Saturday, December 01, 2018

A Season for Everything

I love reflecting (yes, Enneagram 1 in the house) on how things are going for our family. I've been working outside the home each day for three months now. Is working beneficial to our marriage? My ability to parent? My mental health? Overall, it has been a good thing making me feel more whole. This isn't to say that working outside the house is what completes me, it's part of it – just like being part of my hockey team!

Reflecting on the teaching parenting balance

Will I continue to work outside the home? I'm taking it year by year (who even knows if there is a position for me next year) and really just trying to make it to the next holiday (Hello, Christmas!). I love teenagers and science and I've missed it; I'm happy to be back into it but not loving all the other parts of teaching like meetings, keeping up with the Ministry of Education changes and the exposure to all those germs.

One thing I do know is that I cannot work as much as I am and continue to be a foster parent. We did the hard and important work of attachment with our Baby Girl in the first year which has allowed her to comfortably be in daycare but it would not be ideal to be in that situation if she had just arrived.

The plan for our Baby Girl is to leave next week. I don't know what this looks like long term but right now it appears we will still have her once a week in order for mom to have some self-care time. We will take a break from being foster parents and instead "just" provide relief for those that we have cared for before. Will we foster again? No idea. I just know we need a change and also logistically we have several holidays booked which would make it too tricky to take an extra child into our home. Also, I truly do need some more time and energy to invest in my own children, husband and self.

If you have considered fostering and are waiting for the "right time", I would suggest that if you have young kids it may be a good fit! I loved being able to do it when I was home with my kids anyway. It worked well to have all the kid toys, clothes, routines etc that my kids were already in. Right now as my kids get older it's harder to go back to diapers, naps, teething and baby gates.

Back to teaching. I'm grateful this opportunity came up and that I said "yes". I'm thankful that my own kids have adapted smoothly and that daycare has worked well for Baby Girl. I'm glad that I have connected with students again. Teenagers are pretty great and getting to teach them about digestion and circulation is a lot of fun – way more exciting to me than potty training and singing Baby Shark. Remember, I was in that stage for 12 years so change is good.

Making money is also a plus although we're definitely not saving up like I thought we would. It probably doesn't help that we booked a trip to Europe! However, we wouldn't have booked a trip if I wasn't working. It's fun to be able to afford some of the "extras" now and not feel guilty about ordering sushi or pizza.

So, there you have it. Nothing enlightening but I do want to keep utilizing this space and hopefully one day I'll have something insightful to say again. Thank you for reading!

Did you go back to work after being home with the kids for a while? Would you work if you didn't have to?


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