Saturday, May 12, 2012
Today was graduation day. I actually won't graduate until the end of August but the ceremony was today. Jacob and Matthew watched the entire ceremony and met me at the end with roses. I was so proud of them. Part of attending college, especially graduate school, is knowing that there will be sacrifices. My children made the biggest sacrifices. Matthew was just 2 years old when I began the program and Jacob turned 4 shortly after the school year began. They have missed having me around every evening and spending all of my time away from work with them. It's been tough. The first year I only got to spend about 3 days a month where I wasn't either working at my job or my internship. The second year was better although I was often doing homework. This past semester I have been spending 4 nights a week at either my internship or class although I have every weekend home with the kids. So was all of this sacrifice (time away from my kids, school work and student loans) worth it? I can say that answer is definitely yes. I am now in a career that I enjoy musch more than my last one. I get to spend every weekend and holidays at home with my children. I can easily take off work when I need a few hours to attend a school function or take my children to an appointment. I changed carees just over a year ago. Not only did I got to a job I enjoy much better but I also have a lot tension between work and my children. There are often conflicts between my children's activities and needs and my employment. My last employer addressed those conflicts quickly and without thought. Always go to work first. Work is always the number one priority unless the union contract said otherwise. My current employer also answers questions about those conflicts quickly. The supervisors tell us to never let work interfere with our family time and obligations. Children grow up quickly and the work will be there after the children's events. What a change in philosophy and one that I will never take for granted. So what did my degree and college sacrifices get me? A job I love. More time with my children. An employer who understands and believes that children have to come first and the work second. A lot of debt that I just hope will be payed off before I die. Its all worth it. I'm happier now and once school is finished I will have a lot more time with my children. I don't have to work weekends or holidays and I will soon have evenings off again.