I do my best thinking when I exercise. I went for my first post-partum run a few days ago, and through my muscle aches and skipping through the recently added “Jim Brickman Piano Lullabies” that somehow ended up on my running playlist, I tried to come up with answers to the following nagging questions:
When should I go back to work? When should I go back to school?
Should I go back at all?
The little feminist in me is lashing out at that last question, saying something like “Of course I should- if I was a man I wouldn’t even hesitate at the chance to empower myself and earn a living!” It’s true that I have worked very hard to achieve in school, and I am strongly passionate about my teaching career- even if I am just subbing for now. It has always been a dream of mine to teach.
But it has also always been a dream of mine to have my own family. I love staying home and taking care of Brady- and even though he puked down my shirt twice at the doctor’s office yesterday, there is nowhere else I would rather be.
I’m sort of at odds with myself here. First of all, I am terrified of daycare. Maybe it’s because I never went to daycare, but I am scared he will become sick, or that someone will mishandle him and I will never know about it. Plus, it’s expensive. However, I can’t ignore my student loans and the ever-mounting pile of bills on our kitchen table (yes, that’s where our bills go- we eat with them every day) and the fact that I am able to help with them- if only a minuscule amount. That being said, we could make it by if I didn’t go back- it would just take longer.
I have to do my student teaching next year if I want to get certified as a teacher, but it’s a huge time commitment- basically a full-time job plus classes… without getting paid. And it requires more loans, as if I weren’t drowning in mine already. I love teaching, and in the past I would have “sucked it up” and just done it- but having a family to think about really complicates that.
Honestly, though, the biggest part of the decision that I struggle with is… Does it make me selfish to leave my kid when I don’t really have to at the moment?
I think this is going to take a few more runs to figure out…