Balancing a career and family

For the past eight years I have been going to school part-time, working just a couple days a week, and raising a family. This past spring I have officially graduated with my bachelors degree in environmental science; this has been one of my greatest accomplishments thus far.

After graduating high school I started college and only a few months in I became pregnant with my first child. Ever since then, school and work have become part-time gigs because being a mom came first. Eight years and three kids later I now am officially a college graduate.

But there is one person I cannot thank enough for helping me get through college and sacrificing his own education so that I could get mine. He always put my needs first and worked his work schedule around my classes so that I was not inconvenienced at all. He put his education on hold so that I didn’t have to and I cannot possibly thank him enough for that. He is the father of my children, my love, and my future husband.

He was right there by my side the whole time. There were so many nights I spent hunched over my computer and textbooks trying to finish lab reports, projects, essays, etc. He would try his best to distract the boys so that I could finish what I’m doing. Or he would come up behind me and give be THE BEST neck and shoulder massage that would have me close to passing out cold on my laptop LOL. Or when I would be stressing out and sweatily whipping out my homework, he would try his best to calm me down and help me to realize that everything is going to be okay and that stressing out about it will only make it worse.

Well now that I am done with my schooling, I have begun to casually look for a job/potential career. I am excited and nervous. The thought of actually starting a career has me second guessing my plans. I have enjoyed the past 8 years of part time jobs and schooling while being home most of the time to raise my boys. I have enjoyed my freedom and the excitement of starting each day with my boys, not knowing exactly what fun adventures we would get ourselves into.

The thought of starting this new lifestyle with a 9 to 5 job scares me. Oh how nice it would be to finally not have to worry about money as much as we have. It would be great to finally start saving and investing money instead of just managing to break even with bills each month. But is it worth it? Is it worth all the time I will miss during the days with my boys?

This summer, so far, has been the BEST! It is the first summer with all 3 of my boys, since my youngest was born last fall. I have been making new memories everyday with them. Everything from our lazy mornings, picnic lunches, long walks in the woods, bubbles, pool time at Meema’s, playgrounds, ice cream, camps, baseball and soccer games, bonfires, outside until sundown, etc…. the list could go on and on.

So what do I do? I do not want to miss any minute of their young lives. My boys are 7, 4, and 8 months, and I feel that time goes by way to fast. Having a career would be nice; I could finally put my schooling to use and not have to worry as much about finances. Decisions, decisions….

I am torn.