Friday, May 11, 2012

Our New Life

As the school year winds down, I'm busier than ever. My grades for the community college are due Sunday and I have yet to do them. I'm in the middle of a training for one of my part-time jobs (more on that later). Tomorrow we head to a baby modeling casting call so that we can attempt to put some money away for Joel to attend college (don't modeling is not our only mode of saving for college). Our six year anniversary is next week. Joel turns one on the 22nd. We leave for Philadelphia a few days later where we will celebrate one Joel-birthday and friends' wedding. The school year will end and I will not only pack up my classroom for the summer, but I will pack up forever. Family will travel to Texas for Joel's birthday party (his 2nd one). whew. sounds like a lot, right? It is.
This has been our life for the past few months. I think we always have something. Up until May 1st, it was Murad studying, studying, studying, etc. He did a very good job of balancing his parental duties with studying, but I know it was draining. With his new ADHD medication, he was able to be more focused, but it drained him emotionally and physically. Luckily, he was able to find a dosage that works better so that he's not so tired, hungry and grouchy (yes. I said it!) I loved coming home and finding my honey-do list complete! On May 1st, Murad passed his LMSW exam. He is now a licensed master social worker. This means so many things for our family, but it means the most to my husband. It's the validation he needed to feel good about being a social worker. Getting his master's degree was a huge accomplishment, but you really can't do anything with the degree without the license (or at least make a decent living). Now, he has the opportunity to move up at work, take on PRN jobs or just look for a whole new job. He's got so many options and I think that's what he is really excited about, especially now that we have a family. For now, he's comfortable staying at his current job, especially since it is so flexible.

With his licensure, Murad really encouraged and supported me as I turned in my resignation. Prior to him obtaining his license, I felt a little apprehensive about resigning. I kept saying I was 90% sure. My biggest concerns were financial, but Murad kept telling me that we'd be fine no matter what. Over the past five months, we've just been thinking and praying hard on this. I've been unhappy at work for a while and it doesn't seem like things will get any better next fall. Our former daycare situation scarred us and left us feeling that Joel needs to be home with his parents more. We absolutely love his new sitter and feel as though he has grown so much as a result of her care; however, the selfish part of me wants more time with my boy. The mommy part of me thinks he needs to be with me more. Honestly, I just love spending every minute I can with him. Despite this, I know he needs regular interaction with other adults and children, so we plan to send him to his sitter's twice a week (or more).

I am sad about leaving teaching. I think about all the things I'll miss about being around kids all day and it makes me very, very sad. I think about the friends I've made while working, and I feel overwhelmed with sadness. I feel like I'm abandoning them. the students. my friends. When I think about all the fun things Joel and I will do, it makes it worth it. I smile just thinking about the days ahead. So, on Tuesday I told my principal I would not be coming back and today I turned in my resignation forms. My principal was not happy. In fact, I was shocked at how sad he was. I just have to remember that my family needs me and that I will be extremely happy.

We can afford for me to work part-time, so I plan to teach a couple of classes at the local community college in the evening. Despite this, I also signed up to TA at an online university to make some extra money. Of course, I'll still write. In fact, if writing goes well, I'll drop one of the other jobs. I just think with still having an outstanding hospital bill, saving for a new car, and maybe someday having another baby, it would be good to have a cushion. Plus, having a home comes with unexpected financial surprises and we have seriously depleted our vacation fund(this summer, we're leaving Joel with my parents for a couple of nights while we attend a wedding. I told Murad if all goes well, we could go on another cruise for our 4 year anniversary. gotta start saving now!)

I think the funny part is I'm not struggling with finding my new identity. I guess it's because I get to have the best of both worlds. I'll still get to work outside the home which is something I really want to do, but I'll get to experience being a SAHM. Growing up, my parents both worked full-time outside of the home. Because they worked opposite shifts, it never felt as though we were stuck in daycare. My mom was able to spend the mornings and early afternoons with us, while my dad was on evening and bedtime duty. My parents were always "there." This was something I didn't realize or never really thought about. I didn't realize how badly I wanted it for Joel. Thankfully, Murad wants that too. So now, in true Soup fashion, we are creating our own little culture. We're both still going after our career dreams and passions, but we're also shaping our lives around an important little guy: Joel!

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