Last week I was supposed to start my new career as a Special Ed teacher. That was the plan.
After a year and a half of grad school and 8 months of “maternity leave,” last week was going to be when I finally used my brand new license for the job I should’ve been doing all along. That was the plan.
I was supposed to get up at the crack of dawn to get Easton and myself ready for the day. I was going to drop him off at daycare for the first time, sad to have to leave him but thankful for the 8 months we had home together and ready to get back to work. That was the plan. That had been the plan since long before Easton ever existed.
But somehow, my plan changed.
When Joe and I first started talking about expanding our family two years ago, we wanted to make sure our timing worked out. I was set to finish grad school in December 2011, so we knew it would be best if our baby was born after I was done. The plan was for me to take the remainder of the school year off after the baby came, stay home for the summer and then find a new job to start up in September. We hoped for a January baby to maximize my time as a stay-at-home mom.
Our planning paid off and our little guy was due on January 9th, 2012 (of course, he had other plans and arrived 7 days later). I thought our 8 months together would give me just enough time to really bond with my babe but still get out of the house before I went crazy. Part of me secretly hoped I would be able to work part-time so I could still be home with the baby a lot, but I always assumed I would work in some capacity. After all, all the women in my life were working moms. My own mother worked, so did Joe’s mom. Many of my female relatives were working moms and nearly all of my friends’ moms growing up had full-time jobs. I always pictured myself following that same path.
But something changed. A few months after Easton was born, I started to feel so strongly that I needed to be home with him. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wouldn’t be happy working full-time at this point in my life. I put off discussing my thoughts with Joe because I was afraid he would be resistant to the idea. After all, we’d been planning on me starting a job that fall for almost 2 years. When I finally brought up the topic, he was hesitant at first, but he came around pretty quickly.
I know staying home isn’t for everyone. I never thought it would be for me. But it turns out, this is exactly what I’m meant to be doing. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous of the teachers who went back to school last week; I still can’t wait to teach special ed one day. But right now, it’s not the choice I made. And today, when I was supposed to be spending my day in a classroom but instead spent it reading, playing, giggling and chasing my son, I know I made the right choice.