Thursday, April 26, 2007

Decisions, decisions...

Apologies (once again) for the lack of blog posts lately. There have been a lot of things on my mind, but I felt that I needed to work some of them out on my own before writing about them. First and foremost, J and I sat down last week when I got my contract for the 2007-2008 school year and went over our budget. Surprise, surprise, we can afford for me to stay home next year.

This is what I always thought I wanted. Back when we first started trying to have a baby, one of the things we agreed on was that I'd quit my job to be a stay at home mom for at least a year or two. Back then, of course, I felt like my soul was being sucked from my eyeballs every day when I walked into the office, so the idea of quitting to be a full-time parent was very appealing. Fast forward two years, and everything is different. I love my job. I love my students, love my coworkers, and love how happy I am to go to work every day. Do I get frustrated and annoyed sometimes? Of course. Do I love my job? Yes. More than I ever thought I could. Do I still want to stay at home next year? I don't know.

Some days I feel like staying home is the only reasonable course of action. I don't want to miss minute of Button's first year of life, and it's not as if taking a year off will prevent me from going back into teaching once we're all ready for me to work again. Then I start thinking about my school and everything gets very, very complicated. I don't want to leave my school. I don't want to leave the wonderful kids I teach, don't want to leave the great friends I've made there (two of whom are also pregnant and due in the next few months), and I don't want to feel like I've spent so much time and energy getting certified just to leave a great position. Since I've only worked for the district for a year, they don't (and won't) hold my position until I want to come back. It's always possible that another English spot would open up in 2008-2009, but chances aren't great that it'll happen.

Complicating factor number two is that J works a lot. A whole lot. Life as a resident won't be much different for him (or us) than life as an intern has been. He'll still pull 80-100 hour weeks. It's going to suck whether I stay home or go back to work, and I'm not sure which decision will ultimately be best for our family and for our marriage. I worry about feeling lonely or isolated staying at home, especially since we won't have a lot of money for activities like Gymboree or music groups. Plus, all of my friends work and live on the opposite side of town. Sure, it's only a 20-25 minute drive, but I know myself too well to think that I won't feel at least a little abandoned, particularly on days when the baby just won't stop fussing.

So, I don't know. I have to make my decision soon since my contract needs to be signed by next Friday if I'm going to accept it. Signing and then quitting isn't really a viable option--the district WILL blackball me if I break a contract, and with so few districts in this area, I can't afford to lock myself out of employment with any one of them.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I've spent a lot of time this week complaining. I'm not sleeping well, I have a major paper due next week that I'm struggling with, and I've spent the whole week administering state-assessment exams to freshmen and sophomores. I miss my students!

And yet. Life seems to have a way of reminding us that most of the things that we complain about really doesn't matter. Yes, these things are annoying and bothersome, but they're not true problems. They're certainly nothing like the problems I was having last year.

Two years ago this week Juan and I decided to start our family. One year ago this week I was standing on the brink of serious infertility testing and treatment. This week? My biggest problem is that I'm going to have to spend the weekend holed up with my laptop doing research. Sort of puts things in perspective. Of course, even my infertility struggles are insignificant compared to the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Perspective is an interesting thing. I'm thankful to be able to have it.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Making arrangements

Touring daycares is a somewhat surreal experience. At the moment we're planning to share a nanny with some neighbors, but if that falls through I wanted to have a backup option in place. So, early last week I did some investigating and found the names of some highly recommended centers in our area. They passed my first test (they didn't need me to make an appointment before coming in for a tour) and I was really impressed with the center directors and staff.

Still, it was surreal. At certain points in the tour I found myself wondering if this was actually happening to me or not. I saw parents come in to pick up their kids at the end of the day and it didn't seem possible that that could be me in just a few months. When looking at the status report pages they make for every kid at the end of the day, I started to feel like a phony. What was I doing looking at these things? What was I doing at a daycare? The director was treating me like a parent--what kind of a crazy place was this?

It literally took getting a glimpse of my (rather obviously) pregnant reflection in a window to jerk me back into reality.

So, we're on the waiting list for the center and will be continuing to meet with the prospective nanny and our neighbors over the next few weeks. Due to some family issues our meeting for this weekend fell through, but we've got a date set up for the end of the month.

Next up: disassembling our guest room/library so we can start getting the nursery together.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pregmentia strikes!

It's been well established that I can be a colossal ditz at times. I'm beginning to wonder if I should even be allowed outside the house, though, because of the stupid stuff I consistantly can't remember. Insignificant things like:

-The names of my students
-The names of books we've read in class (the kids totally nailed me on this one today--I was so embarassed!)
-Setting my alarm

Oh, and the teeny, tiny little matter of MY OWN NAME!

Last night at class I was getting ready to leave when one of my friends pulled me aside to ask if everything was okay at home. I was a little surprised that she was asking because I didn't remember mentioning anything about my home life to her recently, so I told her that no, everything was fine, and asked why she thought things might not be okay. Her answer? I had signed my maiden name on the class roster that night.


This wouldn't be so embarassing if I hadn't done exactly the same thing last week. Now, I did use my maiden name professionally while we lived in the DC area, so it's not like I've been using my married name for very long, but still! At least it makes for a somewhat amusing story (Juan got a kick out of it when I told him) so I guess pregmentia is at least good for a laugh. I just hope what little memory power I used to have comes back when this baby is born!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Breaking News

Lisa Eaves, who runs the mind/body fertility workshop in Washington, DC that I took this time last year, is featured in the latest issue of U.S. News and World Report. If you live in the DC area and are struggling with infertility, I cannot recommend her classes enough. Bravo, Lisa for getting this wonderful exposure!

There it is!

My motivation! I've finally found it!

I don't know if it's the upcoming 4-day weekend (and really, don't you have to love a world in which a week-long Spring Break is almost immediately followed by another long weekend?) or the fact that there are only 8 weeks left until the end of the school year, but all of a sudden I feel like I did back in October when I first started teaching. I enjoy planning my lessons, try my hardest to find hooks to get the kids interested in each and every piece of literature that we're reading, and just generally feel like I'm having fun at work. I love feeling this way, and I love that it's happening again at the end of the year just as I've started questioning whether or not coming back next year is really worth it. I know that I'll need to hang on to the memory of feelings like this when I start again next year with a newborn at home.

Of course, it would be nice if this motivation carried over to my feelings about, say, doing housework on the weekend, but for now I'm content with having it at school.