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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oh Sh*t, I Quit My Job

Working moms, I am in awe of you. The way you are teaching your children ambition is inspiring. You are teaching them balance. You are teaching them that women can truly have it all.

Stay at home moms, I am in awe of you. The way you are teaching your children selflessness is inspiring. You are teaching them sacrifice. You are teaching them to put others before themselves.

So which mom would I be? 

Four months before finding out I was pregnant, I transferred schools and started teaching at a brand new elementary campus just opening up for it’s first year. Going from a workplace filled with poor communication and negative attitudes, I was suddenly surrounded by coworkers who enjoyed their jobs and administrators who valued a positive school culture.

It was a dream job, and my teacher heart was so inspired again.

After finding out the news, Matt and I started planning for this baby. We began going back and forth—keep working or stay at home? I always envisioned myself staying home when we had kids, but with this pregnancy happening a few years earlier than planned, I was truly not ready to stop working. I liked getting up, getting dressed, and leaving the house each day. I liked chatting with my friends at work over a cup of coffee every morning. And I absolutely loved helping first graders discover the joy of reading.

I found a long-term sub.

I worked through the spring and summer preparing for my maternity leave.

I researched every single daycare in a 15-mile radius and found, in my opinion, the best and safest place for me to drop off my sweet baby every day.

And then Reese was born, and my world stopped.

Our new family of three shut the world out just soaking up the newborn bliss. Nothing has ever given me greater joy than being Reese’s mama, and my heart has never swelled with so much pride watching Matt as her dad. I love her snuggles, her smiles, and her smell. I love changing diapers, washing bottles, and playing on the floor. So when my maternity leave was nearing its end, I couldn’t put it off anymore – how could I possibly go back to work?

Teachers understand the reality. It’s not an 8-4 job. You get there early to prepare your lessons and materials for your day because when the kids walk through your door in the morning, you are on. After they leave in the afternoon, you grade papers, email parents, and write next week’s lesson plans. You stay late for faculty meetings, parent-teacher conferences, PTA events, and committee meetings. How could I possibly go back to work? The answer? It was simple.

I couldn’t.

Evenings and weekends would never be enough for me. The thought of missing any of Reese’s “firsts” or milestones brought tears to my eyes. The thought of her spending 50 hours a week in daycare was gut wrenching. In those moments, it was crystal clear what my heart was calling me to do.

This season of life no longer revolves around lesson planning, small group instruction, and managing twenty first graders. This new normal revolves around feeding schedules, nap times, and just one little girl. 

Work won’t miss me for a few years, but Reese definitely would.

1 comment:

  1. You're right. There is often only attention given to the mother and not to the father. Fortunately my husband did exactly the same as yours ... as soon as he got home from work, all the attention went to the children. He said already, it makes me feel good when i am from home all day, and after work when I can build up beautiful reminiscences with my beautiful children.


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