To the mom who tiptoes past her own child’s room before the sun comes up each morning on her way spend the day with other moms’ worlds…I see you.
To the mom who brings home stacks of papers to grade only to bring them back to school untouched…I see you.
To the mom who leaves work completely emotionally drained but still puts dinner on the table and packs lunches for the following day…I see you.
To the mom who is ready to fall into bed by 9 p.m. but stays up until midnight grading and planning lessons…I see you.
To the mom who feels as though she is in a constant state of worry for either one of her own children or for one of her “school kids”…I see you.
I see you because I am you.
Being both a teacher and a mother is one of the most delicate balances one can imagine. Each day we leave our “babies” to nurture, educate, and care for children who are not our own. As we make our way through the school day, we can’t help but stop and think of what our own children are doing in that moment. Is he having a good day? Is the field trip going well? Is she staying off her cell phone while in geometry class?
Many nights, as we tuck our kids into bed, we worry about our school kids. There is no way to turn off the care and concern we feel toward our students, and motherhood enhances this sense of duty rather than distracting us from it. Some days it feels as though we are worrying about someone we care for round the clock.
Many may consider us “lucky” because we have the summer off and therefore have more time than most working mothers to spend with our own children. But what they may not recognize is that we are “on” and in caretaker mode each and every waking hour of the school year. While we do have the best of both worlds, we also have one of the most emotionally draining jobs around.
And let’s not even discuss the days when we use up all of our patience between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. When we help solve problems and manage behaviors all day, it’s sometimes difficult to save some of the same understanding for our own children. Yet somehow we (usually) dig into our reserves and make it through the evening without blowing our tops.
So to the mom who is wading through essays, student tears, standardized test prep, and so much more throughout her workday, keep your chin up. Go home tonight, give your own kids some extra hugs, and maybe even try to take a little time for some self-care. Because June will be here before we know it, and you know those summer months will give us all some much needed time to focus on motherhood and recharge our teacher batteries.
Then, in the blink of an eye, the 2019-2020 school year will be upon us. With it will come another year’s time to make an impact on young lives for every waking hour of every day. And as every teacher knows, that in itself (though sometimes exhausting) is one of the most rewarding opportunities imaginable.