Sorry, this is long!
I am seriously considering not going back to work in the fall and am wondering if this desire to stay home with my daughter is temporary and acting upon it might lead to disastrous consequences. (I did apply for an extension of my maternity leave through Jan. 1, 2011, but even if that works out, I am considering staying at home.)
My husband makes enough to support us, but it will definitely necessitate lifestyle changes for us....and neither of us are sure HOW our lives will change since we've both always worked (we do have rental property income potential). On top of that, I am not a tenured teacher. If I go back in the fall, make it through one more year, I'll be tenured and have a permanent job...a job that will be great once my kid(s) are in school. We also use my health benefits, and while my husband has a great job and benefits we could take advantage of, his job doesn't carry the promise of permanency.
But the thought of leaving my (almost) three month old daughter with someone else and missing her formative years makes me feel nauseous in a way that I never anticipated when i was pregnant. I figured 4 and a half months home with her would be enough. HAHA!! The thought of returning to a very demanding profession--to which I devoted many hours of time outside of the regular school day--makes me nauseous. I am not a workaholic but I took my job seriously and HAD to put in all that extra time just to be a decent teacher and to stay afloat. So, I seriously question my ability to balance work and family life without a breakdown. I know when I get home I will want to be all about my daughter and will resent the amount of time that my job is taking away from me and my family.
Reasons to go back to work: possibly permanent job that is very family-friendly; awesome schedule once your kids are in school; work is 10 minute drive from home; extra income; great benefits; just finished my master's and SHOULD be putting it to use! (although the $400 raise is nothing to write home about); my husband is much more helpful with the domestic tasks when we are both working (that being said, I don't mind doing more around the house now because at this point in my life as a mom, his job IS much more demanding and less rewarding than mine) so we'll be struggling TOGETHER
Reasons to stay home: being there for my daughter and possibly future child; we CAN manage it financially, but it will be stressful in ways we don't even know yet; teaching is exhausting and takes up a lot of time after work and on weekends; if I wanted to go back, special ed teachers are always in demand.
The funny thing is, if I found out today that I would never teach again, I wouldn't be upset AT ALL. Don't get me wrong--I love the kids. I just hate the planning and paperwork and high-stakes testing and ever-increasing expectations and demands on both students and teachers...and the thought of doing it for the next 25 years! And the crazy thing now is that I love my baby and motherhood so much that I am thinking about becoming a lactation consultant (which I know is a long and arduous road), a doula....anything to keep me in the magical and hopeful world of babies and breastfeeding.
My mother (who was/is NOT a baby person, although she is a wonderful person) says this is a phase that will pass and before I know it, I'll WANT the regular company of adults and want to go back to work.
Any insight? DH would love for me to stay home, but is torn about me leaving a relatively good job, and is of course very nervous about us continuing to live on one income for several more years.
Hi. I have a very similar situation to what you described here. Many of the details are exactly the same, including how I feel about the job and workload, my being one year away from tenure, etc. I'm also breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, and delay-vaxing. :)
I'm wondering what you ended up doing, and how it's working out for you and your family. :)
I left teaching to become a full-time mom and would love to know how things worked out for you, too!
I remember this thread; in fact, I think the same post went through twice. I dug up the other thread because it had 2 pages of responses and you might find them to be helpful if OP doesn't see this.
I did not go back to high school teaching after 6 years when I birthed my baby one week after school let out for summer at 39 weeks. I am about to have another baby in a few weeks. I did teach community college 2 nights a week that next fall/spring, and LOVED it. If I went back to teaching, I'd only do community college.
To this day I have ZERO regrets about not returning to teaching 9-12th grade. Now, as a mom, I simply can't do it. I know for sure I will not have enough energy and patience to deal with the craziness of any school, whether public or private, and will let someone else with more passion and patience step right in.
Community college, on the other hand, ROCKS. You do not have to deal with their parents, they are responsible enough to know what is expected of them, there is no hand-holding and spoon-feeding and lowering of your standards to meet lowest common denominator standards, and you actually get to do your job of teaching. I was so happy to find an environment where I could actually teach!
These are just my experiences. When I do go back to work, I'll be hoping and praying I can land a full time position at the community college level, or remain in education somehow but not in front of a K-12 classroom.
Thank you. I did find that second post after I had already posted to this thread. I read the two pages of responses with interest, and saw a lot of myself in many of the opinions expressed.
I'd always thought about teaching community college part-time, though my MA is in English Education (9-12), not English, so I'm not sure I'm qualified. . . I'd have to look into that. I think I'd like it for all the reasons you listed. :)
Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, and may you have a wonderful birth!
In this economy, with teaching jobs becomming hard to come by, and decent health benefits a rarity, I'd be hard-pressed to quit. And I left teaching to be a SAHM.
Perhaps it would be easier if the child care was near your work. COuld you investigate nearby options?
If you are thinking of staying home, discuss it with your husband, and see if he is on board.
I hope you can make it work.Good luck.