- Rewind to July 2008. I was working for a daily newspaper selling advertising. I didn't hate my job, and I have to admit I made some good money, but I didn't love it either. So, I decided to leave my current 'career' behind and go back to school full time. I had been working on my Masters degree part time for a few years, but quitting my full time job meant I could concentrate on school and actually finish my degree. And that is just what I did, thanks to my very supportive and budget-nazi husband. In August 2008 I enrolled full time as a student at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and began 'working' as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, teaching two public speaking courses each semester. I use the term 'working' lightly in this case, as I loved teaching and I barely consider teaching in the classroom six hours week and working in the Speech Center four hours a week work. I also picked up a few hours a week babysitting in order to make a little extra cash. So begins my journey to becoming a stay-at-home wife.
- Fast forward to March 2009....My husband took a job for a company in his native Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He moved to Edmonton in March while I finished out my school year and prepared for a move to a different country. We immediately began my permanent residency process. Originally we thought that as soon as we 'passed' the first phase of the residency process, I would be able to apply for a work permit...WRONG!
- NAFTA to the rescue! After about a million emails and a couple of meeting, I was offered a very part time job teaching online courses at a university in Edmonton. Thanks to NAFTA, I was able to get a temporary work permit and begin 'working'. (That was after three versions of what turned out to be a two-page offer letter, a one night stay in an Econo Lodge, crossing the border only to cross back over it again. Well, that's a story for another time.) Again I use the term 'working' lightly as I love teaching and meet with my students two hours a week. Sure there is some preparation and grading involved, but nothing close to 40 hours a week.
So that brings you up-to-date. Yes, I slept in until 11 a.m. today. Yes, I did a little laundry but nothing else when it comes to housework. Yes, I ventured out for the first time in two days to get some milk, garbage bags and a new shovel. Yes, I went out for drinks tonight with my husband and his friends and no, I didn't worry that we didn't go out until 10:30 p.m. Yes, it is 1 a.m. and I have no plans of going to bed anytime soon. Who cares?
Sure I worry about what this looks like to future employers when I do finally get my permanent residency and can begin working full time. Sometimes I feel guilty that my husband has to go to work every day and I get to sleep in. Yeah money is tighter than we are used to, but we are getting by. Yes I get lonely staying at home all day by myself. I could probably keep the house a little cleaner and cook more elaborate meals for my husband, but I am enjoying playing with the dog, working out occassionally at the gym when hardly anyone is there and taking the time to discover new hobbies and revisit old hobbies. When we first moved and I would meet people who would ask what I did, I jokingly said I was a stay-at-home dog mom before explaining the whole work permit issue. You know what, I don't care anymore. I'll admit....I am a stay-at-home wife and I LOVE it!!!!