when it’s all said and done.

There’s a constant struggle inside of me.

The mom versus the teacher, taking care of my own kids or someone else’s.  Getting these papers graded with constructive comments so that 93 students can become better writers or playing outside on the swing set with my two little girls.

Sometimes other kids come before my own.

Ellie went back to school this week and I missed it because I was at work.  At the exact moment she was being dropped off, I was discussing the importance of setting to a story.  I know what I was doing because I was watching the clock, completely distracted from what my students were saying, just praying that Elliott Quinn would have an amazing first day of school.  That she wouldn’t be afraid or nervous, that she would remember all her friends’ names, and that everyone would be nice to her.

I admit I was feeling a little sorry for myself.

I wanted to be with my three year old and not with 31 seventh graders.  I wanted to see, in person, what those neon green skinny jeans (that she picked out all by herself) looked like on her little chicken legs.  I wanted to be there to put her hair in a ponytail (a “small one in the back that hangs down” as she requests).  I wanted to hold her chubby little hand as she walked in to see Ms. Patrice and Ms. Sena for the first time in months.

I chose to become an educator for many reasons, some selfish and some not.  But as my kids get older, I realize that a decision I made twelve years ago will always be in the way of their school experience.  No room-mom duties for me, no lunchroom visits, no class parties, or special programs.  Those are things I don’t get to do for my own kids.

And that just bums me out.  A lot.

Tomorrow I won’t be so emotional or whiny, I know this is just one day.  It was actually a really good day, and it’s only as I sit here with everyone in the house asleep that I get a little reflective on this choice I made, to choose other people’s kids over mine.  And I’m just wondering if some day I’ll be sorry.

Comments

  1. says

    I have absolutely no words of wisdom for you but I want to give you a big virtual hug. ((((HUG)))) I know that a lot of those kids you teach have difficult home lives and you are their ray of sunshine and hope. Ellie and Harper get that from you and Chris every single day. I think that even though you won’t be able to do everything for them they will ALWAYS know that you love them with everything you have. You are a wonderful mother and provider. Ok, another hug. (((HUG)))

  2. says

    As a working mom, I feel your pain. Thankfully, I do have some flexibilty with my current job and am able to take my son to school in the morning. Although, what I would not give to be able to pick him up from school every day and be able to spend real time cooking dinner and doing homework, rather than running around like a chicken without a head so maybe we can spend 30 minutes ot real time together before bed time. I believe that this is the only world our children know. They do not know what they are missing or really, even if they are missing anything. This is their normal. As long as we continue to make the most of the time we do have and always show them how much we love them, we are doing a pretty good job. Hang in there.

  3. says

    You pulled on my heart. That’s a perspective I have never thought about. On the brighter side… you need a pair of neon green skinny jeans to match your fashionista daughter.

  4. says

    I have missed 9 first days of school with William and 1 with Jack . . . BUT I have experienced 18 first days with thousands of kids in my career . . . I guess I am at peace because I know there are teachers like YOU that great my boys . . . I am hopeful that parents are glad that I am there to see that their kids have a safe and enjoyable start . . . it all comes full circle . . . we receive back what we put out there.

  5. says

    I have missed 9 first days of school with William and 1 with Jack . . . BUT I have experienced 18 first days with thousands of kids in my career . . . I guess I am at peace because I know there are teachers like YOU that great my boys . . . I am hopeful that parents are glad that I am there to see that their kids have a safe and enjoyable start . . . it all comes full circle . . . we receive back what we put out there.

  6. Amber says

    Mary, it takes a very special person to care for another persons child. Whether their teacher, coach, step parent, ect. You seem to be a pretty awesome teacher, and you can tell your an amazing mother!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>