Lest it appear that I am 'all party,' let me share the news....
I will be working full-time next school year!
I have been part-time and loving it since Miss P was born. The first two years I was 80%, and then once she hit two and became really fun, I downshifted to 60%. It has been 'the life,' let me tell you. Three days of teaching, and then two days of fun with P and our playgroup friends, then two days of weekend.
There have been challenges. I had a different partner almost every year, as some people used me as a stepping stone to full-time, while others had more children and needed to stop working. I had two people (two years in a row) leave on maternity leave, and I spent a lot of time training each person. All in all, I did more than my percentage would suggest.
But having the time home with P was/is so worth it. And the older she got the more delightful it became. I often felt a little guilty because our days were so much fun. Here's a sample: hit the gym in the a.m. before E leaves for work, shower, do breakfast with Paige. Clean up a bit. Check in with girlfriends. Pack picnic lunch, grab P and meet girlfriends and their children at the park (with Starbucks). Play with kids, have lunch. Maybe hit the library/bookstore on the way home. Perhaps read stories or play dolls. Make dinner. Done! Although I occasionally use half of one day for cleaning (and do like a clean house), I've always felt that the point of staying home with kids was to focus most of your time on building your relationship with them. I figure people who work full-time find other times to clean, do errands, etc. so I rarely make my time at home all about that. It's always been playdates, museums, parks, libraries and zoos.
Anyway, I digress! I have had the same partner two years in a row, and was happy to stay part-time indefinitely, even though Miss P begins full-time kindergarten in the Fall. My plan had been to spend half a day (Thurs?) once a week volunteering, and the rest of that day planning/prepping ahead for my own classroom, and the other day (Fri?) in a 'homemaker' role. However, when someone announced retirement recently, my teaching partner decided she needed to grab the plum spot to ensure a place for her at 100% in the future. I knew immediately I would also go 100% in my kindergarten position. No more partners!
After some time to process, I feel really good about it. My one major concern was that I wanted to be able to still volunteer in Miss P's class next year. I've figured it out! I will take two half days off a month off (using same sub each time, I already have plans ready), and use that time to participate in P's class. I figure twice a month is respectable!
E and I are very excited about the 'raise,' and are already plotting and planning how to use the money. First on our list next year: housekeeper!