It's just money

Megan was offered a new job a few days ago. Well, not a new job, just some additional hours, work -- and pay -- tacked onto the job she already does.

Megan is a pre-K teacher, working five mornings a week at a private elementary school. The new offering involves taking on an extra class, extending her Monday, Wednesday and Friday workdays to full days in the classroom ... full days with four-year-olds.

Now, I'm definitely not one of those women who swears moms should be home with their kids and cries that there will be irreparable psychological damage to the kiddos if Mommy puts on her big-girl panties each day and keeps a firm foothold on her career path.

Nor am I a flag-waving proponent of working moms and all they do and stand for.

I've been in both positions as a mother: I've worked full-time and I've stayed at home with the kids. There are downsides -- and upsides -- to both. I can't say one is better than the other, and I truly believe most moms do the best they can under whatever circumstances they're facing, and make choices based on those circumstances ... and what is best for their children ... and for themselves.

And those choices are their right, their business, and not fodder for judgement no matter what their choice may be.

That said, I cringed when Megan told me about the job offer.

"Don't do it, Megan!" I wanted to shout and cry and beg. "Unless, of course, you move near me so I can take care of Bubby on a daily basis while you hang out with the four-year-olds!"

But I kept my mouth shut. It's a decision she and Preston have to make ... not me ... no matter how much I still want to control and direct the lives my kids lead. So I just shut up and waited to hear back on what decision they made.

Like all young parents -- heck, all people lately -- Megan and Preston could use the extra money. They're struggling, to a certain degree, like all the rest of us of late, and a few extra thousand dollars could certainly come in handy.

But it's just money.

I think Megan has found the perfect balance with the part-time gig she's got going on. She's making use of her (expensive) college education. She's maintaining a social network independent of the mommy circle. She's bringing in a chunk of change for the family coffers. Plus, Bubby's hours in daycare socialize him to a degree not likely to come from once-a-week playdates.

It's the perfect balance. And I hate the thought of her giving that up.

I've been there, done that, been out of balance in terms of career versus family. Heck, it took me until my daughters were in high school to find my balance! So my heart just sings at the balance Megan found early, a balance that works for her, for Bubby, for the family finances.

What she'd be giving up isn't worth it, I think.

And Megan told me yesterday that she and Preston think the same thing. She turned down the job.

I'm so thankful -- for Bubby and for Megan.

It's just money. And proof that Megan and Preston have learned well and learned early that life isn't just about the money.

I'm proud of you guys! <cue the Mr. Rogers "Proud of You" song.>

On another note ...

Today's question from "The Christmas Conversation Piece":

If you could take a how-to course in anything related to the Christmas season, in what course would you want to enroll?

My answer: I'd like to learn how to feel like all I've done was enough. I never feel like I bought enough gifts, made enough cookies, put up enough holiday decorations. Any therapists out there offering such classes??