Monday, January 11, 2010

Measured or Maybe Unmeasured

I was reminiscing the other day. Thinking about my past life. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and come along won't you?

After my hubby and I got married over 10 years ago, he was offered a great job and we moved away to a new city.

Finally after 2 months of searching and LOTS of baking (no kids ~ needed something to fill my time) I got a job as a Program Assistant in an autism program at a n Intermediate school district.

90% of the kids I worked with were severely autistic. They were in our program because their home school districts did not have programs that could accommodate them.

It was hard, stressful, and at times painful and frustrating.

Hair was pulled.
Body parts were bitten, scratched, hit and kicked (I still have scars).
Things were thrown.
Water bottles dumped.
Papers ripped.
Toys chewed.

But I can't even begin to explain to you how rewarding this job was and how sad I was when my hubby and I made the decision that I would stay home.

The way my heart would jump with excitement when a 12 year old non-verbal boy would make mmmmm sounds and mimic me when I said oooooh and aaaaah.

The joy I felt when I could get one student to walk to the noisy cafeteria, sit, and eat his lunch. Although he ate quickly, he DID it! He ate in a very chaotic atmosphere alongside his peers.

The sense of pride I felt when a student was successfully taught a way to cope instead of jumping up and pulling someone's hair or biting himself or another person.

Success was measured. Parents expressed their happiness to us. I enjoyed my coworkers and students.

And now I am going on 6 years of being a stay at home mom. I often wonder if I am doing enough. There is no raise, no evaluations, no feedback. And what at times feels like little appreciation.

My kids (not to mention my hubby) seem happy. They're healthy. They get good grades at school. They have a good understanding of God. But is it enough?

It makes me wonder anyway especially when my children ask me what I want to be when I grow up.

How do I make them understand that I want to be their mom, and foster love, respect, honesty faith and fun?

Some days, it I think it would be much easier to get the kids off to school and daycare, leave my house and go to work. But as unmeasured as my current job may be, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

I want to be here for Smiley's firsts, to greet Action and Sassy when they get off their buses. To cuddle, to read, to teach and to love them. And my pay check ~ a hug, a snuggle, a love note from Sassy, a success for them at school or in sports, or a giggle as we play. Those are the things that really mean the most, and their affect is UNMEASURABLE.

Happy Monday!

And don't forget to look for the Ordinary Miracles!


Lisa Anne said...

I thinks its so wonderful that you were able to work with autistic children. I've been around a few and I know what you mean about the feeling you get when you see them react or smile or respond. It's the definition of pure joy in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Tammy@ A Doctor in the House said...

You are truly blessed to be able to stay home. Somehow I've managed to stay home with all 3 of mine too. I am a teacher so I miss those moments of fulfillment in the classroom too. But the greatest classroom is the one of life and you are the best teacher your kids could ever have. My oldest is 19 and I'm now seeing how important it was to be there in those early years. Yep, unmeasurable!

Happy Mom said...

Your measure? Look at how happy those kidos are and how truely blessed your life is. From the outside, you are looking like the mommy standard.

Judy@cutest-little-things said...

If your family is happy - there's no greater job on earth!

I'm a full-time working mom and it has it's rewards - and it's heart's hard to not always be there when my son needs me or wants me...but on the other hand, I know that he's well cared for at his daycare, that he loves his friends there, and that our time together on holidays, evenings, weekends is truly quality time where I can devote myself solely to him!

I think moms have the hardest job and the TOUGHEST decisions! You just have to do what's right for you and yours!


the treat girl said...

Wowza!!!! I just was thinking about my career before I became a SAHM too!!!! I was a flight attendent for 17 years and just got together with my dear friend who still is.....on my way home my mind was wondering the same things.....and what do I want to be when I grow up!?! hmmmm.....