If you have spent any time with me over the last year, you know that I have been struggling with the decision of how to balance family and work. Last fall was a tough transition to being back at work full time. Elijah was 6 months old and for me that was a huge change compared to when I went back to work for 3 weeks when he was 3 months old. My hormones had balanced out, and I was enjoying the 6 month phase. I panicked a couple weeks before school started and had considered putting in my notice to stop working then. I started crunching numbers to see if we could make it on one income. And though the numbers worked, the fear settled in.
I felt guilty about letting my team down so close to the start of the school year, I felt guilty that we would not make progress on my student loans if I stopped working, I felt guilty about whether or not I would actually enjoy being a stay at home mom. And with the guilt, came the doubts. Would I even be good at staying at home with Elijah. Or if I leave my job now, will I ever get another counseling job?
Fear and doubt. These are the real enemies.
All year I have turned over my options. Do I stay at home full-time? Do I take a year long leave of absence from work and decide after that? Do I look to see if a job share opportunity comes open in the district? Do I look for a part-time position in a district closer to home? What would I do about daycare? Will a job share position with a friend in another district be an option? Honestly, I have been a ball of nerves, fearful that there was only one right decision to be made.
I have spent a lot of time praying. Praying that one clear option would come up and I would have peace about it. God answered my prayer in June when a part-time counselor at my school put in his notice. So for the 2016-17 school year I have the opportunity to stay at my school, work part-time, and job share with a friend. Elijah will stay at his daycare. This is was what I had hoped would happen, but was also afraid of being too hopeful.
I have had a lot of peace about this decision, and I'm not frantic as a new school year is starting. I am hoping that I am able to strike more balance in my life between family and work. I am hoping I will not be as run down and emotionally exhausted as I was last year.
Over the last 8 weeks I have also found more peace about staying at home. It finally hit me, that I will not always enjoy being at home, but generally I do, and that is okay. I am never going to be the perfect mom, but I am the mom for Elijah and I do feel like I am being equipped to be a darn good mom for him.
This is my last week of break. I am going to enjoy it and then charge into this next school year! How about you? Any big changes? Are you letting Fears or Doubts hinder you?