A friend asked me recently what I do to get a break from the demands of my everyday life: from the constant noise, mess, decision-making, and physical labor involved in parenting (and homeschooling) five children – with a husband and a bunch of animals thrown in, too.
In the past, I would have mentioned rising at dawn for daily quiet time to recharge my spirit, or how my husband sometimes watches our children for a chunk of hours on the weekend to give me a rest, or the occasional two-day retreat (the last of which happened three years ago).
But this time I had a quick response: “I go to work!”
That’s right: After a decade of unpaid labor raising the next generation and managing our family’s little world, I have rejoined the paid workforce as a library substitute. This is what happens when you’re good friends with your town’s Children’s Librarian, and you offer to help when she bemoans the current sub shortage. The next thing I knew, I was filling out tax forms and being trained to work behind the desk that I’ve stood in front of thousands of times.
The wonderful thing about being a sub is that I can work within a schedule of my choosing. My children don’t go off to school every weekday (well, they do, but I am the school). Working on weekdays during the school year would be near-impossible, but I’m more than ready to leave the house by Saturday. That’s why you’ll find me behind Ilsley Public Library’s youth desk every Saturday in May and June.