The end of October tends to be a bit of a restless time for me. September is always very stressful and that often goes into October. Then, the end of October brings parent/teacher conferences. It's not that meeting with parents is really a problem, most of the time parents are appreciative, helpful and fun to talk to. But, the time commitment is huge between preparing for the conferences and actually spending 20+ minutes with each family. After already dedicating so much time to beginning the year, this is often the breaking point in my sanity. This year was particularly tough. I spent most of two weeks ago preparing for conferences, trying to figure out what lessons I would teach during the week and planning for those lessons (I miss my planning time when I'm meeting with parents, but I'm still expected to teach solid lessons as evidenced by the fact that my principal observed me last Wednesday on a day I had 6 parent conferences scheduled.) I found myself on Monday not rested and just super frustrated by the never ending struggle between work and life.
Don't get me wrong, before I had a child, work often won the struggle. But now, when work wins the struggle I start questioning my whole life. Should I continue to work full time? Am I missing valuable time with Max that I can never get back? Can I afford to work part time or not at all? Should Eric work less? Should I work less? What could we cut out so that one of us could work less? How would this work logistically because I can't just suddenly cut my kindergarten hours- I would have to get a different job entirely? What would I think if I ended up getting a job I liked less? Would I really put in less hours if I have to learn a new job anyway? I could go on...
The point is, this is where I go now. This is where I go when I wake up at 3 am. This is where I go when I sit in pointless meetings at work. This is where I go when I spend a whole weekend doing work in between trying to feed Max, play with Max and put Max down for naps.
But, when I take a short break from work and really consider whats the best thing for me and for our whole family, I think my current job is it. I think. But not if it means working too many hours in the day and stressing about it 24/7. Last November I took a break from buying, and this November I will take a break from at-home work. I will leave my work at school every day and that is the only place I will do work. If it can't be done in that time period, it isn't going to happen. Will everyone survive? I hope so.
I'm sure it sounds like there is really nothing to loose with this plan. Less work = great, right? But over the years I have loved doing work at home. Sometimes I have to do really tedious stuff entering data, responding to e-mails, surfing Pinterest for ideas and that is better done in front of the TV. Plus, I often find that I am less stressed at work if I have already got some of that stuff done the night before. But, something is not working about how this year is going so far. So I'm going to try something new and see what I think.
What will I do with my time at home instead? My other job… mom! I already didn't do much work at home when Max was awake, so our nighttime playing and walks will remain the same. But I do need to find a daycare for Max for next September, and I'm working on an Artifact Uprising photo book to document Max's first year of life. Plus I need to start thinking about Christmas cards, presents, and a few trips we have coming up. I'll let you know how it goes!
What are your thoughts on work at home?