Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Working 9 to 5

This really had my attention this week.  Have you all seen it?

With baby Evangeline coming in May, it seems like I get asked pretty frequently what I'll be doing about work.  

I've known since I was young that marriage and family were my primary vocation.  I know that this is the path that will lead me to the greatest holiness and fulfillment in my life, and is very much God's plan for me.  I also believe that teaching is a very big part of who I am, and is part of my purpose and vocation.  I am not myself if I'm not putting to use my gifts, talents and interests.  When Kemi and I were married, we agreed to welcome children as a gift from God, and we dearly hoped we would be blessed with them.  I planned to continue to work once we started our family, without knowing exactly how that would work out.  With St. Dominic's being so new, I had no idea how my role would have shifted at the school once we started our family.

Now that Evie is on her way, I have a better idea of how things will work and how I can balance directing a school and being a wife and mom.  Luckily for me, I am self employed, and have the luxury of being able to "make the rules" so to speak, regarding children in our workplace.  So far, my plan is to turn my office into baby central, and have Kemi or our other caregivers spend the day in my office at the school with Evangeline while I am teaching.  This would give me the luxury of popping in and out, especially for nursing.  It will be a huge challenge for me to remain focused and give the same quality of work that I always have.

So will I feel guilty? Yes. I'm sure I will.  At least 1,367 times per day.  Are there benefits for our family? Yes. I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe that.  Most of my mom friends stay at home. In fact, of about 10 friends with kids, I can think of only one that works outside of the home, 40 hours per week.  And I know that my stay at home mom friends have guilt too. It comes with the mom-territory, I think.  Stay at home moms worry that they spend too much time cooking/cleaning/wiping noses and not enough quality time.  I know missing Evie rolling over/talking/sneezing for the first time will have me in hysterics.  But I think the things we will teach her by our example far outweigh the sacrifices.  Among the things we hope she learns from this family arrangement:

1. Kemi and I both have jobs in which we help people and offer ourselves to others.  We hope Evie learns that this is an important part of having a fulfilled life.
2. That women can be leaders/bosses/business owners. If that's where they're led.
3. That we cherish our time together.  With Kemi traveling 4 days a week and me working 60-70 hours per week, we make a concerted effort to have all homework, work-work, housework etc. done before our time together.  We never take each other for granted, and it will be the same way with our time with our girl.
4. That using your talents, being creative, and pursuing your ideas is fun and important.

Let the juggling act continue...

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