You CAN, but should you?

Separating from Patrick and getting divorced was difficult financially. I was blessed enough to have a $10 and hour job and help from the state. I had very few choices. I HAD to work, therefore I HAD to put the kids in daycare. I HAD to make more money for the future of my family, so I HAD to go to school. Life was very simple. I HAD to stay home most of the time because I did not have a vehicle, so it made taking care of the house much easier. I did a lot of things because these things needed to be done and I was the only one doing them.

Life changed and got more complicated. We live with Jason now, operating as a family. I still work and I still go to school, but I can now (and sometimes must) take night classes. There is someone else responsible for keeping the house clean besides myself. My job has changed. I have a very flexible schedule at work, but am responsible for more in job duties and feel more responsible in the fact that it is now a family business and both Jason and I’s livelihood. Also, Noah started Kindergarten.

I guess the HAVE to is decreasing. I don’t HAVE to work so much and I don’t HAVE to take as many classes. Jason takes very good care of us. I need to work to pay my bills and I want my degree sooner rather than later (plus I still receive the Pell Grant and won’t forever). I am struggling a little bit with choosing my course load. I wanted to be done earlier than the projected 2013 and have tried to take on more and more classes each semester. I am finding that it takes away from every other aspect of my home life for me to take on so much. It is a sacrifice I am willing to make if I have to, but I don’t necessarily HAVE to. Noah stays after school in Kidcare until I can pick him up after work, which is usually after 5pm. We get home cook dinner, bath, bed. Every night. There isn’t a whole lot of time together. Weekends are spent finishing up homework not because I put it off, but because it takes most every night and all weekend to get it done. That doesn’t leave much time for housework or quality time with the family. Thankfully I can do laundry sporadically and Jason takes care of the dishes every night!

I could take Noah out of Kidcare and pick him up at 3pm every day after school. It would cut my hours back and would mean that I would be the only one able to pick him up after school. Jason would not be able guarantee that he would be done working that early and it is not in his best interest to quit working that early anyway. My reasoning is that Noah is super tired after school and emotionally drained from such a long day. I also want to be more available to him. He is getting older and if I am going to be of any influence it won’t be during the dinner, bath, bed routine. Even as I write that I know it sounds ridiculous. I know that he knows I love him and I am available to him if he needs me. If I worked for another company I would be working 8-5 and there would not even be an option of picking Noah up early. I wonder if it is just the classic case of trying to be a mom and a wife and have a career? Trying to balance it all? It annoys me that all Jason needs to think about and prioritize is his business and himself. He doesn’t see anything wrong with the kids being in daycare all day long. Nora, of course, is fine and will be fine. She’s happy if you just hug her lots and read her a story or ten. Something happens, though, as they get older. A hug isn’t enough. Perhaps things are just adjusting? Something I will continue to roll around in my mind…