The Time I Gave Up One Dream Job for Another

Kathy Glow essays

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There were about four things I played when I was little. They involved either being a mommy, being in school, acting out whatever book I was currently reading, or solving some kind of Scooby-Doo mystery.

As I got older, it was clear I had neither the confidence to be an actress nor the cleverness to be a detective. And with no baby daddy in sight, I decided to be a teacher.

I really loved the school environment and being a teacher. I earned my Master’s Degree and had dreams of becoming a college professor.

But I still longed to be a mommy.

Eight years into my teaching career, I met “The One,” my frog prince.  We got married, and I wanted to become a mommy right away.

But, it wasn’t that easy. Sure there were a lot of tests I had to take—and many I failed—but there was no set plan or course of action that would eventually land me my dream job.

A year and half into our marriage and a year into our fertility journey, I decided to take my dream job—coordinating a Master’s Degree program for teachers at the University. I could work on my doctorate and eventually become a professor— my often dreamed of grown-up job. If I couldn’t be a mommy, that is.

In some weird twist of fate, right before I was set to move into my on-campus office, I found out I was pregnant with twins.

What to do, what to do . . .I had always imagined myself as a stay-at-home mother, and I had my husband’s green light to do so.

I could still work though, right? The campus had a day care. I would make it work.

But then, at 20 weeks, I had to go on bed rest because of preterm labor. And I found out one of my twins would be born with a birth defect. The choice was harder now.

I tried to work from home, laptop ever by my side. But it was hard. All I could think about were those babies and how I didn’t want to leave them once they were here.

The choice suddenly became some cruel joke: Oh, look, you can have all the things you ever wanted, but only ALL AT ONCE!

The more I thought about it, and the more I thought about the special care one of my sons would need, the more the choice became obvious to me. With fingers trembling and with tears in my eyes, I called my supervisor at the University and told her my decision. I was picking the mommy dream job over the college dream job.

Over a decade later, I am preparing to return to teaching. My old job has been filled by a very capable colleague of mine who has no plans to leave it, and I have a lot to learn about what’s new in education.

But I don’t regret my decision to stay home for one second. Though I’ve not loved every minute of it, I wouldn’t trade any of those minutes. I’ll have to work my way back up the ladder—lots of women do —but I don’t mind. I think I can have it all.

Just not all at once.

What do you think—Can a woman have it all, and all at the same time?

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About the Author

Kathy Glow

Kathy Glow lives in a house of all males-a husband and four lively boys. When she is not wiping boy stuff off walls or driving all over town in her mini-van, she is blogging about what life is really like after all your dreams come true, including the loss of one of her sons to cancer. Her blog is .

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