Two days and I go back to work. Then next Monday is school. When I am working it is 30 hours a week with kids. It is by far the best job that I have ever had. But, seriously, where did the summer go?
Being a solo parent and a working mom makes life very tricky. I know many moms who left the work force when they got pregnant or dropped down to work only a few hours a week. They are content. Then there are other friends that continued working full time, only taking short breaks when they had their kids. I have fallen somewhere in the middle. When I didn't work I felt sad about not working or contributing monetarily. Then in the past when I worked a crappy graveyard job I longed to be home with my babies. Since becoming a mom I went for a year and a half without working and then another three years. I have learned the hard way that when you stretch yourself too far you don't do anything well. Truthfully, I don't think that I could do more hours then I do now and keep it all going smoothly.
During the last stretch of not working my son was diagnosed as autistic and I thought that I might never be able to go back into the work force.
Rejoining the work force with a kid who needs so much more was a hard, but, necessary choice. I won't lie to you, that first step was by far the hardest.
The very thought of trying to balance it all seemed like an overwhelming, impossible task. Plus with a husband who is frequently out of state and is gone with work six days a week from three in the morning until six in the evening, finding a job that I could do with no back up ever... I never imagined, (I really needed a miracle).
The good, wonderful side to all of this is that I very easily found my dream job. I found a place in our home district as a special education paraprofessional working in a kindergarten, inclusion classroom.
I LOVE children and I believe that all children need a person at school cheering them on. Guiding them, teaching them so much more than just numbers and letters. With kindergarten there are no limits. They are a beautiful, innocent blank slate and it gives me the special opportunity to help them look at the world around them and see all of the wonderful things it has to offer.
As a special needs parent, I feel honored to be able to serve other families. The one thing that I want and pray for is that I can be the help to other's children that I would want for my own child. And, so as the next chapter in my paraprofessional career is about to start, I raise my proverbial glass to a new year of little ones.