2 things

On Monday, I took the day off to take MacKenna to the eye doctor.  I’ve had 2 things on my mind since then that I can’t seem to shake…

(Side note:  Don’t you hate when you write down an appointment wrong?  This is the 2nd one in a week that I had wrong.  Last week, I had written down my yearly ENT appointment for 4:50, but the receptionist didn’t hesitate to tell me my appointment was scheduled for 4:30.  I SWEAR I didn’t write that down wrong.  It takes some effort to put an appointment in my phone for 4:50, NOT 4:30.  Ugh.  Then, Monday, I wrote the appointment down for Monday morning at 8:30 when it was really Tuesday at 8:30.  SOOOOOO very thankful they could get us in later that day since I really couldn’t take another day off work.  Ugh, stupid mommy brain.  End side note.)

(1) We are so fortunate that this whole eye thing isn’t so much worse.  Yes, in the beginning, when everything was unknown, it was super scary.  But, now that we know it was caused by a virus and not something more serious or life threatening/altering, it’s no big deal.

Our appointment Monday was mostly a success.  The ophthalmologist saw the same improvements we’ve been seeing over the past 3 weeks.  Her eye is now going about 2/3 of the way over – still not totally to the outside of her eye, but she can at least go past midline, which is HUGE.  So, we’re thankful for that.

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However, the new concern is that when her eye is “resting”, it rests toward the inside (crossed).  MacKenna’s eyes are attempting to work together, but her medial (inner) eye muscle is much stronger than her lateral (outside) eye muscle, so she still is technically cross eyed, even though her lateral muscle is working again.  The way to fix that, unfortunately, is through surgery.  With the surgery, he will go in and loosen up her medial muscle.  This will help her lateral muscle pull more toward the outside and hopefully straighten out her eye.  It’s an outpatient procedure and he won’t have to cut a muscle, which is a good thing.  He is giving us another 2 weeks to see if it improves, but it looks like surgery is probably in the near future.  With adults, you would normally wait 6 months, but since this is such an important developmental time for her, he doesn’t want to wait that long.

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Like I said, even with the thought of surgery, I’m thankful this is not a nightmare.  This could be sooooo much worse.  We are so lucky that God has been looking out for us – for MacKenna – and a simple surgery is all that she will hopefully need – at the worst.  I’m even OK if we have to have follow- up visits for the rest of her life, and glasses, etc.  She’s still a happy, healthy baby, and really, that’s all I could ever ask for!

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(2) I really, really, REALLY want to be a stay-at-home mom.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do love my job and I am thankful DAILY for the fact that I have the job I do.  It’s not the easiest job and I never knew I could be so mean in my life ever, but I still love what I do.  And thankfully, I get plenty of time off – summers, every holiday, and lots of other random days.

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But, nothing can compare to how I feel when I get to spend the day with my child.  Matt even said that Monday was the happiest he had heard me in a long time.  Maybe it’s the stress of a new job, the stress of hard kids, the stress of not feeling like I have enough time in the day to get everything I need and want to get done.  But, I know that my heart longs to stay at home with MacKenna.

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Is it even a possibility?  Maybe.  But, we definitely wouldn’t have the same luxuries that we have now.  We wouldn’t be able to save for the future.  We would probably have to stay in our house even longer than we would like.  We couldn’t live as comfortably as we do now.  It’s not that I have to work.  But, I enjoy all the things we can do now (and in the future) as a family and I’m not sure it would be worth that stress.  Geez, which stress is worse?!  Ugh.  I wish it were just that easy.

I will try to look at the bright side of my job, which there is plenty of.  I LOVE coaching and see myself moving up sometime in the next few years.  Our whole school structure will be changing next year as well as my job description (I won’t just be teaching 8th grade – thank GOD!).  I love the staff and feel like I was meant to be teaching out there (at least right now).  Plus, we’re are just about done with the semester, which means rinse and repeat and it’s summer break!

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And then I’ll get my time as a stay at home mom.  When is telecasting going to be a trend in the school world?

Are you a working mom?  Do you ever wish you could stay home with your kids?

  • I will be praying for MacKenna and her eye. You have such a good outlook, Kristen. I can’t imagine thinking about surgery with my little one, as neither of my boys have had to have anything of that sort! Scary! I’ll be thinking of you guys and praying for major improvement quickly.
    Sometimes I miss work, honestly, and I never ever thought I would say that, but I do. That being said, we have made a lot of sacrifices an have a lot of help from family to be able to afford me not to work and I’m very grateful for that. I would miss my baby boy (and be a nervous wreck for obvious reasons!) if I did have to start working again! Hugs, lady. Hoping for all to get better soon!!! Enjoy your upcoming Christmas break!!
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  • Amanda

    I’m a stay at home mom and it’s completely where I was meant to be. Can I suggest that if you really feel pulled you pray about whether that’s God? Sometimes, what we think are obstacles move out of the way. Or perhaps you’d find more peace where you are.

  • Kristen

    I am a working mom of a 6 month old. Everyday I wish I was a stay at home mom. The guilt of having her in daycare kills me, especially when she is sick. I was hoping this feeling would lessen as she got older. Your positive is that you get the holiday vacation and the summer break…treasure those days!
    I am reader of your blog because I live in STL too and love to run. My heart went out to you when I read about McKenna’s eye. You never want anything to happen to your baby! But I am glad she seems to be improving.

  • I’m a working mom and I wish I could work part time instead of full time so I could spend more time with my daughter. We live in an incredibly expensive area of the country and, like you, we could live off of one salary but then we couldn’t do all of the things that we want to do for and with our family. So I work full time and my husband and I make sure to spend as much quality time with our daughter as we possibly can before work, after work and on the weekends. Working full time, juggling a family and finding some way to have me time (ha!) is a challenge, but I think staying home would come with it’s own set of challenges. Grass is always greener, right?

    Just remember that MacKenna loves YOU, you are her mama and no one can ever, ever replace you. My mom stayed home with me and my sister and I think that’s part of the reason I feel so much guilt for working, but then I think about when my daughter is grown and has kids of her own. Maybe she won’t feel this same sort of guilt because having two working parents was her normal. If by working I’m sparing her that guilt, even though it’s far in the future and she may never realize it, then I’m glad to do it.

    On another note, I had the surgery you’re talking about for M when I was 18 months old and again when I was almost 17 years old. Mine was worse though because they did detach and then reattach my muscles (I was born cross-eyed). Happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure!
    Lisa @ The Splattered Apron recently posted..Gaiam TV Winner!

  • Melissa

    Good news on the eye! We are due in January with a little girl, we have decided to hold off on savings for a few years and not live as comfortable, although it will be more comfortable in other ways so I can stay Hm. We want 2/3 kiddos and won’t space them too far apart, but not to close. Then I’ll go back to work once the kids are all in school and start saving again. I really hope it works out. It’s such a tough decision, especially these days. Good Luck!

  • I just sent you a very long Facebook message, but I wanted to let you know that I had a very similar surgery to what MacKenna is having when I was 4. I had to wear huge bifocals for a while and my eyes still crossed when I was tired, but here I am now with above average eyesight, no glasses, and thankful my parents took me to the doctors when they did to correct the problem. MacKenna is very lucky to have concerned parents who knew something was wrong and are working hard to fix it. You are a wonderful mom and I know MacKenna is thankful to have you in her life. Good luck with everything. :)
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  • I will definitely be praying for MacKenna and your family!

    I just have to add my two cents to the SAHM thing – I am a SAHM, my husband and I knew that I would be, and honestly, I was just working a part time job before I had Molly anyway. But, if you pray about the situation, and feel like God is leading you to stay home, know that He will provide for you. Even though keeping my job was completely out of the question for us, we weren’t sure how we would be able to get by with our bills, but trusted that it would work out, and it did! My husband got a raise offer not even a month after Molly was born! It was a definite answer to prayers and it made me confident that we did the right thing. So my recommendation? Pray about it and trust God!
    Megan @ My Path in Motherhood recently posted..(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, vol. 7

  • Erika

    I would love to be a stay-at-home-mom but we can’t make it financially without me working. While I was pregnant we tried every possible option for me to be able to stay at home but we have our health insurance through my work and it just cost too much to get it anywhere else (I hate the insurance world). I look forward to the weekends all week long for 2 full days at home with our son. Maternity leave was the best 3 months ever!

  • She is so adorable. Hope the surgery goes well if she has it.
    I am a working mom. I could not afford to be a stay at home mom because I am the “breadwinner.” I actually have no desire to be a stay at home mom. I think summers off would be nice or working part time, but I have to work for my sanity. Plus I went to school for many years so I could get a good job. I think it depends on your personality. My sister stays at home with her two kids. She loves it but she also gets lonely for adult time. hah.
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    • Beth

      I feel the same way, Sarah. It helps that my son goes to an amazing babysitter. He has a lot more fun at her house with the other babies than I could provide for him at home.

      Remember that the first year teaching somewhere is the toughest- even for an experienced teacher. Being new isn’t ever easy. We all have our bad days, weeks. Kids are especially worked up before the holidays because for some of them, their life is unpredictable without school. I’m trying my best to be empathetic and understanding during these weeks which isn’t easy when I am being talked back to. However, when I think about how my student is going to spend Christmas, I give her a little slack. Her world is about to be turned upside down for 12 days. After break I will remind students of routines and expect more out of them behaviorally and academically.

      Winter break is so close! You can do it!

  • I’m glad that MacKenna’s eye is getting better, but my heart goes out to you on the surgery. Many, many prayers and thoughts will be send your week in the upcoming weeks!

    I am working mom and I have the urge to stay at home for the first year, year to a half (unfortunately, I only get to take about 8 weeks off paid). I love, love, love the baby stage. However, after about 18 months I am SO HAPPY that I can go work each day and have “my life” outside of my family. I’m sure it sounds horridly selfish, but I just cannot imagine not working. It helps that I love the challenge of my career and it provides me with a break from being mom. I think it also helps me balance my life better. That said – I am also really lucky that I have supportive coworkers and I love the people who help me raise my children. I do think if you believe it’s your calling to stay home, then you WILL make it happen at some point! It just might take a little time to work out. I hope you can find a way to make it work!
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  • So happy and thankful that M’s eye is improving!

    I was blessed with a wonderful job: My baby girl is 9 months old now and I work from home full time, doing what I love (being a technical scribe & editor). We have a (wonderful) nanny coming in every day to watch Baby Girl, but at least I have my girl nearby and I can steal a quick hug or kiss whenever I want. Both my job and our nanny were answers to prayer and is pure grace – I know an arrangement that is perfect for YOU is also out there. At the right time God WILL provide. x
    Karien recently posted..Around the pool in 24 breaks

  • I’m a new reader. I can totally relate. I never thought I could stay at home, but I work 4 days a week, and I just love that extra day at home. Nothing like spending time with your sweet one!

  • I’ve never commented on your blog, but I’m an avid reader! I found you through Jen’s blog (Runner’s Trials). I am a runner (who has taken a major break the last 4 months), I teach 8th grade, and I have a 10 month old! Tanner was born in February and I had to go back to school for the last two weeks. It was so tough, but I got a taste to see what working with a baby was like. I cried equal amounts of tears at the thought of leaving Tanner with someone else while I worked and tears about leaving teaching, because I LOVE it. After countless hours of deliberation, I decided to give work a try just to see what it was like this year and then re-evaluate. We lucked out and found an awesome sitter who has watched teacher’s kids for years. Even though I still don’t like dropping him off every morning and I feel guilty doing so and I miss him like crazy, I am very glad I have my own thing. Unfortunately, as you know, teaching is a CRAZY thing, so I’m often working at home when he goes to bed and “me” time rarely happens (thus the break from running). I do think that for me, working was the right decision. Ideally, I wish I could work part time and have the best of both worlds.

    For me it was one of those decisions where I didn’t really totally like either outcome – stress of work or stress of not being able to do things because of finances. My husband and I could make it on his salary, but it would be VERY tight.

    You will make the right decision. Whatever you decide is the right thing!
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  • When my first was born, I had the crazy urge to stay home that I fought for nearly two years. Finally, we were expecting our second child and I knew that the daycare costs wouldn’t make me not working seem like such a struggle. We took the plunge and honestly, I’m so so thankful we did. I am forever thankful for those years at home, even though living on one-income can be a challenge for sure.

    I spent four years as a stay at home home full-time and just this year accepted a part-time job, mainly because my youngest is in full-day preschool three days a week and being home with no kiddos was lonely! Now we are expecting baby number three, so I’m not entirely sure what will happen come spring. Just taking it one day at a time at this point…

    Good luck!
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  • Ashley Currie

    I am a SAHM, and honestly I don’t know if I could go back to work full time. Originally, I was suppose to find a part time job but I ended up falling into doing in home daycare, which I now absolutely love. It doesn’t bring in a huge amount financially but every bit helps. It allows me to stay home and still brings in some income. Also, I can tell you I have found O’fallon area has a lot of families that are looking for in home daycare.

    I will admit some days it gets lonely and is hard to feel like you have your identity, but in the end I know I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    I’ll keep your family in my prayers that you find the best thing for your family and little MacKenna’s eye continues to improve.

  • Julia

    I love all of your personal posts. Thank you so much for opening up. I’ve been thinking about MacKenna lots and I’m glad to hear the positive news, even though you also have to go through more procedures.

    I am married but don’t have any kids yet. I hope to get pregnant in the next year. I really want to have the option of being a stay at home mom. Right now I’m in the last yr of PhD program, so I’m careful about admitting to wanting to be a stay at home mom at school as I’m afraid they will wonder what I am doing in school. I’m hoping to go back to work when the kids go to kindergarden, but that would still mean taking many years off from making money. I’m not sure if my husband will be making much money or not. I’m comfortable living very simply and saving as much as possible for retirement. We will see what happens!

  • Jen

    I’m so sorry that M needs surgery! Even though things can be much worse, I know you still must be so scared. Praying for you guys!

    I hope you can be a SAHM one day. :) I’m going back to work FT in a couple of weeks and I am so, so nervous to leave Wyatt.

  • SO GLAD to hear about the improvement in MacKenna’s eye! I will be praying that she doesn’t need the surgery, but God has definitely been good! :)

    As for staying at home, I totally get you. Dave and I really weighed the pros and cons of me staying at home. We definitely won’t be living as comfortably since we’re losing 1/3 of our income and adding a mouth to feed, but we decided that, for us, it was the best decision. I’m really nervous about it–nervous about not having those luxuries we’re used to…and nervous about getting cabin fever and not having a life outside of the home. I just need to remind myself of why I’m doing it, instead of focusing on what I’m giving up (and that will probably be hard sometimes!).

    Hugs, friend! Praying for you guys!