Here we are, 7 years later, embarking on a new journey that all began the year economy tanked (2008) and we both graduated from college. I found a teaching job VERY late in the summer and my hubby found different part-time opportunities in his field (Business). That November, we got married and then went on this lovely trip to St. Lucia–can’t even believe I was able to take off for about 2 weeks for our honeymoon–if you know anything about teaching, you’d know how hard/impossible it is to take time off mid-year for consecutive days! Anyways, soon after we got married, we found out we were expecting our baby girl (Shoey)! As many other parents, we discussed what our plan was-who would watch her after my 3 month maternity leave? The options were: I’d stay home, he’d stay home, or daycare. We didn’t have any friends or family members that were able to watch her after my leave and daycare was too expensive. So, after much thought, we decided it was best if hubby stayed home! Yes, my hubby became a stay-at-home dad–never even called it that! Did you know that according to the Census, fewer than 3.5% stay-at-home parents are daddy’s? Interesting!
Anyway, when our munchkin was born and it was time for me to go back to work, it was hard. I mean, it was really emotionally draining! Who knew working and having a newborn at home can be so hard?! I was tired but I also longed for being home with the baby. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED what I was doing!! But in reality, I really wanted the best of both worlds. I wanted to still teach but wanted more time with my baby. I felt like I only had a few hours once I got home before her bedtime. At the same time, I REALLY felt blessed-my husband-the person I trusted most was taking care of our munchkin but truthfully, real deep inside-I wanted it to be me. Balancing the workload of grading, lesson planning, and pumping at work didn’t make things ideal.
Hubby enjoyed staying home with the baby—ok, maybe at first, he really freaked out 🙂 I still remember the many pictures I’d get of them while I was work—missing her was much more bearable. I really LOVED what I did and I tried to make the most of both worlds-being a mommy and teaching 🙂
It was in that time that hubby decided that he would change his career to computer programming. He began his associates shortly after I returned to work. I’d come home and continue working (grading, lesson planning, etc) while taking care of Baby Shoey. Hubby, on the other hand, would head out to class or work on his homework. It felt like we were working different shifts!
During this time, we found out we were expecting Baby #2 (Bella). I apparently thought that I didn’t have enough on my plate so I decided that I would start my master’s program just in time for Bella’s arrival. One week we had baby Bella and the following week I was in class. We had a full schedule or so I thought. I returned to work again after my maternity leave but this time, it wasn’t just the separation that made it difficult, it was trying to balance it all. I would go to work, go to class, come home to take care of the girls and hubby then started his school stuff. Times were difficult- we were in survival mode around here. I really didn’t think we can handle any more but we did. My last semester, I had an internship on top of it all. I would get home in the evening and hubby would rush to class or begin doing his homework on the nights I didn’t have class. With our busy schedules, I learned how to get by and just “push through”.
Right after this crazy time, my hubby finished his associates and began his masters program. I finished my masters program so things slowed down. Or so they did for a few weeks before I thought “oooohhh I should get a second masters”. I started doing the next program as hubby was doing his–can we say too much on my plate?!– I didn’t finish this time though. I think I was just in the “go, go, go” mode that continuing my education sounded good. I did one-third of the program and then decided it was enough. I needed to stop and breath and enjoy my girls. I was not having “the best of both worlds” anymore. Instead, I felt like a had looooong to-do list revolving around school and work. It felt like the never ending list-was always tired and drained.
Instead, I had to re-focus on God, teaching, and being a mommy and of course, still surviving 🙂 When I began to teach this last school year, we really thought about what would be best for family. We decided homeschooling our oldest would be best (K4 and our 2 year old). She really LOVED learning and we decided we would share the teaching load. Hubby would do some of the work with her until I came home and then I’d continue teaching her while he would go to class and get his stuff done. I absolutely loved teaching her but some days, the exhaustion kicked in. After teaching 4 classes…the last thing I wanted to do is teach some more. We knew we needed a solution to this schedule. So, at the end of first semester, we decided that I’d apply to take off the school year knowing this year hubby would finish his masters and we didn’t know what that would entail. I applied and shortly after, we found out we were expecting Baby #3 (Madi)! What perfect timing!
Needless to say, we weren’t able to finish the curriculum with Shoey (only did 1 semester) because things were really difficult with the pregnancy. A few months into second semester though, we found out that I was approved to take the year off of work! You know what that meant? Not only was I able to stay home as hubby finished his program, I didn’t have to return to work after my maternity leave. I felt honored! I’d be home with my little ladies! I still remember when August rolled, the time I’d be returning back to work ready to pop any one of those days. I felt so calm and at peace! What a difference!
We decided it would be best to enroll Shoey in Kindergarten at our local school so that I can focus on our new Baby and Bella. I’ve also had a horrible time nursing with the previous babies and wanted to focus on mastering it this time around (more to come on all the complications). Last semester was quite a blur because recovery took 2 months but I’m now ready! We’ve pulled Shoey out of Kindergarten to homeschool her and decided to homeschool Madi too ( I was not up for anything last semester). Now, where to start? What curriculum? Supplies? How do I organize this house to make it all work? Mind you, I love our home and even though we don’t have a room that we can dedicate to school, I don’t want our house to look like kids are schooled here so the challenge begins…