Thursday, September 10, 2009

The end of an era

I think I've mentioned before the trials and tribulations of Mr. Wild and his foray into stay-at-home parenthood. It was fraught with its pitfalls, frustrations, and happy moments. But it was good for all of us, I think we all would agree in our family.

After WC#2 started all day kindergarten, Mr. Wild thought perhaps he needed things to do. He did, for a bit, work the census, which worked as a great part time job. For as long as it lasted. It was supposed to last for a couple months, but his census team was so good, they were done in about four weeks. That was it.

Mr. Wild still felt he needed to have some useful occupation. He started to toy with the idea of getting back into the museum field. Yes, we both have the same professional background, which is a challenge unless you live in a high population area with many historical societies in a small land area. We love living in Wisconsin in a small town. We love our friends here and our schools and the atmosphere. We love the way we can get nearly everywhere in town on bike (if we wanted). So getting back into the museum field without us moving could have been a challenge.

But, the jobs popped up, one here, one there. There was one about 45 minutes away, but sounded very interesting. Unfortunately, the website with the announcement was outdated, because they had already hired someone for the posted position when he checked. Let this be a lesson to all (including me), keep your websites updated!

Then, it seemed almost providential, a nearby town with its historical society had a new job announcement. Mr. Wild read the description and said, "I can do that." And the whole process went well. They called for the phone interview. Mr. Wild was nervous, "I haven't done this in years." They called him back for an in-person interview. Trying on work clothes for Mr. Wild was a bit harrowing. We won't mention how it seems all the clothes shrank in the last five years. They were pleased with him and called him back for an interview with the staff.

Then, they called him with the position. He was thrilled. I was thrilled for him. It is always nice to be chosen for a job. Then reality set in. We didn't know how we were going to be a two income family again. Did we want to? Mr. Wild and I have grand ideas of maybe we could switch places. But extenuating circumstances at this point won't allow us to switch.

[I'm going to add a dig into the health care debate. His job offers no health insurance, mine does at very low cost. I tried to look up the cost for family health care at the level I have it, and we could not afford that on our own, not with orthodontics and the kids being in sports and glasses and everything else. If there had been a public option at a reasonable price for the whole family, well then....]

We did find afterschool care for the kids. It is a good price and both are doing well with it. For my son, the afterschool care is at the school and he gets his homework done during those hours, then can come home and relax with us. I think for him, this transition is fine, and maybe even really good for him. He's at the point where he won't listen to us grownups, can be distracted by what we have at home, so the afterschool program allows him to get his homework done and then be relaxed at home. For WC#2, I think it's a harder transition. She was extra huggy the first week, to both of us, but now she seems to be settling in a routine. She's good about doing her homework after she gets home to see us.

The hardest thing, I think, is for Mr. Wild to change his focus and mindset. He liked being at home when the kids came from school. He misses those two hours before I come home. I never understood this was the case, because, to me, he would often seem frustrated with the kids when I got back, but I think that just comes with the territory. I don't know if I can be of much help, because I have always been at work. I cherish the weekends and other spare time I have with the kids, but I don't think I know that feeling of not being there.

He says he always feels overwhelmed with how much he has to do at this new place and is not able to concentrate. Granted, he's only been back a total of seven days. I keep telling him to give himself more time than seven days.

I'm not sure how long we will be able to stay in this pattern. I think we both believe we needed to give it a try. Especially since this job would be good on his resume and not some random job he could have held. It's kind of a wait and see situation. I believe in Mr. Wild, after he has six months or more to get into a routine, I think things will go well.

But I think we both might really be happy if we could both be at home. Funny that.

1 comment:

Christine Gram said...

It's always awkward for a while when the family dynamic changes in some way. We are thinking about moving back to the states, which would mean I am no longer at home with the kids after school. But I love my job... in the end it always seems to work itself out I think.

Good luck with the adjustments!