Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Monday, July 03, 2006

Possibilities for the Future

I'm in a career quandary. I just have no idea what I'm doing professionally, and having this baby is complicating everything.

On the one hand, my part-time high school Latin teacher job makes a lot of sense right now. I will have time with my new baby (due in 4 weeks) and I'll also be able to keep one foot in the door of the teaching profession. But on the other hand, I don't always enjoy teaching like I wish I did. Constant grading. Discipline problems. Racking my brains for ways to make a dead language interesting.

I suppose I just don't feel like Latin teaching is my calling in life. I'm also in this masters in library science program, and I'm not sure librarianship is my calling in life either. But I do think I might really enjoy promoting literacy, helping kids find information for reports, doing storytime, etc.

Problem is, being a librarian is a full time job. Around here, there just aren't part time librarians. And I don't think I want to work full time at this point in my life, when I'll be having and raising babies. But what happens to me professionally then? I get my MLS degree in a couple of years and then just sit on it until my kids get into school. I'll be obsolete then. No one will hire me. I will have gotten that degree for nothing.

It's all really complicated. I feel that I'm professionally at my strongest right now. Energetic, somewhat confident in my abilities, desirous of being productive and a part of the community. Ironic that this is also the point in life where I need to have babies, if I want a family (and I do), and that means - for me - taking steps off the fast track and watching my experience and degrees become more and more meaningless as the years pass.

Perhaps I went about this all wrong. Maybe it is smart to have babies young and then get into your profession in your 30's. Or maybe it's better to have them later in your 30's after your career path is already established. That way you may have the negotiating ability to work part time for a while or job share or whatever.

I will say, however that at least I have a lot of choices, and I feel free to make them without too many social or church ramifications. I feel bad for LDS men since they just don't have the same flexibility when it comes to their careers. If they work part time, or want to take time off to help raise children, I'm afraid our LDS culture would consider them slackers or "unworthy" in some ways.


Blogger jana said...

What if you continue on with the MLS, and while your kids are young you can be a super-volunteer at local libraries, so when you're ready to retur to work you've got several years of library service (albeit as a volunteer rather than as a paid worker) under your belt?

7/10/2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

That's a good possibility. Though I still worry they won't take me seriously if I haven't had actual employment at a library. But yours is probably the best solution so far.

7/10/2006 8:22 PM  

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