Forever 21 lace kimono; Free people top; American Eagle jeans and moon necklace; Shoemint sandals, old (option.)
Back when I was pregnant with my first baby, it was decided by my husband and I that I was going to stay home with our children until they went to elementary school. I had always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and it felt right to be the one caring for them until they went to school. We had our two babies back to back and I have loved being home with them and being there for them. It is a blessing to be able to stay home if you want to, and I have loved it. Fast forward seven years (yikes!), and my youngest is going off to Kindergarten in the Fall.
Cue the tears, seriously.
Before kids, I was a teacher. I taught kindergarten and subbed for second grade and it was wonderful. Being in a work environment, having something to get up and get dressed for, and being surrounded by little eager faces everyday was really awesome for me. I love being surrounded by dozens of little ones, and teaching just does it for me. But here’s the catch… you see, being a military family means we move pretty often, which can be career suicide for those of us along for the ride. Most military spouses end up staying home with the kids out of necessity, or working jobs that are not what we want because we move so much, or we settle for jobs that bring in a lot less money than we are worth. I have been a nanny, a waitress, a daycare worker, a department store clerk, (and a blogger!) since marrying, and not always by choice. Sometimes you work the job that brings in money, until you can get the job you love. I did get the job I loved eventually, but then put it on hold to raise my babies.
But now, times are a changing. And it’s bittersweet.
This Fall I have decided to substitute teach at my kids’ school. We have two years left at our current location and it isn’t worth it to get my Michigan teaching license and officially teach, plus I like the flexibility of having a choice about the days I work .So I will be a guest teacher for as many days per week as I want. It’s a win/win for my family. I get to work on the days I choose and bring in some extra cash, and I can do so at the school my children go to. Being fully there for them is my first priority, and I can do that by substitute teaching.
There’s just one thing.
It feels like eons since I have been in a work environment, and it scares me to go back. I know in my heart that I will enjoy it and it will be okay, but the change is really scary for me. You see, staying at home with my kids means that I am ultimately in charge of how our days go. We can be as active or as lazy as I choose us to be. It was more physically exhausting when they were babies and toddlers and the schedule was a but more restricting, but now we are free to do whatever we want. During the school year I can volunteer in their classrooms, and also go to the gym as much as I want. I can grocery shop at 9:15 in the morning on a Tuesday, and make doctor appointments any day of the week. I’ve enjoyed this newfound freedom and loved having the time be mine to manage. My time is mine, my routine is mine, and I’m scared to change that.
I know life won’t change too drastically when I am substitute teaching, I can schedule myself as little or as much as I want. It just feels like the ending of something that I have been doing for seven years, and it is frightening to feel like I don’t kow how things will be. YET, it excites me to work again. To be around like minded people and have clothes that aren’t for running around at playgroup. I’m excited to be the professional version of myself again, because I liked that version of me. I like feeling like I am using my education and contributing to our family. I like teaching children and feeling useful in the workplace.
This upcoming change is scary for me, but it ultimately excites me as well. I want to see what the new version of me will be, and how one era of my life will end and another begin.
I am scared, but that is okay.