I have been doing a lot of reflecting and contemplating in my mind, and some praying, as far as what the next step is for me lately. Part of me has felt maybe I’m giving up too soon, and the other part maybe I just need to be content and continue where I am now. When I lost my teaching position in 2011, after 3 years of teaching, due to budget cuts, I was angry, bitter, upset, and wondered what in the world I did wrong, or felt I wasn’t good enough, even though my bosses tried to instill in me that I was a good teacher and would do well in other schools, especially magnet type schools (which surprised me). But it stuck back in my mind for the longest time (and even sometimes to this day) that I wasn’t good enough. And to top it off it happened right before I miscarried my first baby and right after I entered graduate school to earn my M.Ed. (which I graduated with a 4.0, an accomplishment I was able to achieve for myself). I knew, or I had weighed in, that I would love to be a stay at home mom when we were financially able to do so. Teaching was my dream career since the age of 4. I wanted the decision to be a stay at home mom to be mine when I felt was the right time to make it. In 2011 I felt I was stripped of my dream job prematurely. I wasn’t ready, and we weren’t financially able to do it well. My entire world turned upside down, leading me into a depression, in which graduate school was about the only thing that kept me going. I was withdrawn from everyone, even my family. I gained a lot of weight that summer. It was one of the darkest periods of my life.
During that time we were fortunate to have the support of the friends, family and church which surrounded us to help us survive that remaining year and beyond. It was difficult to get past my pride and accept donations when we needed it because losing my job caused a $33, 000 deficit to us for the year, plus cheaper insurance. That August we found out I was pregnant again. It was bittersweet. It brought a lot of fear and joy at the same time. It forced us to be even more courageous and have faith that God was going to take care of us in our situation, and He did.
Now pregnant and still no job, we had to reformulate and cut our expenses as much as possible until something came along. We moved into a smaller place closer to my husband’s job to help cut cost of rent and gas. It did help quite a bit. In April we had a healthy baby boy. I was determined to nurse, but that did not go as planned, and we ended up with the drastic expense of formula. But we managed to survive because God took care of us. In that time I have since decided to start working from home with a company that specializes in helping other families, which I enjoy. The income has helped, even though I’m not quite where I want to be just yet. But I have enjoyed making my own hours and making that job work around my family. Off and on I have continued to search for a teaching position, determined that that was my ultimate calling. That I was meant to be in the classroom. When I would see my teacher friends post stuff about school and their little blessings they receive from their students I would become envious, even though I was happy for them, but that bitterness would return with the thought that “It should be me. I should still be in that classroom making a difference.”
Now that it’s been almost 3 years, and I have yet to find a teaching position, I have slowly begun to embrace and being content with the role of being a stay at home mom in this time. Things are beginning to come together, as my husband continues to advance in his job. My son is now almost 2 years old, and I realize that being at home with him, even though stressful at times, has allowed me to capture so many more moments with him than I would ever dream of if I was working full time and he was in child care. I enjoy that I can capture some of those moments and send them to my husband at work, hoping it will help brighten his day.
I have been weighing heavily on whether or not to sell my classroom supplies. I believe I have decided to take the plunge and get rid of it, or most of it, to have that as the next step of accepting my role as a stay at home mom. I have been reluctant due to the thought of “what if I find a job soon”, but now I’m not sure I even want to search anymore. Part of me feels like that I wasted money on my college and graduate degrees with that decision, but the other part tries to remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and maybe I am right where I am supposed to be, according to God’s will, and even though I’m no longer using my degrees, I did not waste money. I was able to develop friendships and life lessons, as well as legitimate salvation during and at college. I probably wouldn’t have met my husband if I wasn’t in college. It wasn’t my timing to lose my job, but maybe it was God’s. I am now enjoying the freedom to do things with my son and go places when I want and enjoy the time with him. I’m making my own schedule without worrying about working around holidays, testing, and breaks. I can almost do what I want when I want, and the thought is rather liberating. I also need to remind myself that being a mom to this boy is the most important job, more important than teaching, and I can still make a difference…with him. He’s 22 months tomorrow, and he can count to 10, knows his alphabet, and most of his colors and a few shapes. He even has some books memorized (mainly Dr. Seuss). He’s healthy and thriving and quite happy and well mannered. I must be doing something right. The bitterness and frustration have been slowly waning over the years, but now I am in a period of beginning to be more accepting and have more confidence of the circumstances which have been given to us. We will be moving again soon to help further cut expenses and continue to get our feet back on the ground. I am doing my best to trust God in that things will happen when and how they are supposed to.