I made a very brief mention last week that I had gone back to work. This has been an interesting experience all around, for several reasons. The decision wasn’t made lightly, but it was made sort of last minute.
The original plan had always been to return to work at the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Babycakes would be a year old, and my mom would be retiring soon after the start of the school year, making the baby’s full-time stint at daycare relatively short. I was never in any sort of panic about this plan, as I would be returning to my own classroom, to a district, school, and grade level I knew. The biggest unknown factor was whether or not something would come up with Babycakes that would require me to put off my return to work for another year.
And then we moved to Charlotte.
The original plan needed modification. Obviously there have been HUGE changes in everyone’s lives over the past 6-8 months, and the question did come up between me and the hubs if my going back to work was going to be worth it.
Because we’re effectively 750 miles from our support system at present, it all hinged on two things: landing a position at the right school, and finding the right daycare.
Both happened. I had actually narrowed our daycare choices down to three that I was comfortable with back in May, when I first started applying and interviewing. Similarly, I had three schools I would have considered comfortable choices if offered a job.
I was offered a one-year position at my number one choice of schools.
The kicker was that I was offered this position 13 days before teachers had to be back to work.
And it was a new classroom, which meant I would literally be starting with bare walls and some furniture, and that’s about it.
It was crunch time.
I’m two weeks into the school year, and while I still feel like I’m half-assing my way through every single day, I have to think, in general, it’s going well. As the hubs predicted, it does feel good to get back to my career and socialize with people who are, you know, capable of having conversations beyond, “Give that to Mommy,” and “Nononononono…”
(Babycakes is officially a toddler. Don’t let the fact that she’s not walking yet fool you.)
At the same time, I’d sort of forgotten what it felt like to have 20-some odd kids trying to get your attention and ask for help at the same time.
And given the fact that Babycakes is STILL not sleeping through the night and has also decided that 5:30am is the PERFECT time to wake for the day, I’m surprised I haven’t started an IV of Coca Cola by now just to get through the day.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is also a HUGE district with literally HUNDREDS of schools, and there is way more paperwork and procedural stuff than was ever remotely dreamed of back at my little semi-rural district in CNY. I’m still slogging through the punch list of stuff I need to take care of within the first 30 days of work.
And of course, I’ve already caught my first cold of the school year. In fairness, I could have caught it from Babycakes, who could have picked it up at daycare. Or I could’ve brought something home from school and passed it on to her. Either way, we’ve been going through a lot of Little Remedies saline nose drops.
The hardest part – okay, second hardest part, because the hardest part has been actually making the decision to go back to work and put Babycakes in daycare – is allocating personal time at night and on the weekends to getting myself organized. Like, I went to school on Saturday morning for almost three hours and just did mundane stuff like finally posting the daily schedule. I’d much rather be spending my free time with my family and working on writing. But until things settle down and I actually figure out what I’m doing, I don’t foresee much of that happening.
As crazy stressful as it’s been, I am glad I decided to go back to work. I’d been starting to lose myself a little bit. I worked so hard over so many years to establish my teaching career, finish two graduate degrees, and land all the certifications I was qualified for. It wasn’t something I was ready to completely walk away from. Maybe someday I will, but not yet.
And while it may just be this one year and then I’ll have to start subbing until something permanent comes back around, so be it. At least I’m getting my feet wet again and making sure my teaching chops are still in top form.
Though the sleeping thing has got to improve. After all, you can only consume so much Coca Cola in a day.