And now to continue this string of discussion inducing posts about Mayjah Life Decisions.
One of the swiftest thoughts to pop into my little noggin' when those two lines turned pink was this, "Will I continue working? or will I stay at home?"
Of course, financially this is a decision that all families have to make on their own, and I feel privileged and blessed in a thousand different ways to be able to even entertain the choice. That isn't to say that we are banking my salary every month (my shopping and eating out habits contribute to that), or that it wouldn't be hard, but we know we can live without my salary. Right now.
We also know when A's promotions come up, and the exact date we will see increases in pay, and exactly how much they will be. Thank you military pay chart tables. This is certainly a unique situation for most people (so long as A stays in the military and has no hiccups in that direction - knock on wood, since he wants to be a lifer).
So, financially it would be hard, but doable.
What this means is...it comes down to my choice. Thanks to the fact that my husband is an awesome and supportive person.
Had you asked me when I was 18, my little feminist feeling self would have said, heck yes I will be working! Career woman, huzzah! All those women worked so hard so that we could have these careers! Burned their bras! How could I not fulfill that charge?...and, I will be making more money than my husband, so there.
Had you asked me in graduate school or now, I would say that I still have that feminist zeal in my heart, but I now truly believe that women fought so that we could have the choice. That was the difference. These women wanted the opportunity and the choice to do the things they wanted to do. And to be honest? I want to stay at home with my kids (at least when they are little).
Whether that is actually my choice or is a product of mass media and socialization intervening in my life is a discussion for another time. Duly noted.
But Courtney, you may be wondering, why the heck did you go to graduate school and go into all that student loan debt if you really want to be a SAHM? Well, at the time I made that choice, I knew that I had a passion for working with students and wanted to fill my mind with the best brand of knowledge that was calling me. Graduate school was an amazing experience that opened my mind and provided me the opportunity to meet many interesting people. That decision was one of the best I have ever made. I got into a competitive program and I knew that it would challenge me in a hundred ways intellectually and emotionally, and it did just that. I would never take it back.
With all of those feelings, I still have had an ongoing war in my head about staying at home vs. continuing to work when Baby G is born.
My mom stayed at home with us while we were young. She was available to be involved in all sorts of aspects of our lives...Girl Scouts, Boy scouts, President of Little League, you name it, she did it. And I loved that. You don't get those moments back.
On the other hand, I am a pretty independent person, always have been, always will be (first child syndrome). When it comes down to it, will I actually be able to handle the monotony of staying at home with kiddos, or will I want to go running for the hills (or the nice quiet of my office) after a few weeks? And that money honey. Though we don't need it (in a technical we can pay all our bills and eat and such sort of sense), I certainly will not be indulging in J.Crew anymore when that paycheck stops coming.
I was leaning one way more than the other, based not on the money that my job brings to me right now, but the worth and value that it brings to me. Let's just say that if I had a job where I felt inspired every day, and was able to have the relationship that I want to in partnering in student development, it would tip the scales of worth in a completely different way. It's not that I don't appreciate my job (especially in this economy), but for my own sake, I have to consider...
When I begin missing the moments that I inevitably will miss when working full time, will I be able to reconcile that sense of loss with the sense of value obtained from whatever I was doing at that moment?
I am reserving the right to make my final decision until I am actually holding Baby G in my arms. I am humble enough to know that I can even imagine what that will feel like, and I am hoping that the experience of mothering a being outside of my body will make my decision making process a little easier. Luckily, I have the job flexibility, and maternity leave, to be able to do that.
Yay for procrastinating on Mayjah Life Decisions.
Oh, BUT WAIT! Did you hear that?!?!
That was a wrench being thrown into the works.
A few days ago, I was offered the opportunity to interview (this Friday) for a position I applied for in....AUGUST.
Pre-Baby G, Pre- rolling the dice, Pre - Italy.
This position would definitely be a step up into a role that I have wanted since obtaining my graduate degree, or even before then. It is still at the same place, and there are a lot of questions to be answered regarding flexibility/salary/support from the institution, etc. That being said, it is an interesting evolution in this whole process at a time when I was starting to feel like I was settling into a possible decision.
All that I can do is put my best foot forward and give myself the chance to explore this opportunity. No "what-ifs" for this mama.
And if I happen to be offered the job, well, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
And if not? Well then it may make my decision that much easier.
21 weeks, 5 days along
...and there is nothing quite like having all these MLD's come at you in a quick fire span of 9 months.