I know this is probably almost sacrilegious to say, since I have been a die hard stay-at-home mum for so long, but I have been thoroughly enjoying my two days/week at work. Early days yet, and plenty of time for it to go pear shaped and get truly stressful, but so far I'm quite happy with the whole concept.
It's one of those funny things. When you have five children and have been at home for as long as myself there is an underlying assumption from others, that's what I would do for the rest of my life.
|Random nice photo from our winter holidays!|
There was no question in my mind that I wanted to be at home full-time when they were little. I'm happy that I've been able to spend so many years at home with my children - no regrets. Even now, we've managed to wangle our life so that Rowan can start work early and finish early on the days I work so he can do the afternoon shift with the kids. Means they get to be with a parent when they aren't at school (privileged position to be in, I know).
If you'd asked me five years ago if I was going to go back to work, I would have most likely said no. But another five years of full-time parenting since then has taken its toll on me. It just feels like the right time for me. Why? Simple answer: I wanted to. I like the idea of it. I wanted to give it a go. As cliched as it sounds - I needed to do it for myself.
I also thought that I would be helpful for me to do work that was different to that of Rowan's. I've been asked if I would be getting involved with ministry on the uni campus once the kids were older. Through trial and error we've worked out in our marriage that it is better for both of us if we're NOT heavily involved with the same ministry. I have strong opinions. Done lots of ministry myself. Let's just say - I don't think my endless, "but why don't you...?", or "have you thought about doing that differently?", or "have you called X yet? They are really upset you know" would be helpful for us!
Aside from that, I don't think I have a personality that copes well with large amounts of pastoral ministry. I find it very emotionally and spiritually draining - I can't switch off well. Again this has a big impact on our marriage. Rowan is already doing a significantly emotionally/spiritually draining job. Two people doing that in the one household hasn't worked so well for us in the past.
Being involved with different worlds is good for our marriage. Some marriages gain energy from working together. I think ours gains energy from doing separate things, sharing our experiences and supporting each other.