Jake returned from nearly two weeks of flyouts on Tuesday! Cindy and Toddler R were SO SO SO happy he was back!!! They really missed him and he them.
But we didn’t quite get to relax upon his return.
We had a big week ahead of us.
For one, it was Cindy’s last day of work on Friday! She’s officially a stay-at-home mom! Well…she’s technically still employed and just on leave. She initially went in to quit. We decided it was probably the best decision since these next few months would be filled with so much uncertainty and possibly a time of transition and moving. It was a really weighty decision. Cindy always thought she would in a heartbeat stay at home if given the option. But when it came time, she really delayed making the decision. Turns out, it’s actually kinda hard to say goodbye to a job you love. Who knew? (*sarcastic question*). She was fortunate enough that her boss suggested she take a leave of absence instead and see how Jake’s job market goes. It felt like a sigh of relief, a safety net, a trial period to see if she would enjoy staying home. But given how the rest of the week unfolded, that safety net is now gone.
Which leads us to Jake’s things. As soon as he returned, we had to have our tough conversation with tough decisions to make. On top of that, he had an expiring offer from a university with a Thursday morning deadline while also having three schools he won’t hear back from for another two weeks. If we chose the route of academia, do we risk our offer at a pretty good highly ranked university for a chance at some even higher-ranked universities? Or take it and forgo the risk? The week was filled with lots of emails and lots of negotiating for more time. In the end, it was a tight deadline… super suspenseful like in the movies. The offer decision deadline was extended to Friday at 4:00pm EST with an offer decision from one of the top schools in the field coming in at 3:00pm EST. We had to have all contingency decisions made. And all this happened on Cindy’s last day of work.
In the end, Jake accepted the offer he already had. While Jake loves the opportunity, it felt like an abrupt end to a wild ride. But we are very grateful and all very proud of Jake. As Cindy’s dad put it, not everyone who wants to be in academia gets the chance so while it is not our ideal location (we really wanted to stay in SoCal) we are very very fortunate for the opportunity.
As for Cindy’s becoming a stay-at-home mom, it seems staying home is the default choice for now. Like many moms who have faced the decision to stay in the workforce or leave, there is worry and uncertainty over whether or not she’ll ever be able to reenter again if she wishes to. A friend reminded her nothing is ever final. And while she hangs on to that hope, the reality is it is harder for women. But that is a worry for another day. For now, she’ll soak in and enjoy this time with Toddler R.
It was an emotionally heavy week and a super overwhelming Friday. We’re still processing and will share where we are going some other time. But we do feel a bit relieved that all the suspense and waiting is over.