Friday, December 7

Caution:Changed Priorities Ahead! -or- More Mommy, Not More Money -or- "On the road again...!"

Several years ago- in what feels like another life- I had the good fortune to be able to travel overseas to Oxford England. We were staying with a friend who lived on a one-way street. A block or two up the street was a sign that read, "Caution! Changed Priorities Ahead!"
Those silly Brits! What is meant was that the one way street was about to change directions and if you go through the next round-about you'll be going the wrong way on a one-way street. Not that there's very heavy traffic in Oxford since the students all ride bicycles... but still it's a good thing to note.

I've been thinking of that sign since Jonah first became a part of my life, about eleven months ago. suddenly all the things that I thought were priorities are very unimportant. I think Josh would agree with me in many ways. Things have changed a lot over the last year. We bought a house and since then I've watched less T.V. (since may) than I did before in any given week. Also, I now weigh about 25 pounds less than before I was pregnant because I actually consider the food I stuff in my face. I'm not trying to brag; I actually find that somewhat embarrassing.
There are a lot of things that were in my life pre-pregnancy that kind of disgust me now. I feel calmer, happier with myself and more excited about the future than I have in a long time.

And that's good. Really good. It makes me want to honor the changes in my heart with more changes in my life. Josh and I have a slogan for it, actually. "More Mommy, Not More Money." Since I've found myself crying every morning as I unlock my classroom door I know that we're mkaing the right choice. At the cost of limiting our income we've decided that we both want to spend more time with our child and with each other. As of December 21st I will no longer be teaching, and Josh will begin a new career. Much like the roadway in Oxford, everything is about to completely change on us. For once I have a very good feeling about being unsettled. It means I don't have to walk away from my child every single day to deal with the depressing prospect of middle schoolers who have told me that they don't believe they will be alive in 10 years.

It's really quite bittersweet though, because we bought this beautiful house in May and here we are looking at leaving it. Even sadder, we will be leaving Nashville and living far away from my immediate family. We're not sure when we'll get this house sold and be able to buy a new one or what the exact time frame will be, but Josh has to be in OKC by January 5th because he start s teaching classes at Oklahoma Christian University on the 7th. I'll be staying home with Jonah at least until he's 18 months old.

Some of you have known about this and some of you haven't. It's hard to tell anyone when you haven't told your boss yet. Also, I know these choices are going to baffle some people. Choosing to seriously limit your income for the good of your family is a bit counterintuitive for many people, but as Josh was saying, some people define their whole lives by their jobs.

So here we go- off on a journey that might take us just about anywhere. Together.


Shirley said...

I don't want to seem selfish and say what I'm feeling... YAY... because I know it's going to be very hard to leave your family. Maybe knowing that you will be able to spend every day with your little angel will make the move a little easier. Your Oklahoma family has been waiting to hear, what we consider to be very good news.

Love You...
Aunt Shirley

hipjazz said...

YAY for you!! Money's overrated anyway. =P Seriously sounds like you're doing a very good (though scary) thing. I don't expect you'll regret it in 50 years.

p.s. this is whitney...i don't know why it says hipjazz. and yes, i overuse ellipses.

Jenn H said...

Congrats to Josh on his new job! And congrats to you too, Chara, on your new full-time At Home mommy status. Zeb and I had to make a similar decision when I was pregnant with our second child. I quit working, despite the fact that we would soon have two kids, one of whom was special needs who required lots of expensive therapies. Things are squeaky-tight sometimes, but God provides always. The peace comes in knowing exactly what my kids are learning and doing, what they're exposed to and not exposed to. And I also expect that my kids will save on their therapy bills later because they'll only have me to blame for their problems instead of me plus a bunch of other caregivers. :) ~ Jenn

Sara said...

You have no idea. I keep bouncing back and forth between working and staying home. I feel compelled to be with my children. They are my ripple in the universe. Before them I was just some lady. Now I get to be someone's mommy. So I stay home for a year then the money pinch gets tight and I feel guilty because if I were working I could provide them with more opportunities. We already have gymnastics and tball and all those things coming around the corner. It's a never ending battle whether to work or stay home. I think sometimes you have to experience some of both to appreciate what you have in both areas. It's a battle in my heart that won't end until my children have "outgrown" me. :)

Elizabeth said...

I didn't have the opportunity to make that choice.
I am thankful you can.
I'm like Shirley and selfishly saying "Yeah!"
I know this will be hard for you. I hope to get to see you more now.
I hope to even get to see your son grow. Attend his birthday parties, all that stuff.
Love you guys.
Aunt Beth and Cuz Reba