When I woke up on Monday morning, I saw tons of posts on Facebook from my teacher friends starting a new year. There was a part of me that was a bit envious of them. There are many days I miss teaching. I miss having a class full of students of my own. I miss lesson planning, grading papers and working closely with a group of women. I miss picking out my work clothes, getting dressed for the day and stopping for coffee on the way to work. I used to look forward to field day, class field trips and so much more. I miss the atmosphere of where I worked and the people I worked with.
I knew I wanted to be a teacher at ten years old. There wasn’t another career I thought about. Every job I had was working with kids. It was my focus all throughout college and in grad school. To this day, if I had to choose a field I want to be in, it’s education. So, it’s bittersweet when I see my teacher friends heading back to work.
Yesterday, I spent about an hour in the garage going through all of my old teaching materials. We need to clear up space in the garage and even though I’ve given tons of teaching materials away I still have about 15 full boxes. I know I can’t keep everything forever, but it’s something that is hard to part with. I spent so much of my energy in the seven years I taught creating the lessons in those binders, coming up with unit studies or putting together math and science kits for a hands on learning approach. I was that teacher that worked well into the night, spent weekends grading papers and always left work with a bag full of stuff to do. It definitely was a passion of mine.
But the one thing I always wanted more than being a teacher was to be a mom.
I’ll always miss not being in the classroom. There will be some guilt about not putting my degrees to good use. That fear in the back of my mind of losing what I built in my teaching career will be there and most likely increase as time passes.
But the one thing I know for sure is I won’t regret this decision of staying home. I won’t wish I had more time with my babies during these special years. I won’t take for granted that we’re in a situation where I can be home with them and be around to experience life through their eyes day in and out.
I was thinking about applying for a college position this fall and going back part time. As the application deadline approached, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Most of my reasons for going back were focused on what if’s and the future. None of them had to do with the NOW. Right now, I have a job that I love and I have worked really hard to build my business. I’m working over 40 hours a week but am able to do that from home. I’m able to help provide for my family while still being here for all of the little things. I’m not ready to go back to work outside of the house. The things I miss will never outweigh what I have right here in front of me. I had a strong feeling that if I did go back to work, I would enjoy it for a week or two then miss being home all the time.
I know a lot of the things I miss about the school I was at have also changed. Many friends are no longer there. Administration is different. Most of all, I was never a mom and a teacher at the same time. I don’t have the experience of balancing both roles, but I can imagine how tough it would be. I can imagine a constant struggle with wanting to be the best teacher and the best mom at the same time. In reality, the things I miss so much about teaching would be different now that I’m a mom. There wouldn’t be stops for coffee, it would be daycare drop off. There wouldn’t be lots of time spent getting ready, it would be getting the littles fed & ready, throwing something on, praying it wasn’t wrinkled and trying to make it to work on time.
It’s easy to look back and reminisce at what was. There comes a time to let go and move forward with what is right there in front of you.
This is my time to enjoy the now, before long the season will change and L will be getting ready for his first day of Kindergarten.
Start sending the Kleenex now.3