On the Homefront

Balancing Act

I’ve been struggling the past week.

I’ve been a stay at home wife/mom since I was pregnant with Little Bug.  I have been very happy with it.

Wait.  Scratch that.

I’ve not been very happy at all, not for a while, anyway.  I value this time with the kids, but I feel like I’ve lost myself despite my efforts not to.

DSCN0055_editedSo, when I saw that a coffee shop that I used to work for was opening a location close to me, I began to think about going back to work.

As a barista, I’m not going to make enough to cover daycare, but our family could get reimbursed for a portion of it through my husband’s job if I worked enough hours.  We are extremely fortunate, because it is not required for me to work to help support our family.  However, I do not like to spend our money unnecessarily.  By taking a job outside of the home, for just a few hours a day, I feel like I would be doing just that, because I would be spending our money on daycare.  As I also want to homeschool Little Bug and Buddy Roo, day care makes even less sense, really.  Plus, we’ve become very accustomed to the flexibility of being able to travel, or even just schedule appointments, with little notice.  Having a job, I’d lose much of the flexibility our family now enjoys.

I keep telling myself that, in the long run, my staying home with the kids is best.  Once they are all done with school, or we reach a point that we decide that homeschooling isn’t working for us and they go to public school full time, then I’ll have plenty of time to get a job.  I mean really, if I don’t need one, and just the idea of getting one causes this much trouble, why was it still preying on my mind?

It’s because, while I know what I need to do, what I want to do keeps tempting me.

Aaron and I talked it through.  He’s very supportive of the idea, and encouraged me to go for it.  He said he’d make the commitment to telecommute once a week so that he could stay home with the kids.  He also said that we’d just be a little more concrete with our travel plans, which is something we’ve needed to do, anyway.  That would give me one full day a week, plus most weekends(we’d still be going north once a month).  Since he gets home later in the evenings, odds are that they wouldn’t even be open late enough for me to go in.  Is that even enough to be worth it to the company?

I decided to find out.  On Wednesday I went to their job fair to apply and have an interview.  I was far more nervous going into the interview than I probably should have been, but since I still wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, I guess it was to be expected.

I met with three people at the job fair, and was immediately comfortable talking with all of them.  Even if I wasn’t to get the job, I was still excited for them to be coming to town.  If I was to get the job, I was excited to be able to work with this group.  Things went really well, and I felt confident as I left.

DSCN2371Then I felt guilty and was flooded with, “What was I thinking?!” thoughts and emotions as I drove away.  I already feel so busy and over-booked in my life, why on Earth would I want to add a job into the mix?  How was this going to affect the kids?  How was this going to affect my marriage?  How would this affect the household in general?  By the next morning, I was feeling more comfortable with the decision again.  I was hoping that when they called, I would be offered a position.

I was.

I accepted.

I’m still not sure how it will work out, in the long run.  It looks as though there will be many stores opening on the East Coast.  So, if things work well between job and family, I will more than likely be able to transfer to another store upon our next assignment.

Ultimately, this whole experience boils down to awareness and balance.  For a long time, I’ve needed an outlet, but thought of it as only a “want”.  In the meantime, I had depleted my “Me” bank.  Now it’s time to start filling it back up.

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3 thoughts on “Balancing Act

  1. Pingback: No Honor in Martrydom | Journey to Ithaca

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