Sunday, June 5, 2011

Decisions Decisions Decisions:
A Post about Me

Several days ago, I was engaging in one of my favorite pastimes (teasing Michael), and I said, "Did you take out the trash this morning?"

He said, "No."

I said, "Michael! Why can't I have a husband who can remember to do things?"

He replied, "Why can't I have a wife who can make decisions?"

Touche, Michael. Touche.

When I was in first grade, I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, and I stuck with that resolution all the way up until the day Michael proposed. And then my resolve fell apart.

At that point, I still had two semesters left of college, but if I decided not to be a teacher, I could graduate in one semester and get married sooner. I really liked Michael, so I decided to graduate, get a job, and maybe be a teacher later.

After that, I decided what I really wanted to be was a yoga instructor. Then a homesteader. Then an urban planner.

Most recently, I was determined to become a preschool teacher. I even saved up some money so I could take the community college classes to get certified. My plan was to get certified over the next two years so that when Rylan starts kindergarten in 2013, I could get a job at a preschool and then work and save until I could open my own preschool.

Only when I started crunching the numbers, I realized it wasn't really a practical plan. Minus afterschool childcare costs, transportation, and piano lessons for the kiddos, I'd be making so little that it would take me years and years to save up enough for my own preschool. And I don't have years and years if Michael and I are ever going to retire.

Plus, I really didn't like the idea of not being off work when my kids get out of school.

I was telling all of this to Michael one night, and he asked, "Why don't you want to teach high school anymore?"

I said, "Teenagers annoy the crap out of me."

He said, "Okay, but..." and then we listed the benefits of being a teacher:
  • I'd make more money as an entry level high school teacher than as an entry level preschool teacher.
  • I'd get off of work when the kids get out of school.
  • I'd have the same holidays off as the kids.
  • I'd have summers off to do things like garden and write.
  • When they're in high school, the kids could presumably go to the high school where I teach, which would be really convenient.
  • And the government will pitch in on my retirement.
So after thinking about it long and hard this week, I've decided to go back and finish my teaching degree. I'm hoping I can get it done in two semesters the year Rylan starts kindergarten. I don't think I'll enjoy it as much as teaching preschool (and I wish I'd known that 15 years ago), but I'll get to be with my own kids more, and that's more important. And maybe once I start doing it, it'll surprise me. In college, I really enjoyed teaching teenagers and thought I was pretty good at it.

One of the main reasons I'm saying all this is to announce:

We're going back to buying conventional groceries for a couple of years.

I feel like I need to announce this to everyone I know all at once so I don't have to explain myself a gazillion times or feel like I'm hiding something. I feel extremely guilty about it - particularly the meat, dairy, and eggs part, but according to my calculations, this will save us about $200 a month which we'll be able to use to buy a few things we've really been needing lately, knock out the rest of our debt, and then save for my college. And then once I get a job, our grocery spending will go back to normal.

So that's that. Decision made. Hopefully I can stick with it this time.


  1. You've inspired me. I WILL become a paleontologist who works for Lego!

  2. "conventional groceries"...cracked me up!
    Good luck and you will do just fine teaching may even just be getting you ready for when you have 3 teenage boys :)

  3. We have so many teachers now who don't love or even like students. It is very frustrating to see them teaching. I don't think you'll be one of them so you better plan on liking them!! And all their problems and drama.

    Also, teachers are expected to do so many extra activities: chaperon dances, serve on committees and councils, faculty meetings, professional development and continuing education. You end up giving a lot of unpaid hours. But it's not any different than Dad working overtime without pay.

  4. Good luck! I think you'll be great!


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