Thursday, August 25, 2011

Getting used to new

We have had a lot of "new" around here recently. Actually, for the past year we have had a lot of new. For someone (Matthew) who does not like change, we have done a TON of it.

Let's see, what are some of the changes that have happened in the past three months:

  • added a new member to our family (the BEST change to date!)
  • although it may not seem like a big change to you-going from school year to summer and from summer to school year. This is a big change for our family because we are together the whole summer and then all of a sudden, we're not.
  • Matthew changing jobs
  • Nora starting kindergarten
  • Elyn starting a new pre-school
  • a new schedule of getting up and going to bed

I realize that these changes might seem minor to some (except the addition of a child...that's a biggie) but to us, they mean a lot of readjusting and changing our view of things.

One of the biggest changes, that I did not put in the list, affects me. This is the first semester since Nora has been alive that I have not taught for Harding. It makes me so sad.

I knew it was coming, enrollment has really gone down the past few semesters. I think it is mostly due to the declining economy. I had been watching the numbers for my classes and, when they didn't go up, I figured I would get a call that they were taking those classes off of the fall schedule.

The call came earlier this week and, while I was expecting it, it still hit me hard.

I was at home alone (well, actually, nursing Rives) and took the call. I was all, "Oh, I understand completely...yes, yes, hopefully the numbers will pick up by next semester...again, I understand...thank you for calling!"

Then, I hung up and started crying.

There is nothing worse than sitting on the couch, nursing your baby and crying-wait...that was the first month of Nora's life.

I kid.

Seriously though, I was crying...hard.

This job was important to me in so many ways.

I LOVED going to class each week and talking with ADULTS. When Nora was a baby, and then again when Elyn was a baby, I sometimes felt that the only times I had adult conversations was when I went to class. I know I wasn't the best teacher or the most creative, but I enjoyed it and think my students learned one or two things.

It was also important to me financially. You know the whole "pulling my weight" thing. (Not really, but kind of.) This income was important to our family and our budget. We KNOW that God will help us meet our needs and that we will be FINE. This is probably good for will force us to re-prioritize and spend our money wisely and not frivolously. There is something God is going to teach us through this dip in our income...and I am looking forward to sharing and glorifying His name.

Honestly, it was also important for my pride. Typical conversation: Random person-"So, what do you do? Do you stay at home with your kids?" Me-"Yes, I do stay at home with them BUT I also am an INSTRUCTOR AT A LOCAL UNIVERSITY (pause for effect), I teach GRADUATE LEVEL CLASSES." Random person-"Oh, WOW, you must be the smartest person EVER!" Me-"Yes, I am."

Okay, so it might not have gone exactly like that, but similar. I enjoyed being able to share that I worked at Harding, that I had a "thinking" job outside of my main "job" of watching my children grow.

Again, God might be taking this opportunity for me to slow down and get used to the "new" that this school year has to offer. I am so thankful that my time with my children and my husband will be completely theirs and my mind will not be preoccupied with planning lessons or grading papers.

Listen, I am THE PERSON to find the bright side of things...if you are looking for a "glass half full" kind of person, I'm your gal. I am not looking for you (all two of you) to offer up positive and cheery comments (although, I am not discouraging them either)...I've already thought of all the positive and cheery things that might come out of my unemployment. This was just a writing session for me to get my thoughts down.

This new change has been on my heart quite a bit lately and I need LET IT GO and enjoy my new "freedom". I have told some friends that I am going to be a pro at clipping coupons and my house is going to be super clean...

I just need to get started on both.


Holly Aytes said...

I know you said you don't need cheery comments from your readers but I can understand how you would feel. I love my job and it makes me feel productive and creative (not very smart though since I only am teaching kids who are 12 months old to 2 yrs graduate classes for me) LOL. I love the interaction with the other teachers though. I haven't worked full time outside my home since Taylor was born 11 1/2 yrs ago but this year was offered a 4 day a week position and took it. I am really excited but boy is it different getting myself and everyone else out the door 4 mornings! Hoping the numbers go back up and you are teaching again next semester :)

lesley barker said...

I am so there too. For the first time in 32 years I didn't get my classroom ready and for the first time in 11 years I'm not going to that classroom to work with someone else's children. It's been a much more difficult transition for me than I ever thought. Last year while working all I wanted to do was to be home with Andrew. Now that I am I miss teaching, I miss the kids, and I miss my work friends. It's weird how hard it's been.

I too feel a bit worthless to the whole "bringing home the bacon" issue. I had sold pampered chef but mostly done catalog parties. I'm now thinking I need to up my business and do home cooking shows too simply due to the adult interaction/helping with finances thing.

It's a hard stage in life. I want to be a momma- the best/hardest job ever- but I want to feel valued too.

I completely empathize with you.

Sara said...

Being adjunct at HU as well, I totally understand your feelings! Every semester, I hold by breath (and pray a lot) that my class will make or they won't suddenly take it way (which has happened). I only have one class this semester and honestly it has been better for our family. I feel more "free" to keep up with the house stuff and dinner. I feel more present with my family.

And financially speaking, I completely hear ya! We rely on my little income too.

Hang in there! Thinking of you as you adjust to a new phase of life. Before you know it, a new opportunity will be in front of you. Hugs!

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