I AM ALIVE!
After many years at home I have to say that jumping into 40 hours of classes for my new job was a bit overwhelming. I anticipated I might be tired from being gone all day but I didn't anticipate the mental anguish of having to absorb so much information in such a short period of time and knowing I would be tested on it. All those parts of my brain used for school have been collecting cobwebs for years. I had to go home and do some serious spring cleaning of the brain to fit in all this new information. Tuesday afternoon right before lunch I almost started crying right there in the second row but I didn't think that would be very professional so I held it in and felt much better after a little lunch. By the third day we were mostly building on the previous days and the level of new information was going down. I was able to start organizing this information in my head so I could actually recall some of it when necessary.
Not only was I gone all day but I had to study the material in the evenings. I sat near 2 women who lived out of town and were staying at the hotel next door for the week. I felt a little like I might have been better off doing that as mentally I really don't think I was home most of the week.
In the mean time my pre-planning went wonderfully. Dinner was planned and quickly made all week long. Even the nights I made it the prep time was only a couple minutes to put it in the oven. Love the frozen meals. And since nobody was home all day the house stayed clean. Plus all our clothes were clean on Monday morning so we all had plenty of clean underwear for the week. And each day someone was there to pick Isabelle up as she got off the bus and give her a fun filled afternoon.
My husband was wonderful and kept the kitchen clean and got Isabelle on the bus each morning. He even did a couple loads of laundry. He has also begged me never to do that to him again. It is nice to be appreciated. And the good news is that this is the hardest week. It won't be like this again. My job will be less than half those hours giving me plenty of time to keep up with the laundry, make dinner, help Isabelle with homework and in general take care of my wonderful family.
We will be a team. They have showed me they can help and are willing to be supportive of me as I begin this new phase of my life.
One thing that I contemplated was the idea of re-defining my role if I went back to work. I am the homemaker, the mom, the wife. I do all the cleaning, laundry, schedule management, school activities organizer, shopping, meal planning and almost all the cooking among other things. When I go back to work I am going to need a little help with some of that stuff.
I love being at home. I would not have spent all these years sacrificing if I did not believe that my being at home was best for my children and my family. I never saw myself as simply doing daycare for my own children or as a cleaning lady but as someone who was creating a home. Truly a "homemaker". I actually love that term even though I know it gets bad press for being old fashioned.
Where do I turn to help re-define my existence? The bible of course. There I see lots of women who are working along with their husbands to provide for their families. The classic example is the Proverbs 31 woman who,"considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard." Priscilla and Aquila worked together as tent makers and Lydia sold purple cloth.
I am feeling excited to work along side my husband to provide for the family but without the burden of responsibility to provide, that will remain his. And while he and my children will help out with household chores the responsibility of our home will continue to be mine. We may redistribute the weight but we will continue to live in our usual roles. The adjustment will be slow I am sure but we will get there. And it will be wonderful.
Today I took that test and passed it. Hurray! The dust and cobwebs of my brain can now settle back down in their place.