Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Are You Going Back?"

I have to smile and tell people “no, I am not kidding” when I answer yes I am going back to work. Sometimes I want to lean over and lift up their chin for them. I also often wish I had armor to help fend off criticism. I think all families need to make the best decision for their own families. Some people are meant to stay home full time, others are meant to work part or full time. Each family is different and I respect families who are able to recognize what is best for them. I have worked with moms (and dads) who are fabulous stay at home parents, and others who do an awesome job parenting while working full time.

For me it has never been a question of IF I was going to go back, it was a question of WHEN. If I was asked to finish a list of ‘I am…” I would list wife, mother and then teacher. If you don’t know, I am a first grade teacher. This coming year will be my twelfth year, in the same school and in the same grade. I really do love my job. Don’t get me wrong, there are many days when I ask myself why I do it. But, overall, it is extremely rewarding, challenging and ever changing. I am able to go back to work because I have a supportive husband, wonderful co-workers and great students/families. Teaching does afford some flexibility. It is not as easy as some people think though – I work hard on my weekends and nights so that I am prepared each day. And as far as getting three months off for summer, I can only say I wish. After closing my room in June and then getting it ready for the new school year in August I really have closer to two months off (although, I often take classes in the summer to keep my certification current). But, it is a wonderful bonus that the children and I will be on the same schedule once they are in school.

I think teaching has made me a better parent, and parenting has made me a better teacher. I expect the very best from each person who interacts with my children, and can only imagine that the parents of my students feel the same way.

What about daycare you might wonder? Well to bring all four kids to daycare would cost much more than I make each week. We are currently in the process of finding a person who will come to our house each day. We initially planned to keep Quin in daycare and find a person to watch just the babies. As time as passed, we are now thinking that all four children will stay home. The process of finding just the right person has been a long road, but again, I expect only the best. It will be so nice to not have to bundle them all and bring them in somewhere. I also dread our first winter. The least amount of germs the babies are exposed to, the better.

I know that our lives will drastically change. When I am making dinner in the afternoon, doing laundry in the middle of a Tuesday or I actually have time to vacuum, I think how much less time we will have in about five weeks. The experience of having triplets has taught me to be more easily going, less stressed about the small things and has armed me with the knowledge that things really do work out for the best. These lessons will hopefully serve me well come mid August! :)


♥ JB said...

You have to do what you have to do. Especially in the economy right now - that is a lot of babies to feed! =)

Finding a sitter is always hard, always make sure you have a back up one too..

By the time school starts the babies should be more mobile than ever! My youngest just turned 9 months and has the speed crawling down and just started to pull herself up on everything in sight. Ooh babies!

Tracey said...

That was SO well said! I wish I had been able to state that so eloquently 7 years ago! I may still copy parts of it to show people! :)

I wish you the best of luck as you search for the right person to stay with your beautiful children. I look forward to seeing you at meetings!

Tracey Willemstein

Jill said...

I know what you mean about jaws dropping. I went back to work 8 weeks after the triplets were born. I couldn't afford to stay at home. All 4 kids are in daycare 2 days per week. We have family and friends watch the kids 3 days per week in our house. It wasn't easy when I first went back. Getting up quite a few times in the middle of the nightand then functioning at work was a challenge. It is much better now. The girls are pretty much sleeping through the night. Joey is almost there. I wish you all the best as you return to work.

Grandma Barb said...

Joelee, you are an excellant wife, mother and teacher, you could tell that long before Quin was born. I would watch how you would be with Haylee amd Allyson. You have alot to offer not only your own but to other children as well. We need more teachers like you. You spent alot of time and effort and money to get you where you are, and I know my grandchildren are going to be just fine when you go to work again. You all are always in my prayers. Love Barb

Douglass Family said...

I think you are so right, people are meant to take different paths and you know what is right for you and your family. I'm sure the children you will have at school this fall are thankful you're going back.

By the way, thank you for the hats, they are so cute. The girls are off of their CPAPs and have been wearing them, kinda. I've been trying to get a picture but they usually push them off their heads before I get a chance. Not too long and they will be too small for them as well!