These days I have been struggling with a fairly agonizing decision: do I teach summer school or do I stay home with Silas? Two summers ago I stayed home with him because he was a tiny little infant. Ryan did teach, but Silas was fairly easy, and even though most of that is a blur in my mind I certainly don’t regret the decision. Last year Ryan and I both took the summer off. While we enjoyed several trips and vacations and lots of family time, by the end of the summer we were ready to get back to work. I discovered that I was not cut out for this stay-at-home-mom business.
Well, it’s now a year later. Ryan will be working this summer – his new position requires it. Silas is a year older and wiser, which translates to being a full-blown toddler. I hear that the behavior he is exhibiting is “typical Terrible Two behavior,” but all I know is that most days he is very difficult and makes me realize how bad I am at exercising patience with a little person who has trouble communicating and can’t even be away from me long enough to bathe myself.
In short, I don’t know what I want to do.
Here’s the thing: if I teach summer school, it will be fairly miserable. That’s basically a given. All day in a room with the same kids. They don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be there. Most of them are there because they are repeating the course they already took and failed once before. I’ve done it twice and can attest to the misery. But it’s good money. It really is. It’s money we could use to buy new furniture. Or take a trip. Or pay for an extra grad school course (that’s the really tempting option).
And the reality is I feel like I am not cut out for the stay-at-home-mom gig. Half the time I have no idea what to do with my own child. I marvel at how he is still alive because I feel so clueless all of the time. I frequently take care of Silas by myself, particularly during basketball season, but it sure is nice having Ryan around. I’ve never done 6+ weeks straight of the single parent thing. It scares me. A lot. But because of all of that, I feel like teaching summer school would be taking the coward’s way out. I feel like it would be me saying, “I don’t really know how to be a stay-at-home-mom, so I’ll let somebody else deal with my child when I have the option not to.” That hurts my heart.
Really I thought about it a lot over the past week and I decided that as annoyed as I get when people say things to me like, “Enjoy these years because you’ll miss them,” there must be some kernel of truth to it…right? I don’t see myself being 80 years old regretting that I didn’t partake in Summer School 2013. I could see myself being 80 years old and regretting that I didn’t spend time with my son when I had the chance, though. That’s what it has to boil down to.
That and the fact that if I stay home I can potentially stay in PJ’s and not wear a bra for the majority of the summer. That’s a good reason too, right? Of course a daily shower will not be a guarantee with the toddler in tow. But it’s not like I’ll be seeing anyone…