Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I've reached that point...

where I completely resent the situation I'm in. Let me be very clear about this. I do not resent my husband. What I resent is the fact that I'm underemployed.
Why? Because this fact means that we cannot afford full-time child care. The girls only go 3 days a week (MWF), the days that I have to teach, and I stay home with them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are times when this is enjoyable. Today, however, was not one of them. Today, it felt like a reminder that I have failed to get a full-time academic job. It was a reminder that I'm not SAHM material, nor have I ever wanted to be a SAHM. It was a reminder that I will very likely have to make a decision soon about whether or not to leave academia (even though there's absolutely no reason to think it will be any easier to get a job outisde of academia). Ultimately, it was a reminder that I'm in this position *not* by choice, but by circumstance, and nothing grates on me worse than feeling like I've been forced into something.
I understand that there are just some bad days occasionally. Yes, today was one helluva bad day. One simple fucking errand--to exchange two pairs of jeans for the correct size at Kohls with all three kids in tow--turned into me sobbing while driving down the road. Eliza was patient as she tried on three pairs, making sure we got the size that fit, and it all went down hill after that. Amelia climbing out of the child seat on the cart, running around the check-out area, grabbing stuffed animals, flailing on the ground, only then for me to realize I grabbed the WRONG size off the shelf. Customers behind me staring, but nodding understandingly, the cashier realizing how full my hands were, and me having to go back to the children's aisle again. Then, standing in line to try a second time for the exchange, while I hold a screaming, kicking Amelia and everyone around stares at me. Hannah was with me, and she did the best she could to help out, walking away with Amelia and keeping her occupied while I finished up. But, the damage was done.
By the time we left the store and headed home, I'd had enough and I just burst into tears. The girls rarely see me cry, so it was a bit of a shock to them. Amelia was still crying, but even Eliza tried to calm her down. We continued with our plans for the day, but by the time Hubby got home at 2:30, it was all I could do not to pack a suitcase, head out of town, and book a hotel room for a few days.
Because of the new Shakespeare classes, I literally have more work (class prep and grading) to do this semester with less time to do it. This doesn't just affect work load for teaching, but it completely eliminates ANY possibility of doing my own research, another thing I've come to resent.
I applied for several local community college jobs, as well as an administrative job at our school, all with no luck. I've never felt so demoralized, anxious, and uncertain as I do now. The academic job market in my field has completely dried up for the season; there is no more "Spring market." So, now what? I'm guessing running away isn't the answer, but the conference trip I have in a few weeks certainly couldn't come at a better time.
**Note: this was drafted last Tuesday, but I'm just now getting to post it.