I’ve started a new journey. After over fourteen years of being a stay-at-home mom, I’m transitioning to being a working mom. While I know this is where God wants me to be right now, it still presents some new challenges.
At the school my children attend, the second grade has been taught by two semi-retired teachers. One would teach in the morning while the other would come in after lunch. One of these teachers decided to fully retire last year, and I was encouraged to apply for the position. Everything quickly fell into place, including getting my teaching certificate renewed, and before I knew it, I was officially the new part-time second grade teacher. I was excited not only to be back in the classroom, but with being part-time, I felt like I could continue to write in the afternoons.
What I didn’t consider was the changes that this would bring to my family. One day I said, “Okay, I’m going into work to set up my class.” My kids stared at me for a moment. “It is so weird to hear you say that,” one of them finally said. And why not? Although my writing has been my ‘work’, it’s never taken me from home. Now there are times that I’ve had to leave them to set up class, attend meetings or do training.
Besides that, things that I would normally do without a problem, I now have to get help for. During these meetings and training sessions, I’ve had to get others to watch my kids. I’ve had to arrange for other people to drive my kids around to activities. It’s been difficult for me to ask for help. I’ve always felt like my children are my responsibility and that I should be the one to provide those things except in extreme cases. Now, it’s just not possible for me to do it all, and I have to rely on others. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it will teach me that I don’t need to be in control of everything, and help me to see the incredible support I have all around me.
Timing is different, too. Although two of my three children attend the school I teach at, we now have to be there early, and I often stay late. They are stuck in my classroom (often helping me) while mom gets things done. They’ve been so good, but sometimes at the end of the day, I wish I had a quiet classroom all to myself to decompress in.
And then there’s the stress. Besides my own kids, I now have a class full of children that I care about. I worry about this child’s behavior, or that child’s grades. I wonder if this one is getting enough sleep or if that one is catching something. My ‘family’ has grown in a way, and I find that my mind is wandering to my students more and more wanting to see them achieve the best that they can. On top of that, I have the normal stresses of work: developing lesson plans, meetings, classroom behavior, grading, etc. And this is all added to my already busy, stressful life – housework, kids, writing, ministries, husband, car troubles, house repairs, finances – you name it. What I’m realizing is that I can’t do it all anymore. I can’t keep up on everything by myself. Fortunately, I have a husband who very graciously understood when I had my first meltdown (I’m sure there will be more), and agreed that he needs to take some of the things that I have done in the past to ease my burden. (I know I’ve told you guys this before, but I am so thankful for the husband God blessed me with.)
So yeah, it’s an adjustment, but then again, every time God has opened a new door for me to walk through it’s been that way. Because God doesn’t want us to remain stagnant and these are opportunities for growth. So although I’m sure I’ll have growing pains, I’m grateful that God doesn’t let me stay in my rut.