a few days ago, carrie commented: "I hope that I won't have to work so much whenever I choose to have children so I can really be good with them." and then i said something like - oh yeah, i wanted to write about that. and then i didn't.
so here i am.
writing about it.
when rob and i talked about having kids, we were hoping that maybe i could stay home. the more pregnant i became with irene (who was known as lima at that point in time - not the capital of peru, but rather, the bean), the more i felt i really needed to be home with her. i told head start that i'd be coming back when i went on maternity leave. but i didn't. rob had been with ILM for a little more than a year and things were going pretty well. we owned a home and our mortgage was actually less than the rent we'd been paying. so, i felt outstandingly lucky that i would indeed be able to stay home with her. when she was about 6 months old or so, head start asked if i could do some computer trainings. i got to bring irene with me. i got paid more per hour than i'd ever made actually working for them. but then, i wasn't working 40 hour weeks, so that's probably why. i did that for a while on an as needed basis. then when irene was almost 18 months, one of the teachers needed to have surgery. she worked in west marin and head start had a partnership with a preschool there. they asked if i could work for her. it was once/week and i didn't have to do too much of the paperwork nor did i need to do home visits. i was there primarily for the children (i speak spanish and most of the kids were children of mexican and south american immigrants). i was also there to help the parents when they needed it, but really, i was more the teacher than the home visitor. irene mostly stayed with rob's folks and she LOVED the time she got to spend with them almost as much as they loved spending time with her. so, from february until december (w/the summer off), i did that. Irene came with me some days and got to be in the toddler room. they had a wonderful teacher there. when the teacher came back, i stayed on for a bit more of the year to help out etc. then the toddler teacher was going to get married and Papermill Creek Children's Corner was in need of a toddler teacher - 5 days/week for one month, 5 - 6 hours/day. i brought irene with me most every day, and it's a good thing too. i spent all of my creative juices while working with 4-7 wonderful toddlers. the teacher decided she wasn't going to come back. (is this coherent?). they asked me if i could stay on. i said yes, but only twice/week. 5 days/week was wayyyyya too much for irene and too much for me too. we weren't living on easy street by any means, but we were getting by and having fun and were able to do some fun things as well.
so - that summer i got to teach twice/week and had a core group of 5 toddlers. they were really a fun group. 4 of them (including irene) were about 2 1/2 or so. we did tie dying and painting and playdough, some walks, and all sorts of fun projects. when the school year started, i got a co-teacher who worked 3 days/week and i did 2.
again, i feel like i'm totally lucky that i didn't (and don't) HAVE to work. and when i DID work i was able to bring irene (and later rhys) WITH me to work.
gads. is ANY of this making sense? i hope so.
now i occasionally substitute. when rob was working at the tv station, i would sub on mondays and fridays. we definitely needed more than just rob's income. i LOVED subbing. when rob got the job at IGT, subbing was a good thing, but not quite as necessary. and it really can only happen if i have someone to watch rhys b/c it's not worth paying someone to watch him b/c i'd be paying a sitter basically what i made that day.
i am hoping to finish my grad school application soon and will get a teaching credential (hopefully in 0-5 special ed). i'll probably go back to work part time when rhys gets into 1st grade (yes, sooner, if i have to). but when the kids get into middle school, i really feel i need to be home when they get home. my child development professor really REALLLLY instilled in me the importance of being home during the teen years. she said something to the effect of "as important as it is to try and be there for the first three years of life, it is as important or MORE important to be there during the middle school/high school years." so hopefully things will continue to go as they are now and i'll be able to be here for them. to know where they are when school is over.
do i sometimes miss working? yes. do i sometimes want a little bit of a respite? of course. but then, sometimes when i get that, i start to miss them. *smile*
i might end up deleting this post tomorrow if it's really too rambly...it's late and i'm tired.
oh!!! and i also want to say that i'm not being on my soapbox about being a stay at home or work at home mom or dad!! i know how lucky i am to be able to be home with the kids. i really REALLY do!! i KNOW how hard it is and how much things cost and how many families HAVE to have both parents working.