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Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

Degree of Difficulty

I am no longer sure of the context of this (Twitter conversation? Chat with a friend? A dream?), but I was thinking about the different forms of parenting I’ve done in the past 3.5 years.

  • Full time SAHM. For Xander’s first year (plus a few months), I was a home with him with no other job.  At around 6(ish) months I found a mom’s group to join and that really helped me to feel less lonely and floundering as a new parent. I think this would be one of my biggest pieces of advice to a soon to be mom (or dad) – find a group. Any group. It’s less about the kids in the early years and more about you, so make it people that YOU like.
  • SAHM and part time WAHM. After we moved to Vermont I started teaching some online classes. Classes ran (run) five weeks at a time, and initially it was about 15-18 hours a week, give or take. I would do the work during nap times and after Xander went to bed. I still do this occasionally, though not as often, because now I have another job. So far, this has been the hardest version of mom-ing I’ve done. It was hard to find enough time to get the work done; I stressed about his naps and how easily he’d go to sleep (or about going into labor with Luna). It always felt like a panic to get everything done and still be the “main” parent during the day.
  • Part time WOHM. This is where I am now. I work out of the home two days a week for about 6 hours each day. As the semester picks up I’ll have more at home work to do with grading. I am really loving this scenario. I like getting out of the house and being a professional and interacting with other grownups. I like using the skills I went to college and grad school for. I even like being a little nervous, and feeling like I want to perform my best. I also like that I’m able to do it part time, and still be home with the kids on the other days.

Now, obviously, this is just my experience. There is no judgement whatsoever about what any other parent chooses to do. Love staying home or hate it, there’s nothing WRONG with any of it.  I’m fortunate to be where I am now, that I can do both. In a few years I’ll likely look for full time teaching work, and (hopefully) the work I’m doing now will put me in a good position to do so.

I should also point out that John is also a college faculty member, so he is home much more than the typical working parent/partner. So I’ve always had a lot more support and time during the day than many SAHMs. We may never be rich, but we do have a lot more time to spend together and with the family, so for us, we’re happy with the choices we’ve made.

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Having a birthday on Facebook and Twitter and a blog is pretty much the best thing ever.

It was a nice day. Low key and pretty mellow (well, as mellow as it can be with a 3.5  year old and a 10 month old), which is exactly what I wanted. John picked up an amazingly delicious cake at a bakery downtown, and Luna actually took a morning nap just when I wanted her to. So. Winning all around.

A while ago I told my mom that what I really want is to go shopping for ME and only buy myself things that *I* want, so when I get to Alabama, and when my brother’s wedding is all done, we are going to go shopping. I’m quite excited. I’ve been pretty good at cleaning out things that either don’t fit or I don’t care for any more, but I have NOT been “good” about replacing items, so my wardrobe is pretty limited these days. I really want to keep building up things that are cute but casual, that I can wear to teach and look like a grownup but not like a misplaced executive.  (I basically want to wear leggings and tunics all the time, but maybe fancy ones?)

Speaking of my brother’s wedding. I bought this dress to wear, and I am thinking leopard print shoes and… I don’t know what else. A necklace? Dangly or short? I’m terrible at this.

Today was the final day of my in person class at the local college and I brought donuts in to congratulate my students on completing their first semester of college. I’m quite pleased with how the term went and am really looking forward to next semester.  I’m also looking forward to this break, though, and having more adults to children when we take our trip.

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Both Worlds

It’s only been a few weeks of it, but y’all, working from home is HARD.

Like, HA HA HA, NO KIDDING, DUMBASS. But really.

I knew it wouldn’t be the simplest thing in the world. I knew it would be challenging, even with JS having a job that gives him more time at home than most.

I’d say that, right now, I’m putting roughly 15 hours a week into the class I’m teaching. And it only has 16 students. And the grading, so far, is for shorter assignments.

I try to get some work during the day, when Xander is napping, but that’s a total crapshoot. By the time I’m sure he’s asleep-asleep, and I’ve peed, eaten something without him pointing and grunting at until I give him half of it, and gotten to a point where I’ve figured out where I left things, I sometimes only have 20 minutes until he wakes up.

Of course, if I count on only 20 minutes and don’t bother trying, he sleeps for three hours.

So now I’m waiting for the weekends or after he goes to bed. But evenings, those are such sacred times. (This makes it sound like I count down the minutes until I can get rid of Xander for 12 hours, but that’s so not the case. I love hanging with him. He’s so much fun! But yeah, it’s exhausting, too.) We’ve been up since 6, I’ve made breakfast, lunch, and dinner (plus God knows how many snacks, man does this kid EAT), gone on play dates, done some laundry, cleaned the dishes, blah blah whining blah, and by the time X is asleep and I’m “done” for the night, all I want to do is cram some junkfood into my complain-hole and sit in front of the TV.

But really, I like the work. I feel like I’m doing something good. I like trying to help people find their way back into education. I like being able to explain things in ways that make sense to them. I like feeling like I’m a valuable member of society who can do things other than wipe someone else’s (adorable) butt.

But then, I also like being A Mom. I like playing with my kid. I like cooking for him. I like watching him learn and figure things out and change. I like the way he lights up when I get down on my knees and chase after him, watching as he scampers off, giggling and growling like a dinosaur (where’d he learn to growl like a dinosaur?). I like the way he reaches for my hand after trying out a few more steps all on his own. I like the feel of his hot, grubby little body against mine as he unwinds with some Cheerio’s and Abby’s Flying Fairy School.

I like it all. I like my life. I just need to figure out how to do all of it at the same time, without feeling like I’m letting things slip.

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