe getting out at night by myself will also be good. Kai being in preschool 2X per week is very good for me, especially because he doesn't nap anymore. I use that time to work on photos, and he is having a wonderful time learning and expending all of his energy.

I was in the church nursery a few weeks back, and just being in there for 2 hours destroyed me for the entire day. I want to be normal so bad. I hope this is not my new normal. Went for blood tests again today, I appreciate my doctors monitoring me so closely. I know it could be so much worse so I'm not feeling too sorry for myself:) Today was a bad day. My heart rate was up again and I've kind of felt like passing out. I can totally function though so that's good. I had a good Sunday, so I went for a 6 minute run, and then my heart rate was at 200bpm. No running for me.

I don't plan on being a full time stay at home mom forever (not that there's anything wrong with it!). I just feel that it is very right for me at this time. You never know what's ahead, whether it's good or bad, but I do know who's in control. Not me! Ms. Contorl Freak has had to let go of the control. I'm very thankful for everything in my life, well, besides my thyroid, it's kind of um, driving me nuts. My prayer is to get my health back and I can't wait for the day when I can look back and say `Wow, I never thought I would get out of it but I'm so happy I'm better now!'. One day. One day.


  1. Good for you, Louise! I can see how hard that must have been for you (And Gary) to agonize over. I don't think that you'll regret your decision. Here's to being a healthy wife and mommy!

  2. It WILL happen Louise, you will feel better, it just takes up way more time than you anticipated. The best part of hyperthyroidism is the forgetfulness....you won't even remember all of it! You have made a great decision to stay home with the kiddos right now, as they will appreciate it and so will you. Blink and they will be 19.....honest, it happens sooooo fast!! Hugs and prayers!

  3. Big changes is right!!! Good for you, for recognizing your health limitations and making a really tough choice on behalf of your health and your family. I really admire your self awareness and honesty, and your strength. I know it is HUGE to walk away from the security of a job (that you love, no less!), and HUGE to admit that you can't do everything you love/desire/hope at this time in your life. But I know you'll get through this, like you have gotten through so many difficult things before, with grace. There will always be jobs for teachers, so you can always go back when your kids are older and your health more stable, eh? (I PROMISE you, the kids get wayyyyy easier from here on in) And more time for photography, how great is that?? As for the sanity and the staying at home full time, there are many out there who do it well. You already listen to yourself pretty well, so you will figure it out as you go; what you need to stay sane!! When Brent works nights I definitely need just an hour to myself that afternoon--sometimes in a coffee shop or a clothing store, but more often than not in my car so I can be completely alone. Just that hour, or even half hour if that is all I have time for, keeps me sane and level headed to do supper and bedtime with all three kids by myself.
    Make sure not to isolate yourself too much. You need to connect with other women and with friends even if it wears you out (it does me, because I'm an extreme introvert). Just do it for shorter periods and less frequently than most people do, but make sure you do! It is key to keeping your marriage balanced and to continuing to like your kids. :)
    That's my advice. I don't SAH but I have a job where I *almost* do, because sometimes I don't work for weeks. And I've had 3 mat. leaves.

    Hang in there! You are awesome!!

  4. It will take time to adjust to being home all the time....but it will be good in the end. I know I struggled too for a long time about working at home, but realized it was best for my family and therefore best for me. I love not having to deal with daycare!

  5. yes, i can see that as being a big change!!!! i commend you for making that hard decision and prioritizing your family over your love for teaching. i hope your confidence in your decision grows and that you see the benefits of choosing to regain your health before heading back to work again.
    and what an awesome bonus to be able to do photography to help with the income :)

  6. Louise, what a tough choice to make! I hope you are able to sleep better now:)

  7. Hang in there Louise - what a huge decision for you. Being married to a teacher I can appreciate all the energy that goes into your work... and I know all the energy that is needed with two little ones! There are lots of years left for working!

  8. Lou, good job. It's so easy to go with the flow and not recognize what your body and emotions etc are telling you. I'm 100% confident you'll be able to return when you need/want to. I'd want you teaching my kids! For now I'm so proud of you and Gary for deciding to do what's right for you. I hope you're feeling good about it. you should be.

  9. Anonymous5:15 AM

    i can totally understand your decision! and i think it's great that
    you're taking your time getting healthy again!!! it's so much more important to be healthy than anything else.
    and i'm sure that you'll feel way better! even when you're having constant problems with your thyroids, you will learn to live with the medication, your body will learn to handle this new situation, and so on.
    i know that it's hard to leave the security of bringing in money, of being needed in a job....but once you jump into god's arms, trusting in him and his plans you will feel an assurance and sereneness you've never felt before (i've been through the same this march).
    have a great week!

  10. Good for you. This must have been a difficult decision to make but I am sure that taking this time to completely heal will be a benefit for your whole family. You have had a difficult few months and you are probably feeling so drained. I hope that your health improves quickly and that you are able to enjoy this special time at home with your boys!

  11. Kudos to you for making what was obviously a difficult decision. I can totally understand where you're coming from. That would be hard for me to give up to. However, it is NEVER a bad choice to stay home with your kids and you are still a teacher and can go back any time. See? All positive :)

  12. I think it's good and right, Louise - mainly because it feels right to you. I'm glad you've made this decision knowing it's what's best for your health and your ability to care for your family the way you desire. You're a great momma!