Monday, October 26, 2009


I am losing sleep and watching more strands of dark brown hair turn gray over whether or not I should return to a full time, salaried position. Technically, I am still on maternity leave because in the wake of the "economic climate" it is cheaper to pay substitute teachers than those with degrees and licences and certifications. But I willingly left my classroom with all of my well developed binders of units and lesson plans for the opportunity to stay home with my kids. And the joy of motherhood much outweighs the stress and frustration caused by a four-year-old girl.

Earlier this month, while at a tea with other mothers of Natalie's classmates one woman commented on how if she had a daughter she wouldn't pay for her to go to school...what was the point? She (the hypothetical daughter) would waste(I am not sure if this was the actual word she used, but it was certainly the point she was getting at) it all once she (hypothetical daughter) had children. Hmmm.

First, I was glad that she didn't have a daughter. How terrible to deny a child you don't have the privilege of an education. Perhaps that is the educator in me, or the fact that I have a daughter who may or may not want to have children and may or may not want to have a career too, is it my right to tell her it has to be either or, that she can't have both? Or maybe it is because I have a higher education and I feel that I have to choose between a career and family, because honestly it is hard to do it both. IF I go back to work, do we, GASP, send Natalie to public school, which would only be a half day next year so she would still need some sort of day care as well as the bro would have to be in full time day care AND we would HAVE to have a cleaning person come to our house. Do I stay home and we send Natalie to GASP public school, which I really think at least next year would be a step back in her education. Or do I go back to work and we hire another woman to play me while I am at work so that I can pay her to take my child to school and dote on my son AND clean my house in the hours that I am gone? And for what? So I can try and force middle schoolers to love literature and try with all my might to convince them that grammar is better than the reputation that precedes it? Instead of playing on the swing set in the late afternoon and going to story time I can be planning and grading poorly written papers because I haven't convinced middle schoolers to love literature and that grammar is better than the reputation that precedes it? Am I wasting my education because I want to raise my children?

Can you see it? Do you see the new gray hair that has emerged just from writing this post?


  1. kristen, kristen.....

    are you off for the year? how exciting! i wonder if you could find a job share situation? i tried to create one for myself instead of leaving sudbury, but they have it so that job shares need to be planned and discussed with about a year's notice. so i couldn't pull it off....which led me to medfield.
    middle school struggling readers and i didn't form a love-love relationship. i then went to foxboro. now that i am part-time, (working every day until noon), it is awesome. i won't say it isn't crazy. i have to pay the sitter to do all the things you mentioned, but i do get the afternoons with them. the money situation is so hard. between preschool and sitters, a lot of the money seems to be thrown out the window. it's C-R-A-Z-Y!

    So, lots of moms probabl wish they were in your shoes. I was never able to take a year off (not yet anyway). It'd be a good test, I guess. I'd say enjoy the time while you can. The grass is always greener. Can't get over what that IGNORANT woman said about her non-existent daughter. HORRIFIC!

    what about tutoring? i tutor on the side and it has the potential to bring in a lot of cash.......

  2. I struggle with the same problem night after night. So far, Zachary is winning. But I totally understand and share your frustration. But, who says being a mother isn't a respectable job? It's certainly the toughest job I've ever had! Enjoy your time with the kids. There's plenty of time to use your degree when your kids are older. :)