Monday, August 10, 2015

Preparing For The End

There's one month left to go until school starts, which means I'm counting down the days until I have to go back to work. I'd be lying if I said that thought doesn't fill me with a certain amount of panic. After 15 months at home with A, she'll be heading to day care and I'll be heading...somewhere.

What exactly I am going back to has been a question that I've been grappling with even before getting pregnant. If you've read this blog from the beginning, you've probably gathered that work hasn't exactly been my Happy Place over the last few years. I thought that a year away might help me get my motivation back but it has only increased my desire for change.

I considered my options:

1. Same old, same old. The thought of going back to substitute teaching and continuing to wait for things to get better leaves me feeling deflated and stuck. In my province, you start out as a sub and basically wait your turn for a permanent position. It's been five years with no real prospects in sight. Maternity leave felt like a "now or never" opportunity to get off of that hamster wheel and if I don't take it, I'll constantly be wondering "what if?" 

2. A completely new direction. The big downside here is that most other career directions would require going back to school. That's a big time and money commitment that I'm not ready to make at this point. I actually did have a college program picked out before A was born but as I started looking into it more seriously, I was unable to find a version that could be done totally online. Right now, that's a deal breaker. Also a deal breaker was how much sales would be a part of the job (the program was in the financial services sector).  

3. Half in, half out. This is the current plan. I'll be going back to teaching in the fall and actively looking for something else. If I do find something, I'll take a leave of absence from teaching to see where things go. I am cautiously optimistic; while there isn't anything right now, I did come across a few interesting opportunities earlier in the year that would have been doable. That gives me hope that something will come along, I just have to keep watching and waiting.

That probably doesn't sound like much progress but it feels good to have a plan and feel like I'm doing something to make a change instead of just complaining about how much the status quo sucks. I've already updated my teaching resume and have applied for a couple of contracts, since a full-time paycheque would be good if I could get it. The non-teaching resume is a work in progress. 

What doesn't feel as good is knowing that I won't get to spend my days with A anymore. Realistically, this change will be good for both of us. She will make new friends and have tons of new experiences, and I will have some adult time again. Sometimes I get excited by the thought of having total freedom once she's in day care and I have days off. I can get stuff done around the house! I can enjoy some quiet! Then I feel guilty and worry about who will comfort her when she needs a snuggle. We found a day care that we love and I know that she will be in good hands. I know she will be ok. But it will be a big change for both of us so I'm making extra effort these days to appreciate all this time together while we still have it.

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