When the principal called and told me the school board had approved my hiring, the first question I asked was who I'd be working with. You see, both cooks from the school retired last year and that meant an entire regime change. I was a bit nervous as the other person hired would be my constant companion in a rather small space for the next....well....20 years or so at least, depending on retirement age. The name the principal gave me was not unknown nor was it a surprise, but I had never actually spoken to her.
It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Miss T and I get along swimmingly. We are just different enough to give us something to talk about all day long and just similar enough to share feelings on important matters as well as a slightly twisted sense of humor. We spend most of our day chatting and laughing but when the time comes for quite neither of us takes issue with it. We work equally hard and both take suggestions from the other with ease.
I fully believe the Lord has blessed me with a good work companion and a new friend.
People keep asking me if I like my new job. The truth is- I do. I enjoy seeing the FarmHands going about their days. I enjoy being in a building full of kids. The faculty is a great group and not a day goes by without a good laugh brought to the kitchen by a teacher or secretary or such. I like cooking. It's easier when no one can whine, "But I don't like that!" and expect you to do anything about it. I love that the answer to that one is always, "Then don't eat it." There is a learning curve that I'm in the middle of. There is stress. There are times I feel I might pull my hair out, but for the most part, I truly enjoy what I do. The waking up at 4:45 am, I could do without, but it's a small compromise.
My other concern with working outside the home was that life on the Farm would fall to pieces. Dishes would pile up all week and garbage would never get taken out. The bathrooms would grow a fine layer of mildew and stink to all high heaven. Laundry would set in the hampers until everyone ran out of clean underpants.
You see, for the past 15 years, Husband and I have had a serious division of labor. He's handled all the outside chores while I've kept house, cooked, and looked after the children. We've been very 1963 and happy with the arrangement. I've never really mowed the lawn or used the weed eater. He doesn't know how to load the dishwasher and was a bit apprehensive of the front load washer.
With my return to the work force things have changed. The change has been rather seamless and I've been pleasantly surprised. Husband gets the kids ready for school in the morning. He does washes dishes daily. He folds laundry when necessary. He made friends with the vacuum. He's even cooked a few meals here and there. Mister Mom he is not, but the weight of the inside of our house is not resting solely on my shoulders. In all honesty, I think my Summer of Recovery helped ease him into this new role.
I get home around 1:40 pm and he leaves for work at 2:10 pm giving us a full 30 minutes of time to catch up on our days. Not ideal, but better than missing each other entirely and being forced to communicate solely via email through the week. I'm getting used to cramming all the information he needs into the first few minutes I'm home each day and I try to relax and enjoy our brief time alone every afternoon.
But once he's gone- it's me time. Time truly, honestly, just for me. I could hurry up and clean the bathrooms or strip beds, but instead I unwind. I sit and read or watch something targeted entirely at adults. I guiltlessly scan Facebook or Pintrest to my heart's content. Then, at 4 o'clock, the bus pulls up and life stats all over again.
It's not easy, but God has provided small mercies to buffer all these changes and I am extraordinarily thankful.