But I am not…
I’m going to take a moment to be honest. I am sad to not be returning to work on Tuesday. Yep, I said it (typed it). I thought I’d be so glad to miss the craziness of the first few weeks of school considering I’d have a newborn. I very quickly decided that my maternity leave would be extended to almost 11 weeks (3 of which end up being unpaid). Despite having gone back to work when little man was 8 weeks old, I assumed I’d want to extend my leave this time. Feelings of mommy guilt creep in, I shudder to share it with most people, but I really am going to be sad when everyone goes back to school Tuesday and I am home.
I was not created to be a stay at home mother. Much love and admiration to those who desire and enjoy that job, but it just isn’t me. I absolutely love being a mom. I love my kids. I love our time together. But I am not the best version of me when my primary role all day is mom. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a teacher – after my brief stint of wanting to be a singer or lawyer. For 9.5 years, before becoming a mom, teaching defined me. I spent more time at school than at home. I spent more money on school things for my “kids” than on myself. My world revolved around my career and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When little man entered my world, things changed. Teaching wasn’t my top priority – he was. I was no longer the teacher I had always been, simply because I couldn’t and wouldn’t commit the same amount of time to it because he was more important. My family became my priority, not teaching. That being said, teaching is still a very important part of who I am, for so many reasons. Being a teacher and a mom takes a special juggling technique but I love it. I need the “big kid” interaction. I need the adult interaction. I need to stimulate my brain with something other than Daniel Tiger theme songs, endless games of soccer, snack time negotiations, or dealing with bodily fluids! For me, being the best mom I can be means I spend some portion of my day working in a job I love then coming home to cherish the time I have with my family.
This doesn’t make me any less of a mom, although many moms will shudder at what I just posted – just as many are nodding their heads in agreement and thankful to have someone post what they’ve thought and been too scared to voice because of other’s judgement. Despite battling the mom guilt – I need to accept that I do know what makes me a good mom – working outside the home. And frankly, I’m going to miss that back to school craziness. My room is set up, my copies are made, my fun get to know you activities are laid out (for someone else to do), but I’ll be home as one of my favorite yet stressful parts of the year gets underway. I’ll be back – after Labor Day. I’ll work my hardest to be in the moment the next 3 weeks and cherish every moment with my little man and my peanut. I’ll try hard to not let feelings creep in that would take away the joy of this time home with my kiddos. Likely, there will be lots of blog posts because of the extra time to think!
Learning to accept who I am – a mother who loves her kids unconditionally but who also loves her professional life. We have to remember to do what’s best for us and our families. No one can determine that for you, but you.