My Mission: Impossible?

We're back with MommyBrain and SupahMommy for All About MEme Monday.  This week's topic: our very own missions impossible.  This works well for this blog because it will help answer two very important questions:  How the {insert four-letter word of choice} did I end up here? and What do I do now?

Let us flash back to two and a half years ago, when friend and fellow fourth-grade teacher R and I concocted The Plan.  Both of us were transplanted here by the Corporate Behemoth (Microsoft) and our husbands, had just bought houses for outrageous prices, and were now starting to think about kids.  The Mission:  try to balance working and staying home without costing ourselves our entire salary in daycare.

The solution we crafted?  We would share a classroom and the child care.  Every day one of us would drop our infant off at the other's house and head to work while the other would spend the day with the two babies.  It was perfect, right?  It would cost us nothing in day care, we were already teammates who worked together well, and we trusted each other to love and care for our precious little ones.  We got to be teachers and have a work life and still spend the majority of the week with our babies.  Brilliant, right?

Yeah, by now all you mothers out there are laughing and shaking your heads, I know.  We were so naive.  This occurred to me as I was sitting there nursing my son, a year and a half later (when he was about a month old), thinking about how the freaking hell I thought I could handle TWO of these.  I know, people with twins do it all the time, but in that case the crucial point is this:  They are both yours RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING.  In our case, the boys were not quite five months apart, so that seems like it should be easier, right?

Wrong.  What that age difference really meant was that they were NEVER on the same eating, napping, or awake schedule.  R and I were constantly on the move, barely a moment to sit down, eat, or go to the bathroom.  Suddenly caring for 26 fourth-graders on the work days seemed easy by comparison.  And even that was no picnic as the kids quickly settled into a two-parent routine with their two teachers:  If you don't like the answer one teacher gave, just wait a day or two and ask the other.  If you don't know what the homework is, tell your mom that it's because the teachers told you different things!  Many people underestimate the intelligence of ten-year-olds.  These people have never spent any time with one.

There are many, many other challenging (and wonderful) aspects of our situation, but let's get right to the point.

The revised mission:  Survive the school year with two healthy boys, our friendship still intact, and some shred of sanity.

Let's see how we did:

Well, the boys seem fine.  Now they walk and talk, do all the amazing and aggravating things toddlers do, and love to hang out together (or at least, near each other, unless there aren't two of the same toy, of course).

Our friendship also appears to be unscathed.  My proof?  For my birthday R bought me two tickets to see a play and babysat for my son while my husband and I had a date.  I know she must love me because she did so on the day her sister flew in from New York to visit and told me it was no problem.

As for our sanity?  Well, we had just enough left by the end of the year to decide NEVER TO DO THIS AGAIN.

And that, folks, is how I ended up here, on leave for the year while I concoct a New Plan.

The next seemingly impossible mission?  That would probably be trying to find a part-time teaching job that doesn't require endless hours of communication with a teaching partner (even if I adore her) and the students' parents, one that pays enough for stellar day care on my working days.  Ha.

Also being able to once again park in my garage.  No, I'm not talking about parking a car.  Even being able to park a double stroller would be counted as a success at this point. 

Wish me luck.

P.S.  I know, you teachers out there want to know how our fourth graders did last year.  We don't know.  SInce we got out of Dodge, there are no fifth grade teachers to ask.  This is possibly a VERY GOOD THING.


  1. I must be crazy b/c I think your idea sounded brillant! I'm a former 5th grade teacher...and I can easily imagine that it's easier to be in the classroom than to be home with 2 so close in age!

    That's impressive that your district let you do that in the first place. i'm so jealous!

  2. Another post script. I used MommyBrain's link to the spy name generator and came up with these gems:
    Diva Grey and Foxy Dancer. Excellent!

    Shell, it is lucky we have part-time options. If only I'd waited and used it in conjunction with day care instead of trying to be Super Woman. Lesson learned.

  3. You guys are super women! I'm impressed you lasted the year (or at least part of it!). The work/life balance is certainly the most challenging part of raising a family. But seeing those smiles on the kids faces every day makes it all worth while. You forget - which is how people end up with more than one kid!

  4. You did such a great job of mentally "revisiting" that Plan ... the good, the bad, and the ugly ... of the Plan. Isn't hindsight tremendous?! :)

    Here's to figuring out what we "want to be when we grow up" and making that happen without sacrificing our sanity!

  5. IT SOUNDED GOOD TO ME until you told me their ages .:) LMAO!! OH.. to teach .. is to dedicate your entire soul and it SUCKS sometimes. lol! Especially when you have a little one you'd rather dedicate it to. I had 5th grade my final year... I took MommyBrains placE.. big shoes to fill.. AND I HATED IT!! LMAO..

    Good luck finding that happy medium. I found it working in a childcare center... terrible pay but enough to make a difference and have my kids right near me. I also weasled my way up into an admin position utilizing my terribly awesomeness educational background and created myself a position.. I'm resourceful like that!! Best wishes!


  6. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I wouldn't have made it with two little kids. I give you and your friend major props!

    You asked about my kids...well they are good and you should really check out elinores blog!

  7. Just want to say good luck taking charge of things and getting your life were you want it to be. It is hard work but worth it.