This week's Working Mom of the Week is Tara, the owner of Feels like home. Tara is a quirky, busy momma who is balancing a full-time job as a public high school science teacher with her passion for blogging and hanging out with her husband and their precocious toddler. She is the Chief Managing Editor for FoodieMama.com, author of the Etsy Elite column at Blissfully Domestic, and Family Eden's Home Cooking blogger. Whew! In her "spare time," Tara loves food, photography, and crafts.
I am a lucky woman. I live in a time and a place where I was encouraged to attend high school, college, and graduate school. I chose the career I wanted, just because I wanted it. I'm allowed to vote and drive. I was able to buy a house and live in it by myself. I'm fully aware that some women in the world today do not have these options, and hoards more have been denied these options in the past.
I am proud of my achievements, and I have always been thankful that others (including my parents and grandparents) paved the way for me to have choices and make the decisions that I wanted to make.
I want badly to change my mind. I want to spend my time and energy raising a curious, smart, energetic toddler. I want to show her the world and inspire her the way my mother inspired me, and I don't just want to do it for a couple of hours in the evenings. I want to quit my full time teaching job and be a full-time, stay-at-home mom.
But I'm not quitting my full time job.
I was devastated when I first came to this realization, but I'm feeling mostly okay about it now. Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest job I've ever had. In my whole life. And I have worked at McDonald's.
So truth be told, teaching in a public high school every day is like a little vacation.
Okay, that's a stretch.
In reality, the reasons for me to keep working are entirely financial - the furnace had to be replaced, we have to have medical insurance, and I have to pay for the master's degree hanging in my hallway.
I'm almost at peace with this. Really. My daughter goes to daycare during the school year. Her teachers love her. They call our house when she's sick. They hug and kiss her. She misses them when there's no school.
A week after school was out last summer, Joe and I attended a church service for the first time. We were apprehensive about leaving Grace in the church nursery with strangers, but we gave it a shot.
As soon as Joe put Grace down, the nursery worker stooped down to Grace's level, introduced herself, and welcomed Grace to the Ladybug room. Grace took her by the hand, and they walked into the room together.
Leaving Joe and I gaping in the doorway.
Grace never looked back.
We collected ourselves and sniffled our way to the sanctuary.
That little episode in the church nursery weighed on me for a long time. Clearly, Grace likes daycare.
For months, I prayed for a sign, and then it showed up in the church nursery. And I didn't quit my job.
Thanks to Tara for being this week's working mom of the week. If you are interested in being featured, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.