Monday, January 19, 2009

a waste?

I recently discovered that the community college in a nearby town has a job opening that I qualify for. To be honest, from the description, it sounds like my dream job. I was discussing the job with my mother and all the ramifications of possibly getting said job (ie: what in the world we would do with the kids? etc.) when she said something I keep mulling over. She asked me why God would give me the gifts I have (ie: my love for teaching) if He didn't mean for me to use them. That would be a waste.

Even as she said it, though I understood her point, I didn't completely agree with her. The interesting thing is this is not the first time someone has made this statement to me. Basically, I am wasting my degree/talent/knowledge/college education, etc. by staying at home with my kids. I have actually felt this way before, especially after really bad days with the kids, but hearing it come from other people's mouths has solidified in my mind that I do not actually agree.

Staying at home and taking care of children and house are not always the most intellectually stimulating pursuits, I'll concede, but that said, being a mom has been far more challenging than my most difficult teaching assignments. I actually feel like my teaching experience has helped me a lot as I figure out how to deal with certain discipline issues or how to help my kids with certain principles I want to teach them.

I think I understand what my mom meant when she said what she did. She was not insulting me or in any way putting down my contribution to my family. I think she just wants me to be able to have it all. She knows how much I loved school and how gratifying teaching was for me. She hates to think I am giving up a dream, one I worked so hard for, even if it is for taking care of her beloved grandchildren. And I appreciate this about her.

But, deep down I know that I am not wasting my talents with my kids. I don't know what I will decide about this job opening. I am definitely going to apply, especially with Bil's job basically hanging by a thread (have I mentioned his company makes automotive parts? Yeah, they aren't doing so well right now); we feel like we should keep all our options open, but who knows if Bil and I will decide to take it, if it is even offered to me. That will be a decision we will have to make together.

I am glad to know though that even if I get this awesome tenure-track teaching position, the most important work I do is with my kids, despite the lack of paycheck, bonuses, and promotions.


Amy Jane said...


I totally agree that you should go for it! And even if you get offered the position but decide not to take it, won't you feel wonderful knowing that you got the job? It could be a great esteem booster. And if you do take the job, then you go, girl! Let me know what happens.

Quirky Mom said...

I think applying is the right thing, even if you don't get it or get it and turn it down. Keeping your options open is good, and sometimes it feels good just to dream. :)

I've also gotten the "waste" comments, but not because of staying home with my kid. The first time was at the end of HS, when my boyfriend was upset that I was no longer going to pursue the music career I had been training for over the previous several years. He claimed that I was talented and wasting my talent. Phooey.

Interesting, my Hubby has recently said that about my Dad, who was one of the first people to actually design a computer. Thirty-some years later, he does tech support for an ISP. I know where Hubby is coming from, but I also know how my Dad feels. It is irrelevant what he is "wasting" if he does not want to design computers (or whatever it is someone else thinks he should be doing).

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

My mom once said, "you can have everything you want, just not all at the same time." These words come back to me often. You have to apply for the job b/c it might just be the perfect fit & those things don't come along all that often. But you are not wasting any time spent with your kids b/c that's also an opportunity that doesn't come around often.

Denise said...

I know what is ULTIMATELY "right" will come to be! I have no doubt...and I know you have no doubt either! I'll be praying for you, as always!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Patty, I so agree with everything you wrote here! And I think it's wise to apply. What harm can that do? If you receive an offer, then you both can make some decisions. Best of luck.

Kim said...

I agree with you. Some days staying with the kids may make our minds feel like jello, but there really is nothing more fullfilling than being there for our kids. Of course applying for the job is a great idea for you too, because sometimes working and using our talents is how us mom's need to be there for our kids.

Elizabeth Channel said...

I know we've discussed this "charwoman" issue so many times. I applaud your healthy perspective and can't wait to see how this plays out. I also did not know about Bil's job... There is a plan, however, you know that!

mrsbear said...

I think you should do what's best for you and the family. You're definitely not wasting your talents, because your talents will always be there, regardless of how you use them. Good luck with whatever you decide, I think if it's what you should be doing then it will all come together.

Anonymous said...

Wasting your life is defined as:

Sitting on your death bed with only regrets.

So, live without them.

And, come pick up your lovely award: