I recently discovered that the community college in a nearby town has a job opening that I qualify for. To be honest, from the description, it sounds like my dream job. I was discussing the job with my mother and all the ramifications of possibly getting said job (ie: what in the world we would do with the kids? etc.) when she said something I keep mulling over. She asked me why God would give me the gifts I have (ie: my love for teaching) if He didn't mean for me to use them. That would be a waste.
Even as she said it, though I understood her point, I didn't completely agree with her. The interesting thing is this is not the first time someone has made this statement to me. Basically, I am wasting my degree/talent/knowledge/college education, etc. by staying at home with my kids. I have actually felt this way before, especially after really bad days with the kids, but hearing it come from other people's mouths has solidified in my mind that I do not actually agree.
Staying at home and taking care of children and house are not always the most intellectually stimulating pursuits, I'll concede, but that said, being a mom has been far more challenging than my most difficult teaching assignments. I actually feel like my teaching experience has helped me a lot as I figure out how to deal with certain discipline issues or how to help my kids with certain principles I want to teach them.
I think I understand what my mom meant when she said what she did. She was not insulting me or in any way putting down my contribution to my family. I think she just wants me to be able to have it all. She knows how much I loved school and how gratifying teaching was for me. She hates to think I am giving up a dream, one I worked so hard for, even if it is for taking care of her beloved grandchildren. And I appreciate this about her.
But, deep down I know that I am not wasting my talents with my kids. I don't know what I will decide about this job opening. I am definitely going to apply, especially with Bil's job basically hanging by a thread (have I mentioned his company makes automotive parts? Yeah, they aren't doing so well right now); we feel like we should keep all our options open, but who knows if Bil and I will decide to take it, if it is even offered to me. That will be a decision we will have to make together.
I am glad to know though that even if I get this awesome tenure-track teaching position, the most important work I do is with my kids, despite the lack of paycheck, bonuses, and promotions.