Motherhood or Career Woman?

As you know, I am a working mom. I have chosen to have a career even though it means that my children have caregivers other than me. While I have some feelings of guilt over that, there are a lot of positives in my situation. Every nine weeks the kids and I get two weeks off of school that we spend together. We get to spend summers together. In addition, my children are learning how to get along with other kids, how to respect other adults, expected classroom behavior, how to share, and problem solving skills. Also, my kids have both been able to do projects, experiments, and crafts that I might have not been able to afford to do if I stayed at home. Their daycare is in an elementary school, so they get to go to the library, go to special assemblies and plays, take part in field day, and have first grade reading buddies.

That said, I protect my afternoon/weekend time with my kids. I typically leave school right at 3:05, which is the earliest we can leave, and immediately go pick the kids up so I can have as much time with them as possible. Well, this Saturday I got a call from a community college and got offered a job. I had applied back in the spring thinking I might teach a summer course, but I’d never heard anything. Well, the job offer was for ESOL courses, although the particular course is Reading and is a mixed native speaker/ESOL class. And it is on T/Th from 4:30-6:00, which is my usual “mommy time”.

So I spent Saturday thinking about it, talking with Steven and a few friends. Steven was immediately supportive and offered to pick up the kids from daycare on those days and do dinner, etc. The thing is that eventually I do want to teach college (one reason why I’m getting an MFA) and I have had a plan to start adjuncting in order to get college teaching experience so I can someday make the leap to a full-time position at a four-year college/university. So this is a great opportunity for me career-wise. However, I have to consider that I’m doing my thesis this semester and I want as much time with my kids as possible. Difficult decision.

In the end, I took the job. While I hate to not have that time with the kids, this is another stepping-stone career wise, and who knows when I would have another chance? Also, the kids will be with a parent, not a sitter, and Thursdays Madeleine has soccer practice anyway, so it’s not like I would be getting a lot of Mommy time in. (I hate to miss her practices, but I’ll be there for her games on Saturdays.)

This is the life of a working mom. There’s always a choice to make, and this time I made it for my career.

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