So I went back to school and got my BA in English. I was a substitute teacher from time to time on my own schedule and managed to write when I had a spare moment. I tried to get a 40-hour job, editing, writing, teaching… anything in my field that might be available. But day after day, hour after hour, there was nothing. Just nothing.
The principal of the school where I sub offered me a position as a teacher’s aide. As tempting as the 75% pay cut was, I was still inclined to stay with the subbing. I know from experience that when they say, “You’ll never sub again if you take this job,” that they really mean, “Now you’re going to sub more than ever.” So I asked him what the pay would be and he said, “Just remember… if you want the next English teacher job that becomes available, I hire my own first.”
Dag nabbit… I thought to myself. You’ve gotta be kidding. But he wasn’t and I took the job. So now, day after day, I sub for all the teachers who have difficult classes that none of the subs want to take and I wait…. and wait… for someone to say anything about my new job that is hanging in the wings waiting for me. Still nothing.
Before I had children, this corporate tug-of-war would have only fueled my fire and inspired me to fight even harder. But not today. Today I long for the times when I lay on the couch with my little son, watching cartoons and eating cheerios, without a care in the world. Truth be told, I wish I started writing a million years ago. Then I would be a stay-at-home-mom, typing away, always available for my children when they need me. Back when I did only work in the home, I remember people making fun of me at get-togethers.
“She doesn’t work,” they’d say. “I bet she sits around eating bonbons all day.” I used to get so upset when these people with unruly children said such things especially in public. But now I see what an important job raising children really is. I see now that they were only jealous that I was able to afford to stay home and enjoy my family. But the days of gourmet meals and fluffy, folded laundry are gone for now. I am blessed that I was able to stay at home while they were small and I am blessed that they are so well behaved and loving. And for that alone I say, job well done.
So you stay-at-home-moms and you girls who work all day only to have to come home and work some more, be proud of your accomplishments. Raising our future leaders, and that is what we’re doing, is the most important job around.
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