This is what I say to Charlee while I try to wrangle laundry and she proceeds to pull all things in all directions…”I’m right here! Come find me!” She does.
With two weeks left of my maternity leave I am starting to feel the time crunch. I’m sure all you educators can relate; it’s similar to the feeling of mid-August…except I’ve been off work for 17 months (those six days of work I did last October before I found myself laid up in the antepartum ward don’t really count).
Why does my school email me 47 times a day?
Can I email myself? Like, will these Word Docs attach if I send them to myself?
Do I even know how to teach?
These are only a few of the actual questions I’ve asked myself today. I think it’s safe to say that I am somewhat overwhelmed about this going back to work thing because this morning I truly did not remember if emailing attachments to myself, from my own email account, was a thing.
The thing I am most fearful about right now is going back to work part-time. I am working three days between two schools and; therefore, two grades. This was my choice, my decision, one I am very happy about. The fear I am experiencing is stemming from my high-achieving, people pleasing tendencies. I confessed to one of my administrators (who happens to be a dear friend) the other day that I can’t “do it all” this year. I told her, “I can’t be you…I can’t stay late…I can’t, can’t, can’t”. The thing is, this word can’t is never really in my vocabulary. I’m struggling with it right now. Along with can’t comes the word don’t – as in, “I don’t know how to work part-time”. I’m either all in, or all out. In my opinion, there is not a lot of room for me to do my job well in between those two options. I’m also struggling with this right now.
I met one of my staff’s new learning support teachers today and when introduced to her she exclaimed, “Oh! I read your blog!” I love meeting real people who read our blog because it always strikes me as funny that people read what we write. This woman went on to ask if I planned to keep up blogging while being a freshly back-to-work mama and teacher, to which I replied, “Yes! But I have been pretty absent during the last year…I just find I have nothing to say about teaching when I’m not…teaching”. Makes sense. She suggested I write about what I’m experiencing right now as I go through this process of re-entering the work force.
So now I’m inspired to write about how this transitional time is going for me and my family and my students. There will be some big changes in two weeks’ time, perhaps the most profound being that I can’t stay in my jammies until 10am anymore! In all seriousness, though, I believe change is good. Yes, it is painful and yes, sometimes tears are involved, but through change comes growth and I am willing and open to embrace this period of growth as a teacher and (most importantly) as a mama. Stay tuned for my inevitable meltdowns and epiphanies as I become a working mama! My intention is to find a way to set boundaries at school and parameters around how much work I bring/don’t bring home. I also hope to keep up meal planning, exercising, family time and friend time.
I know I can do it.
Best wishes for the transition! Part time sounds reasonable! I did that for many years while being a Mom to young sons. Be kind to your self. Say no, leave work at a set time to come home is my advice. You are no longer a beginning teacher, getting more seasoned! So this is doable!
Thank you, Karen. You’re right – somehow I’ve gone from newbie to somewhat experienced in the blink of an eye. I’m working on saying “no”, although I did say “yes” to dance club…I had to! 🙂