Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to work

I never thought I'd be saying this...

...but I'm looking forward to going back to work.

After all, you all know I believe in mother-baby inseparability. And you know I love being a stay-at-home mom.

But it's been really wearing lately. Baby's antsy if we stay home all day, so I end up walking around the neighborhood to entertain him only to have him go back to being antsy when we get home. John is busy all the time now that he's started his masters program. Generally I don't have the car, so I just haven't been getting out much.

It kind of came to a head for me when John was down in Alabama doing his grad school orientation. I stayed within these four walls most of the five days, walking in the sweltering heat to the library about once a day. John would call and tell me all about what he was doing: "I had dinner with this eminent professor! It was lasanga with ice cream for dessert! Then we had a seminar! Tomorrow we tour the library!" That kind of thing. And then he would ask, "So what have you been doing today?"

"Um. Uhhhh.... Today I ate some rice. I played with the baby. Then I walked around jiggling the baby because he was cranky. Oooh, and then I got really wild and went to the grocery store! I bought a banana, so exciting!"

These things aren't as dull to experience as they are to describe. So part of it is just the desire to have something to report, something that others will consider worthwhile. And I wonder if I might value what I do all day a little more if I were part of a community that valued the same things. John does value what I do, but I can tell he does not find my rundown of the day exactly fascinating.

Anyway, school starts tomorrow and I feel ready for it. I'm bringing the baby with me each day, which I think is good for both of us. I get to go to work without leaving him, and he gets to see a lot of new people and get a change of scene -- something he's been craving a lot lately. Teaching Latin II is hardly the pinnacle of the intellectual life, but I do enjoy it and find it interesting. Finding the best ways to explain these concepts can be an intellectual challenge. It's not that I don't use my brain at home, but I value the opportunity to exercise different mental muscles than my usual ones.

The biggest thing for me, though, is the community. I love my coworkers; they are a wonderful bunch and have a great network. At my school, you don't just clock in, teach, and go home -- you're always trading life stories and teaching tips with the other teachers. I've missed that. And I don't feel it's really fair for John to be out all day, being so many things to so many people, and then come home and have to be everything for me because I haven't talked to an adult all day. These days he gets home and logs on to his online class, and I have been feeling very jealous because I'm longing for grown-up time, and he gets it and I don't.

I don't think all moms should go back to work. Most don't have such a great situation as I have, where I am teaching one class a day and able to bring my son. And if it weren't for the money, I might find my fulfillment in nonwork activities, like volunteering or clubs. As it is, though, everything is rolling together just right, and I am ready for this new change.

A couple of pictures to make you smile:

We got this crib on Craigslist for $40! Marko likes it so much he likes to play in it in the daytime too.

When did he get so long? At last measure he was 24 inches long! That's five inches taller than when he was born.

1 comment:

Beth said...

With both of my kids I was thrilled to go back to work... so I could

Seriously I was so blessed to have my mom watching my babies, to have a sanitary, private, non-bathroom place to pump and I do agree that not every mom should work. But it was heaven for me. Enjoy it! Your baby will find the fulfilled mama to be much more fun to be around :)

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