This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.
For the past 3 years, I've been mostly a stay-at-home-mom. I've worked a few part-time jobs, but for the bulk of the time, I've been home with my kids. For the past year, I've supplemented our income by babysitting and it's been a huge blessing! I was able to earn enough to cover our grocery bill and my kids had regular play dates.
Any time a school counseling job was posted in the paper, my mom would show it to me and I'd hem and haw with guilt and insecurity. I didn't want to work full-time, but I live in a small town and if I pass up an opportunity, it may be gone for good. My most basic goal was to stay home to breastfeed my children. Sure, lots of awesome moms breastfeed and pump while at work, but Jake and I planned our lives around our goal of me being home with our infants.
It's been wonderful, and hectic. Finances are stretched beyond reason. I worry about being out of the professional loop. While I love babysitting, I've noticed that Heidi is often ignored while I tend to all the other kids (darn her good nature). Life as a short-order cook and toy picker-upper can feel tedious.
Enter SERENDIPITY. I give full credit to God who holds the reins in my life and who I strive to listen to. A few weeks ago, the Principal of our local elementary school called me out of the blue. Their full-time school counselor retired and he is only able to replace her with a part-time position. I had known that she was retiring, but was dreading the classified ad for her full-time position. My ideal job in about 3 years, but I want to spend more time with my wee ones and keep working on my freelance writing. The Principal was desperate to find someone local, who understands our community, who won't leave the position for a full-time offer, etc. It's truly incredible that I was sitting a mere 3 miles away while he was stressing over the impossible. Fortunately, I had interned at the school and still maintain a few friendships. One friend, the HS counselor (a former Lutherlyn counselor!), reminded the Principal about me and he called to see if this stay-at-home-mama was wanting to work part-time (for FULL benefits!).
Have you put 2 and 2 together? I was offered and JOYFULLY ACCEPTED a part-time elementary school counseling job. I can't imagine a better place for me right now. Our local school has such a great reputation! That's right, I'm going BACK TO SCHOOL!
My head is swimming with elementary counseling activities, curriculums, small groups, etc. I am a very visual person and LOVE making hand-outs. Enter AstroBrights papers! Their 23 bold, bright colors are the perfect canvas for my brilliant lessons!
For those of you who want to make sure that your local elementary school has the resources it needs to encourage creativity, go ahead an enter the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes. By simply "Liking" the sweepstakes on facebook, you could earn cash and school supplies valued at $30,000 for your favorite elementary school (and $500 for yourself!).
Once you finish that quick sweepstakes, you can join the "Make Something Bright" sweepstakes. Each week through August, there is a different challenge and a different Visa gift card up for grabs. This week, you just have to share an IDEA of what you could make with AstroBrights papers!
I'll be posting a few of my ideas on facebook... wanna compete with me :)