Hope you enjoy a guest post today from none other than my better half, Girl Ninja.
As of June 13th, 2014, I am officially retired…and it feels so good. I spent all nine months of my pregnancy looking forward to the days I get to spend at home holding my baby. I know challenges are definitely coming my way, but along with that I am excited to help take care of a household, without feeling worn down from working all day long.
As Ninja and I transition from a DINK family, to a single income household, I am surprised by the challenge. It isn’t a tighter budget, more mindful spending or being bored and stir-crazy at home. It isn’t the guilty feeling of spending money that I am not bringing in. Instead, it is the surprising feeling that I miss kindergarten.
I love teaching kindergarten. I’m not sure I really knew how much I loved it, until I left it. In the frenzy of kindergarten graduation, packing a classroom, and a rapidly approaching due date to meet my little one, I was busy checking off to-do lists. As I was literally walking out the back door of my classroom, I turned back one last time…cue cheesy slow motion scene with sappy music in the background. Then the tears came. I cried my whole drive home. I cried as I thought back over the lessons I had taught, and the lessons my 5 year olds had taught me. Inside those four walls, there was safety to try, to fail, to achieve, to be challenged for both my students and myself. Names and faces poured through my mind, and I was overcome with thankfulness, joy, and sadness to be ending this chapter of life and moving on to something new.
Walking by the “Back to School” sale at Target last week, I had to stop myself from browsing the sales and stocking up for the next year. Rather than spending my days teaching, loving on, and learning with 22 five-year olds from 8:30-3:30 each day, I will be spending my day (and currently my nights) teaching, loving, and learning with Baby Ninja. Some daily challenges will be similar, some will be different. I won’t have those 15 minute recess breaks, 30 minute lunch breaks, or that 3:30 end time for each day. September will be hard, as I know my friends and coworkers will be gearing up to set up their classrooms and prepare for a new group of students.
Will giving this part of my life up be worth it?
Yes, I know it definitely will. I know these are years and days with Baby Ninja I won’t get back, and I can’t wait for each of them.
So, what’s my plan? Am I just going to go through my day-to-day with this back and forth mindset of missing my teacher days, while learning to love being a stay at home mom?
Well, we have a plan. I am excited to have the opportunity to substitute (saying yes or no to work based on what works for me? Yes please!), and I also hope to begin tutoring a few students next year. Ninja’s schedule will allow us to make this work without having to pay for childcare for Baby Ninja.
I’m so thankful that my love for being home with my baby boy, and my love for teaching don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I am thankful for the ways that my career have prepared me, and given me at least a glimpse of what motherhood holds. I am thankful for a husband that works hard to make it possible for me to be home with Baby Ninja during these little years.
We hope you’ll stick around to see how it goes!