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! :)