Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm a Quitter

I'm quitting school.

No, not like that.  I have a graduate degree folks; that whole "drop out of school" ship sailed loooooong ago.

I'm quitting teaching.

YES, AGAIN. Geeze, don't you people have better things to remember?

Put THAT in your hippocampus and store it. Source.

After this semester, it's back to being a stay at home mom and wanna be writer.  And I. Cannot. Wait. If I could figure out a way to quit rightfuckingnow that didn't involve burning the only professional bridges I have or crafting some karma-killing doozy of a lie, I would.  But maturity this, responsibility that, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

You see, I've taught before; I know what it takes.  I've even taught while raising a baby before; I know what that takes.  But I have NEVER taught (or done any sort of scheduled work) while trying to raise . . . a two-year old.

The North American Two-year Old can be likened to the Polar Bear:
it appears cute and cuddly, but will rip your face off and eat it,
given the chance.

Can I physically attend the measly one class I'm teaching? Yes.  No problem.  Actually, that's technically not true; it has become quite a problem for my growing-ever-more-important-in-his-job husband. So, while it may not be the easiest thing for all parties involved, I can make it to campus three times a week to teach a 50-minute course.  What I cannot do is get anything done once I get home . . . even when I bust out all the "I'm-such-a-bad-parent-and-completely-ruining-my-child-according-to-all-those-studies" tricks--you know, children's television programs.  Because my kid, while he appreciates him some Jack's Big Music Show and Timmy Time, is not happy just being a little zombie, staring at the big colorful rectangle that sings to him.  No.  MY child likes to take "breaks."

Sometimes they are "heymomwhatareyoudoingletmestealyourgradingpenandripyourassignments" breaks.  (Always a fun morning at school when I have to explain to a few students that it was my KID who expressed displeasure with their work via physical manifestation.)  Other times they are "IwonderwhatmomordadleftwhereIcangetitbecauseI'mlikearaptorandIconstantlycheckforweaknesses" breaks.  (Before having children, I recommend you either a) get rid of ANYTHING that could be considered "nice" or "valuable" AND breakable/destructable or b) install lots and lots of shelving about a foot below your ceiling--just don't leave out that step-stool you'll now need to reach everything, because he will find it.)  Neither one of these types of break allows me to work.

They do allow for (and necessitate) a different type of activity . . . . Source.

The little monster does, fortunately, still nap.  The length of his nap, however, is much more a variable than a constant.  Naptime averages around an hour and a half.  If I have a lot to do, the lower numbers that figure into that average come out to play.  There have been days where I have stalked naptime like a ravenous sheep (cause you count sheep to get to sleep and they, um, really like to be of use, so they can't wait until naptime . . .).  After lunch, I triumphantly kiss my child and lay him down to sleep . . . only to be interrupted 45 minutes later by his wails of wakefulness.  (Look, I don't like waking up either, kid, but you don't see me howling in existential angst every morning.)  And yes, he's actually awake because NO, he won't go back to sleep.  It doesn't matter if you let him cry it out for a bit or if you calm him first and leave him to drift back to dreamland--once he's up, he's up.

Aaaaaand now it's back to the afore-mentioned break types, as well as wanting to go outside, go for a walk, go ANYWHERE because he's boooooooored and stir crazy and I can't really blame him.  I can't work on my laptop outside (Oh how I miss the not so shiny shiny screens of yesteryear) and most of my grading and planning HAS to be done on my computer due to the structure of my course.  (Not a problem I really could have anticipated in my brilliant planning to utilize Blackboard as much as possible in a face to face class, but I sure as hell wish I had.) And I certainly can't get shit done whilst out and about, so the wait for bedtime begins.  But hey, he goes to bed at 7, so there'll be time, right? RIGHT?

IF I have somehow managed to eat dinner before bedtime, then yes, I technically have 3 hours 'til bed. Having dealt with the kid all day, however, has left me mentally and physically exhausted, so I'm good for two hours of work at the most.  (And let us not comment on the quality of that work--my students already have.)  The last hour is reserved for winding down, because if I don't get ANY down time, I will crack.  Even then, I still feel guilty for not using that precious hour for something productive--like slaying the giant laundry monster or planning what to make for dinner more than 2 hours in advance for once.  (I hear rumors of people who meal plan for the WHOLE WEEK.  WTF?)

I'm sure you've probably figured out some solutions and are wondering why I'm overlooking these obvious easy fixes.

a) Daycare:  No.
b) Half-assing the whole teacher thing: No.
c) Faking cancer like that one teacher who so obviously had psychological issues: NO

Instead, I'm sacking up and finishing out the semester as best I can.  Will life magically transform into a nice, easy cakewalk after May 20th? (Do I need to post the stupid questions picture again?) No.  Will it be better? Yes.

And I welcome "better" with open arms.


  1. You totally just compared your kid to a velociraptor and I love you for it. Clever girl.

    1. While I'm VERY happy to have a son, the "clever girl" line would have been just so perfect for a daughter . . .

    2. Duessa stole my thought, but I second that. Also, you do what works for you and it will all work out.

  2. Good for you, Amanda!
    I've been kicking around the alternating ideas of becoming a teacher and/or having a kid, but you've convinced me not to do either. ;) Actually, if we did have a kid, I'd absolutely want to quit the workforce in order to be a stay-at-home mom, but I doubt we'd be able to swing it financially. I think you and Seth will both benefit greatly from this decision, and I hope the semester wraps up quickly and painlessly for you! :)

    1. Aw, thank you! I really didn't mind the teaching part so much . . . until I added a kid to the mix! Of course, I'm also complete shit at time balancing/budgeting. I really wish every mom could take the path she wants most--from working full time to staying at home full time, and all the options in between. Knowing that so many are unable to choose makes me all the more thankful for my having options.