Recently, Hus and I have been faced with the task of making a couple important decisions. And there are a few factors that have made these decisions rather difficult.
You see, my current job is non-continuing; I only have a one year contract and at the end of this school year (May 2012), there is a 50/50 chance that it will be renewed. This means that I have to go on the job market again this fall and that Hus and I have yet to "settle" anywhere, which is something that we desperately want to do. So although we know that we will be here until July/August 2012, we have no idea where we will be after that. This complicates any discussions about our future.
We live a little too far away from our jobs, our twins' childcare center, and the town in general. We currently live in Bridgewater and everything else (including the grocery store! Well, we have one in B-water, but it's really small and way more expensive) is about a 15-20 minute drive north to Harrisonburg. I know, who cares? Twenty minutes isn't that long of a drive. Believe me, I know. Hus and I are both from the DC area. We're used to multi-hour, traffic-filled drives to and from work each day. We get it. But 20 minutes in the car with hungry, screaming 2-year-olds is not much fun. And anyways, gas is expensive! So we really want to move closer. But houses are more expensive and moving sucks.
Then there's the whole childcare dilemma. When we first moved to Virginia, we had the kiddos in an amazing school. We loved the people, they loved our kids, and maybe more importantly, each and every woman there truly LOVED her job. I really think that the people who watch your kids have to wake up every morning LOVING what they do. These women did. Unfortunately, the center had to close down only 3 months after we started there. We had to scramble to find another center that had room available for TWO kids. It was tough. We found a center and the twins started the next week. The new place is just bleh. I don't love it, but I also don't hate it. I think the twins like it (now, at least) and I think that the women care about our children. But, I don't think that any of them (well, maybe one) like what they do. I get the impression that it's just a job for most of them. Something they know how to do, but not something they enjoy doing. Oh yeah, and they have our two-year-old twins (and all of the two-year-olds) in the same classroom as 3-, 4-, and some 5-year olds. Weird. Our kids look like infants next to their classmates. The age range is too large for me.
Well, about 3 weeks ago, I got a phone call from the woman who ran the original school (the one that we loved). She said that she was the director of a new center in Harrisonburg that would open in August 2011. It was more convenient to our current house, was going to cost less money each month, and the two-year-olds were going to be in their own classroom. Of course! Just as our kids were getting used to this new place (they've been there for 7 months now), we get a GREAT opportunity to switch them again. Did I mention that when we switched centers back in November, the kiddos acted up and regressed for about 3 weeks? Well, they did. And, it was not fun. They woke up a lot at night and cried incessantly when we left them and were much more cranky on the weekends. So the decision to switch seemed clear, but we were still apprehensive about rocking their world again.
Decisions like these are tough. Whenever something has the ability to cause friction in your relationship or significantly change your life together, it’s not going to be easy. And believe me; they will happen many times during your shared life. Whether you or your partner wants to change careers, start a career, open a business, work less hours, work more hours, become a stay-at-home parent, stop being a stay-at-home parent, go to school, quit school, buy a car, buy a house, move to another city, or have a baby, talking it out is important.
You want to discuss all of the options available before a decision is made, voice your opinion about the matter, and listen to your partner's opinion. During your discussion, you could determine when the change will occur and if and how the change will impact you, your relationship, your family, your finances, your location, and your future. Will you need to relocate for this change? Will you need to use your savings or sell your house, car, or other possessions to pay for this change? How much stress are the two of you expecting to experience as a result of this change? How do you both plan to deal with this stress? Answering these questions, and others, will help you work through the issue.
After talking it out several nights last week, Hus and I decided to stay in our current house and switch childcare centers in August. We identified all of the pros and cons to each choice and it was clear in the end what we needed to do. Just don't expect any posts from me in August. I have a feeling it's going to be a rough month.
**By the way, I'm finishing up my book (Make Love, Not Scrapbooks: And 9 Other Research-Based Love Tips to Intensify Your Relationship), which is why I haven't been blogging a whole lot (Okay, I haven't been blogging at all). More information about the book and it's release date are on the way. And I promise, when the book is published, I'll blog more. I promise.