Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wasting my education

Photo by AJ Sobecki
I am so stinking domesticated.  And oddly enough, I love it.  I never thought I'd say that.  I remember my mother asking if I would stay home with my kids.  I said "No, I'm gonna get a job and work."  Ummm....Sorry Mom!!!  I started out on that track before my kiddos came along.  I earned my bachelors in Wildlife biology then worked for about a year and a half .  Then I went back to school to get my masters in aquatic science (water quality).  This was a research assistantship which paid for most of my classes and paid me a nice stipend as well. Then we moved and I got a full time librarian job.  I became pregnant and immediately wanted to stay home.  My mind changed instantly.  Luckily my current boss hunted me down during this time and offered me a part time job doing water quality work for the Division of Forestry.  This has been a perfect job for me as I raised my babies.  It has been very, very flexible, and allows me to both keep one foot in the professional world while being the kind of mom I want to be.  Now I am able to mostly work from home, when it is convenient for us.  The pay isn't grand, but the flexibility and ability for me to be a stay at home mom means much more than money to me. 

Due to the economy many in this nation are on a razor's edge about the continuation of jobs, I am no different.   Brayden will soon be going to Kindergarten, 3 short months!!!  This opens up more time for me to work more, perhaps find a new job, and bring more money into the household savings and budget.  However I am reluctant.  First of all I refuse to send my kids off in the summer, I want and need to be there with them through those precious weeks.  I had these kids to raise them and I don't want to outsource that job.  They grow up way too fast.  I want to have home cooked meals for them during the school year.  I want to raise a garden and put it away for the winter, I want to make gifts and necessities for my family by hand.  I want time to read a book, take a hike, to truly live.  I will not be a slave to money, I never have wanted to be.  I enjoy having extra money, but I also enjoy being frugal.  It really can be fun, check out Katy at the Non-Consumer Advocate.  The career paths that my husband and I took were never big money makers anyway.  We got into natural resource conservation because that is our passion and money be damned.  We knew we would never be paid what we were worth.  Wouldn't I be still working for natural resource conservation if I chose not to drive to work and use more gas, grow my own vegetable and teach my children about all these things? Not to mention instilling our knowledge and love of the natural world to our children so that they treat it love and respect.    I think that that is wonderful use of my hard earned education that has so prepared me for this moment.  Not that I won't have a "job" for pay.  I plan to keep my current position as long as the budget allows, and perhaps even look for another part time job in natural resources, ideally a work from home job.  But if it doesn't work with our family's needs, then I will have to decline.  Family first. 

I remember when first voiced my desire to stay home (before my forestry job appeared) people said that I was wasting my education.  Now that I have been at this job of mothering for 6.5 years I see that nothing is further from the truth.

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