Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a new me?

So it's been about six weeks or so that I've been in the new job, and I feel like I've kind of settled in. I did the important things like cleaning out all the crap in the desk (Hours of operation for fall of 2006? Hello?) and putting a picture of my adorable family on top of it (the same picture that's in the sidebar, actually). I pretty much know how to use the different computer programs. I've met all of the students here, and taught quite a few of them.

I'm really liking this job, which is funny, because it's kind of exactly what I thought I didn't want after I left teaching high school. I hated, hated the fact that when I left work, I wasn't done with work. There was always planning, correcting, etc. to do, and it's just a fact that teachers do a lot of their work at home. (Which is one reason why it kind of drives me crazy when people try to say that teachers aren't actually grossly underpaid, when you look at the hours per year that they work, and summers off, and blah, blah, blah . . . but I digress.) After doing that, and trying to keep both the family and my sanity intact at the same time, not to mention that's when I was trying so hard and wanting so much to get pregnant, and goodness, I'm getting carried away here. What was I saying? Right, I wanted a job where the work would take place entirely at work. Actually, I told myself I wanted a job with the least amount of responsibility I could get away with. I was thinking salesperson, office-filing-type person, something I didn't have to think too hard about. And my job is totally not that. The important part worked out - my work does take place entirely at work. But I actually have a lot of responsibility. I'm planning kids' programs, setting up their testing, checking their books to make sure everything's going the way it's supposed to, doing the scheduling, I even have teachers who, for lack of a better word, report to me. And go figure, I really like it. I guess I didn't want something where I didn't have to think, just something where I could think about work when I'm at work, and home when I'm at home. Not that I don't think about home when I'm at work, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, my original intent with this post was to talk about the changes I've noticed since I've been back at work. Because it is a big difference, and I know pretty much every parent confronts the work/don't work dilemma in some way, at some time. I've pretty much run the gamut of the situation; I've been a full-time mom, a full-time working person, a part-time working person, a full-time student, a part-time student, all since my kids were born. So I figure I can share, well, not my wisdom (stop laughing!), but at least my observations of how I've felt these past six weeks.

  • I miss my kids and my husband. Of course. Even when you know they're in good hands, and I do, it's not easy.
  • I'm more emotional. This may have something to do with crazy-ass hormone levels at the moment, but I'm not sure. The other day, I was listening to a story on This American Life, and I cried like a baby in the car. The really telling part - it was a repeat of a story I had already heard, and though it was certainly quite sad the first time, it did not have that effect on me.
  • I have to really pay attention to keeping up with other things in my life that are important to me. Like knitting, and spinning, and the blog. I don't have as much time, but I do think they're worth it. Frankly, I have to be more than just a mom and a teacher, as important as those jobs are.
  • My house is . . . well. I'm sure you can imagine. J does a great job, he cooks awesome dinners and does all the dishes (Yes! My most hated chore!) but it's a lot. My kitchen floor? I don't even want to think about it.

Maybe I am a new me. Probably every time somebody does something new and different they become a new them. ("New them"? Does that make sense?) I know I'm still finding my way through a lot of this, but I think it will be all right. We'll see what the kids say about it all in a few years . . . you know, in therapy.