Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farewell to Teaching... for now!

We are truckin' right along with this pregnancy! It has been a busy last few weeks that have pushed my body a little further than usual but it has all been for fun. We are well into the third trimester now with less than 8 weeks to go to my due date. At my last doctor appointment I was 31.5 weeks pregnant and when he measured me (twice) I was measuring at 34cm. However many centimeters your uterus is is supposed to match how many weeks you are. So we're having a big baby! But I trust my doctor and know that he will make the best decisions on how to handle the delivery.

We also are in full swing of organizing and decorating the nursery. It has been a challenge to fit all the baby stuff into half a room. Organization has been the key! Once I feel like the room is done, I will post pics. Right now, tackling all of my baby room to-dos by myself seems exhausting so poor Mitchell is going to get roped into a lot of it. I don't think he minds though!

But this post is about our decision for me to be a stay at home mom while our kids are too little for school. It's a long story so if you're interested, lean back and relax. I say "our" decision but really a lot of it was my decision because if I didn't know I wanted to stay home, then I probably wouldn't have married a man who wanted his wife to stay home with the kids, and vice versa. Mitchell and I have been on the same page about this before we were married. Disclaimer: I hold no judgment against people who go back to work after having kids. Seriously, everyone makes the best decision for their family and there isn't one right way to do things. There are people I greatly respect who work while having young kids. This is merely my opinion and thought process for deciding to stay home.

So let me back up to my college days... I remember my junior year of college, when I was working as a student assistant in a biochemistry lab at Texas A&M doing research on drugs to kill tuberculosis, debating with myself whether or not I wanted to go to grad school and pursue a PhD. Most genetics majors are either grad school bound or med school bound. My biggest hold up for going to grad school was the fact that I desired to be a stay at home mom. My friends that I graduated from college with are just now finishing up grad school or are in the midst of residency after med school. I knew that if I went that route, I'd most likely be starting a family right when I was done with school and ready to work. That doesn't make sense to then stop working and stay home with kids. Sheesh, thank goodness I didn't go to grad school. God gave me enough sense to know that it was not the decision for my life.

Once I graduated from college I worked in a genetics diagnostic lab for Baylor College of Medicine. We received patient samples (blood, muscle or liver biopsy), extracted the DNA and then ran tests on it to see if we could find any mutations to explain the patient's illness. It was really fun and interesting... for like the first year and then I had learned all that I was going to learn at my education level (only a B.S.) and I felt like I hit the ceiling for that career. But luckily I was learning at the time how much I loved working with young people, mainly high schoolers and I was living with two teachers who shared what the life of a teacher was like. I thought that becoming a high school Biology teacher sounded like a fantastic idea because it would marry two things that I'm passionate about... high schoolers and science. I got a job at the best district in the world (in my opinion) and started working with some incredible teachers. Being a Biology teacher really is the perfect fit for me. I love it. So much. I got to teach for 2.5 years before Mitchell's job moved us to California. I got my substitute teaching credential in California and while I enjoyed being back in the classroom, subbing is so not the same as teaching. Plus (no offense to the Californians) I don't really care for the way things are done out here.

And now we're pregnant! Being a stay at home mom has never really been something that I questioned. My mom stayed home with us and because of that we were able to do so many fun things during the summer time. We always had someone there to help us get ready for school and make us snacks when we got home from school. And I think it helps the house run efficiently because let's face it, when you're a stay at home mom you're the CEO, CFO and COO of the house. Of course dad has a huge role and is the ultimate leader of the family but it's your full time job to run the house. Plus NO ONE is going to raise your kids as well as you will. No one will pour the time into helping them develop mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually as you will.

All that said, I mourn not being a teacher right now. I miss it so much. I miss the kids so much. I know some people can't handle high schoolers but they brighten my day and I learn so much from them. I miss exciting students to learn and care about the world around them. So much more goes into teaching than just the curriculum you're required to teach.

But I know that this brief time at home raising kids will be worth it. I won't have to stress or feel guilty about leaving my baby with anyone else. I won't be stretched to be a great mom, great wife and a great teacher. I can invest lots and lots of time into my kid(s). I think the more time parents can invest in their kids, teaching them and guiding them, the better off they will be and our society will be. I think this time that they are young is so brief and I don't want to miss a minute of it. I am so very thankful and don't take it for granted for one second that Mitchell has a job that provides for our needs so that I can stay home. (Side note: there are definitely financial and life-style sacrifices you have to make to live off one salary. You can do it if you really want to.)

I look forward to being a full time mom. I look forward to being a teacher again one day. I have enjoyed being a full time wife. Each day is a blessing and we should appreciate every thing a new day brings. Right? "This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24