working mom

When Samantha was an infant, I was a student, worked part time, and was home with her more often than not.  When Caitlyn was a baby, I only worked part time teaching Pre-K and was home with her from noon on each day.  In other words, before Andrew came along, I had never worked full time with a baby during his or her first year of life.  This has been an emotionally draining and very hard year.

Baby Samantha ~ 2005
Baby Samantha ~ 2005
Baby Caitlyn ~ 2010
Baby Caitlyn ~ 2010
Baby Andrew ~ 2013
Baby Andrew ~ 2013

The kind of hard where, at the beginning, you cry on your way to work more days than not.

The kind of hard where you cry at work while you’re locked in your classroom pumping for the third time that day for the fifth month in a row.

The kind of hard where you only see your baby for one minute in the morning and an hour in the evening before he goes to bed.

It was {and still is, and probably always will be} difficult when I hear stay at home moms {or anyone for that matter} complain about being with their kids all day, or even part of the day.

It irritates me when people tell me to look at work as a break from my kids.  First of all, I don’t want a “break” from my kids {other than the occasional date night, coffee break, or long shower!}.  I would prefer to be with them all day over working full time.  Secondly, anyone who thinks teaching four- and five-year-olds all day is a “break” has absolutely lost their mind.  My three kids are a walk in the park compared to teaching almost 30 students each day.

Despite all of my struggles and the negativity that constantly tries to push its way in, I keep going.  Has it been easy? No.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  A midst the tears {mostly mine}, the hard work, and the hours upon hours I had to spend away from my little guy, I was able to find great peace, joy, love, and hope in this first year.  I had co-workers I could talk to, who understood exactly how I was feeling.  I had a husband who helped out at home way more than any wife could ever expect.  I had three amazing children who were there to love me and bring a smile to my face no matter what happened that day.  I had parents who supported and loved me on the good days and the bad and helped out with the kids more than I could have hoped for.

This year I really learned to take one day at a time.  I prayed a lot and, as cliche as it sounds, I counted my blessings.  Each day I got up and thanked God for all the blessings in my life before I asked for help with the things I was struggling with.  I found that as difficult as it is for me, a positive attitude goes a long way!  That, and more sleep.  I now get up a whole hour later than I did for the past few years.  Yes, I have less “me time” in the morning and I don’t get to enjoy my cup of tea in peace, but I sure am A LOT less tired.  I have found it really helps with the whole positive attitude thing!

I have come to really believe that even though I work, I can still spend a lot of quality time with my children, be a wonderful mother, and put my children first.  After all, before I am a working woman, before I am a teacher…I am mommy.  It is my most important job, and I love it, struggles and all!

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Jenny

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