Growing Up…Some More


When I had Carter, something changed in me.  The only way I know to describe it was that I finally had to grow up.  Suddenly, my life was no longer about me, my wants and my needs.  In fact, there were weeks and months that I was so involved in caring for a baby that I nearly lost myself completely. I felt like a grown up.  There was something in this world that needed me more than I needed myself, and for him I would move heaven and earth.

For a few weeks now, I’ve occasionally put out there on Facebook that I was “expecting a miracle”.  Some people have asked me if it had to do with having another baby.  No.  It has to do with our personal finances.   It hasn’t been easy “getting by” since I made the nearly impossible decision to leave my career and become the one to raise my son.  But I did manage to make that decision nearly a year and a half ago.  I did it not because it was what I wanted, but because it was what Carter needed.  I grew up with that decision.

Today I was faced with another decision that I didn’t expect to have to make.  But, I had been praying for and fully expecting a financial miracle.  I just wasn’t expecting the miracle to fall on my shoulders.  I thought Jeff would have a huge breakthrough at work and our prayers would be answered.  And, I’m not saying that still isn’t going to happen.  I believe it will.

I got a phone call today from a principal of an elementary school in the district where I taught for 8 years.  She was calling to offer me a job.  Yes, that’s right.  A job.  She left a message with little detail that I received during Carter’s Wednesday playgroup .  I was pretty shocked because I am no longer an employee of the school district.  I did not apply for a job.  I did not even inquire of any jobs that might be available.  But, this principal needed someone to take over a 4K class for a teacher pregnant with twins forced to go on bedrest immediately.  The principal called the Early Childhood department for the district and the director gave her my name and phone number.  The fact that she even remembers my name or has my phone number after all this time is pretty amazing to me.  And, out of all the teachers looking for jobs and asking about jobs, she told her to contact me.

After the shock wore off, I called her back to get more detail.  She needs me immediately to finish out the school year.  And, the teacher isn’t due to have her twins until mid September, so she’d like for me to stay on until around Thanksgiving of next year, assuming she actually comes back.  There’s a good chance she won’t and then it would be my job to turn down.   So, I had to mentally go to having NO THOUGHT about working full time again, to thinking about if this is something I want to do.

I talked to Jeff, I talked to Robin and I talked to several of my friends.  I still don’t know what to do.  My responsibilities will not lessen with my church and my home, so I have to decide if I can handle it all.  And what about working out?  When would I do that?

That’s only the work load to think of.  Then there’s Carter.  Carter would have to be woken up each morning and taken to someone else to be taken care of.  I have a friend who would be willing to keep him and my Dad is also willing to help.  But, can I let that go?  I quit working because I wanted to be the one to raise my son.  Am I willing to give that up to someone else now?  I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  Every morning I look so forward to my day with Carter–the fun we’ll have, the new things he’ll say and do.  So if I say no, am I throwing back the very miracle I’ve asked for in our finances?

Jeff asked me: “Do you want to do it?”  I said no.  If I had wanted to do this, I would have sought it out.  I wasn’t looking to work, but does the fact that the work came to me mean that I need to do this for my family?  Jeff doesn’t think I need to do this.  He thinks we’ll be fine no matter what.  So, that means that the decision is mine.  I have to decide by noon tomorrow, but right now I still don’t know.  Am I going to need to again put aside what I want and do what needs to be done?  Tomorrow I’ve got to grow up some more.


3 responses to “Growing Up…Some More

  • Lauren

    by now i’m sure you’ve made your mind up. as i was reading it though, it got me thinking of mothers in generations past. you know, before WWII, families were much closer (much like yours, all living near one another). even as far as ancient times, mothers were extremely busy all day long taking care of day-to-day survival, as well as the fathers. that’s why extended family all lived together and the african saying came into being: it takes a village to raise a child. because for thousands of years, women have bore the responsibility of rearing the children AND using their skills to “work” for the family, whether by making money, or farming, or taking care of livestock…but in most cases it would take mothers away from young children for several hours at a time, leaving children with grandparents, aunts, and neighbors. i’m not saying you should do it, i’m just saying that we mothers have always had it the hardest. although, the work you do for the edge is significant, and it pays pretty well for a part-time job on top of your full-time job of being a mom. it’s my opninion that you’re already doing a whole lot to contribute to your family’s needs. but like you said, it might be the miracle you need?

  • Beth

    It is pretty amazing that without any effort on your part your name came up…that speaks to the quality of teacher you are! Although I’ve never had to make this choice, I have watched my friend Amy do it and I know it’s a hard one. But like you she has family very close willing to help and be involved in caring for her children and because of their involvement her kids have a great relationship with their grandparents and their Auntie. Praying that God will give you a peace in your heart about what to do.

  • Kelly

    I know you’ll make the right decision, what’s right for you, but I have to tell you what I impulsively felt when I read your post. This may be way off, and it may not be what you ‘need’ to hear, but what you wrote reminds me of my own struggle of pursuing that which I truly desire, in terms of following a career path. Granted, I am not a mother, have not had to make decisions that would affect a little person I brought into the world. In terms of opportunities that have been presented to me, though, I feel like I’ve had to make snap decisions.

    I believe in signs, messages and miracles from God and His angels, Mandi. Even though I don’t claim any religious affiliation, I firmly believe in these things.

    It seems to me that if you prayed for financial help, then your prayers were answered in a way that suits what YOU, not Jeff, are exceptional at doing – teaching. If you think about it, the fact that you asked for help, could mean that (maybe subconsciously or indirectly) you were asking for God to guide you in a direction that would utilize your gifts, put you to a challenge.

    That you’re being called upon to utilize your talents as a teacher, in place of a woman who also needs to be fully present for her children, is significant, to say the least. It could have been that another 4K class was being formed or that the district was in need of additional teachers. But no, it is very specifically a pregnant woman who needs to be replaced temporarily while she gives birth to and cares for her babies. I think the message is pretty clear.

    Also, as you said, leaving your career wasn’t what you wanted, but what Carter needed. The fact that Carter is a happy, healthy toddler means that you made the right decision. But that doesn’t mean that you have to or are expected to give up everything that makes you feel fulfilled as an individual. I know, I know you don’t *want* to make a choice between your son and a job, but he’ll be fine if you choose to take the job. Another part of growing up.

    Not only that, you’re in the perfect situation to do this, with your parents right there. How many working moms have to put their kids in (yeck) daycare…

    If you were to take the job, all you would have to do would be to finish up the semester, right? If you feel like it’s breaking Carter’s heart (which it will undoubtedly do for the first week) you don’t have to go back after the summer, right? They can always find another teacher. You said it yourself: “And, out of all the teachers looking for jobs and asking about jobs, she told her to contact me.”

    I think you should go for it. It’s what you asked for, whether it was actually what you asked for or not. It could be really good for you to test the waters of returning to a career as a mother, since it is such a temporary situation, with the semester almost up!

    But don’t listen to me or anyone else. Just go with what’s in your heart!

    – Kelly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: