Going Back to School Mom Guilt - Ways to Feel Better About Working

Going Back to School Mom Guilt

Going Back to School Mom Guilt

 

The summer is ending, the school year is within reach.  The wonderful summer you have had with your children is coming to a close.  The heart wrenching feeling that comes with leaving your babies behind as you head off to work is so close you can almost feel it.  After the glorious (and/or insanely hectic) summer you just had.  How do you deal with ending it?  How do you deal with the going back to school mom guilt?  

 

Going Back to School Mom Guilt - Ways to Feel Better About WorkingIt is always around this time of year that I begin wishing for more time.  I wish that I was so wealthy that I didn’t have to work.  I wish that I could just be a stay-at-home mom.  But all my wishing doesn’t change the clock ticking closer to the new school year.  Although there is no magic pill to take away the going back to school mom guilt.  There are a few strategies to make it feel a little better.

 

School creates a routine.  Mom going to work creates a routine for children.  When we are off in the summer, it is very easy for bedtimes to be pushed later.  And when there is no need for an alarm clock, wake up times can be inconsistent.  By going back to school, you create a routine for your children that helps to support them.  When a routine is established children know what to expect, there is a great deal of comfort in that.  Of course it is fun to fly by the seat of your pants, but schedules and consistency provide an environment that kids can count on.

 

Working sets an example for children.  There are still people in the world that truly believe that in the workplace men are superior.  We continue to see a wage gap.  Although there is progress as time goes on, by going out and going to work, we set the example for our children that women have careers.  Women are vital to the workforce and therefore, are worthy of equal treatment.  

 

Adult time.  The summer gives teaching moms the wonderful opportunity to spend real quality time with their children.  At my house we go to the park, we have dance parties, make forts and play all day.  However, there are days that I end every sentence with, “Meow, meow”.  Going back to school gives me the opportunity to spend part of my day talking to adults, about adult things.   Every mom misses their children, but having a little time to be a person, a teacher and having adult time is good for them.

 

Your students need you.  You became a teacher for a reason.  There is something special inside of you that knows how to awaken a child’s love of learning.   You know how to build a child up, while simultaneously correcting their mistakes.  You are needed in the classroom.  There are countless families that are relying on you to inspire and instruct their children.  

 

The summer is amazing, but so is teaching.  Of course every mom feels the pangs of guilt when they leave their child in someone else’s care, but you are leaving to teach other children.  You doing a job that truly makes the world a better place.  Of course your children need you, but so do your students.  Being a teaching mom isn’t easy, if it were, everyone would do it.  But they don’t.  It is taxing, difficult, and pulls you in a million directions.  But you have talents that are needed in classroom.  Of course you will inevitably feel some Mom Guilt, but always remember there are reasons why we do what we do.

 

Going Back to School Mom Guilt Ways to Feel Better About Working
ask for help

It is Okay to Ask for Help

Ask for Help

Why is it so hard for women to accept help?  And it seems even harder to ask for help.  We walk around stressed and overwhelmed, but for some reason, the thought of asking for the help we need makes us uncomfortable.  Are we competing with one another (read more about that here). It is time to let that go and make your life easier and happier.

 

Every morning, I put my two year old daughter on the vanity in the bathroom (don’t worry, it’s big and she is small).  I set up her toothbrush and begin to brush my hair.  And everyday, my daughter says, “I help you, Mommy” and she reaches across the sink, grabs my toothbrush and gives it to me.  I could get my toothbrush faster, but the smile she gives me when I say, “Thank you,” brings me such joy!  She helps me and she is happy.  I accept her help and I am happy.  But for some reason, when I really need help, I cannot seem to ask for it, even when it is offered.

 

Our lives could be easier

Imagine how much easier our lives would be, if we could ask for help when we needed it, if we accepted the help that people offered.  When life was so hard and all your friends knew it, if you actually said yes, when someone asked if you needed anything.  In all reality, you don’t even need to know what to ask for, more often than not, people know how to help or are more than happy to figure it out.  It really is just a matter of asking.

 

What are we proving

We want to do it all, be it all, show no weakness, but why?  What are we proving when we try to take on everything?  Inevitably, we miss something, drop a ball or are just are so stressed that life has lost all of its joy!  When we try to do it all, we begin faking our way through life.  We are frazzled and overwhelmed.  Why not let someone help share the burden, let you breathe, give you time to regain control?

 

Learn who you are

Once you start allowing people in to help you, you can begin to take inventory on yourself.  What are you good at?  What do you need help with?  Learning your own strengths and weakness is a real asset in life.  You can actively improve upon the things that are difficult, with the assistance of others who can do these things.

 

Better relationships

When we bring people into our lives and allow them to help, it changes the relationship.  We can be vulnerable and deepen our relationships. When we ask for help, accept help and give help, we develop love and trust in our relationships.  We can find joy in supporting one another (read more about that here),

Women helping women

I often think about the life I watched my mother live and the life I want my daughter to live.  Everyone believed that my mother could do anything.  I watched her make dinner after a chemotherapy treatment, she was a superhero!! Then I think of all the balls that I have in the air, how managing my own life can be difficult.  I know that I need to ask for help, yet still sometimes my own pride gets in the way.  Is this the life I want for my daughter?  No, I want her to live a life of joy, of peace.  The only way she will learn to ask for and to accept help is if she sees me model it.  

 

I am not a superhero, nor do I have to be.  Being stressed out and frazzled does not make me a stronger person.  I can ask for help without decreasing my value as a woman.  Next time someone offers to help me, I will accept.  Will you?

 

Mother Teacher Dreamer Stressed out

Before you lose it …

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”

Tyler Knott Gregson

Before you lose it

Life is hard.  Being a mom is hard.  We spend our lives dedicated to our families.  Our days are usually spent morning until night caring for others.  We cook, clean, do laundry, work and put all of the people in our family before ourselves.  And most days, we do this without complaint, without issue.   We love our families unconditionally and happily dedicate our lives to their well being.   But it happens to all of us, we start to approach the edge.  Maybe it was a bad day at work, a deer jumping in front of our car or just the pressure of it all weighing us too far down.  We start to crack and feel like we are going to lose it.  Losing it is different for all of us.  Some of us cry, some scream and some of us just get angry and lash out at anyone in our way.  But next time, before you get there, remember, stop and find your joy.   How will you do it?  Start by remembering what is important.

Mother Teacher Dreamer Stressed out

We love being a mom

Being a mom brings me joy.  Not the cooking or the cleaning, but laying on the floor coloring with my daughter.  Racing across the living room and singing songs.  Next time, before I feel like my breaking point is getting too close.  I will just stop and start to play.  If I have to turn off the stove, or leave the toy room  a mess, it is what I will do. Nothing in the world brings me more joy that hearing my daughter laugh.  So when it gets too hard, that is what I will do; laugh with my daughter.

 

This moment matters

The moment that you are about to lose it matters.  Every moment matters.  We only have the time we have.  Allowing the everyday stress of life to take your joy is wasted time.  Take the moment that could have been anger and turn it into a moment of joy.  Start a dance party or just hug it out until all of the negativity is gone.

 

Stopping puts life in perspective

Once we stop and find our joy.  The anger melts away and we can find perspective.  Once that moment of frustration passes, we realize that often times things are not that bad.   Sure, we may have too much to do and not enough money to do it all, but we have what matters, the love of our families.

 

In these moments

It is these moments that we can model what to do when life gets hard.  We can show our children that anger doesn’t have to win.  Joy can win.  We can take a moment that would have been wasted by anger and frustration and turn it into an opportunity to connect with our families, share and love.

 

What truly matters?

If this seems simple, it’s because it is.  We are usually feeling the stress and frustration from all of the outside pressures of our lives.  Let them go.  Focus on what really matters.  Let the dishes go, order a pizza and dance.  There will be time to catch up and clean the stove, and if there isn’t, would you have wanted to waste your time doing that anyway?

Mother Teacher Dreamer Stop and color

 

Next time you feel like life is going to steal your joy, stop.  Remember that your life and your family is that ocean in the quote above and you really do love to swim.  Take your moment back, because it is in these moments we share with our children our values, our morals and our own resiliency.  It is in these moments that we live and love.    

 

no more guilt

No More Working Mom Guilt

I love being a mother and I love being a teacher.   It’s in my nature to care for others and any mother/teacher will tell you the same thing.  We want to do our best, we know we can always be better teachers and we push ourselves to do that.  But there are hard days and the guilt is tremendous.   It’s crazy that we have to choose, from now on I want no more guilt.

Teachers know that parents give us the most important thing in their lives, their child.   Parents have trusted us to care for, listen and ultimately teach their children.  The mother/teacher understands this better than anyone; we have given our own child to someone else, so we can teach other people children.   

Teach

Most days this is wonderful.   We get up at 5 am, prep our families to get out the door, drop our child at daycare, rush to school and spend our day dedicated to the well being of other people’s children.   Our day is spent teaching these children lessons, grading their work and discussing with our colleagues what more we can do to help them.  We laugh with them, care for them, counsel them and sometimes cry with them.  We give our whole selves to this job.   It isn’t just our job; it is our passion.   We truly love what we do.   

After a day of teaching, we rush home back to our own children.   I still find myself running to the daycare door.  The sooner I have my daughter back in my arms, the happier I am.  We go home and begin our routine of coloring, playing, going for walks, cooking dinner, tubby time and then bedtime.  It is hectic, but we make it work.   My husband is great, he does most of the daycare pick ups and LOTS of playing.   I don’t know how many times a grown man and a 2 year old can race across the living room.  These are great days.  I can help children, laugh a little and love deeply.   I couldn’t ask for more.

Teacher Writing

But there are hard days.   Days when I am forced to walk away from my crying child so I can go to work.   Every fiber of my being aches as I turn away from her.  I hate it! It ruins my day and I rarely recover from it.   Thank God for the mother/teachers I work with.   They help talk me through it and remind me she is okay, that it’s just a phase, but mostly they commiserate about how much it sucks.

But there are days even harder, when you know your students really need you, but your own child needs you more.  When you have to call into work for the 8th, 9th or 10th time. There is so much guilt that comes from not doing your job to the best of your ability.  We truly care for the children we teach.   Teachers take the responsibility parents have given us more seriously than they could imagine.   We want to share knowledge and the joy of learning with them.   

But when our children are sick, no one can care for them like mommy.   Our own children need us more than other people’s children.   We have to learn to how to stop beating ourselves up for putting our own children first.   My awesome friend Michelle often reminds me that kids can’t watch themselves.  It’s true! Someone has to be home with them. And for many of us, mommy is the only option.  

holding hands
Why should we feel guilty for caring for our children? It is part of our make up as mothers.  If they need us, we should, without any guilt, be able to hold them, love them and stay home with them.  My job is my passion, but it is also a necessity.   My household needs the income from both my husband and I to run.   And I truly understand how great of a responsibility it is to be a teacher.. I put my entire mind, body and soul into my job.   But from this point on, I want to let go of the guilt that comes with choosing my daughter first. The most important job I have is being a mother.  Putting my daughter first doesn’t mean I’m a bad teacher, it just means that I am a mother.  From now on I will say with no more guilt.

Why this name?

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I always dreamed that I would be a mother.  I know that it isn’t everyone’s dream, but it was always mine.  The reason for this is obvious for anyone who ever met my mother.  I have mentioned her in previous posts and I am sure that I will mention her in many more to come.  She was and will always be my definition of what a mother is.  I am sure many of you can relate, but for those who cannot, please let me explain.  She created a place for me to grow up with unconditional love.  That is as simple and true as it sounds.  With my mother, there were no conditions.  She loved wholly and  completely.  I never doubted, never questioned and never felt that I had to changed or be something for her.  I was loved.  That is what a mother is to me.

As a child, I didn’t know that this was special.  I thought that if you had a child, you loved that child.  Part of me still wants to believe that today, but I realized that too many people grew up with conditions to the love they are given.  Unconditional love can create a strong foundation to build a life on; it grows deep roots. Even when life knocks you down, that foundation will hold you securely in place.  A mother is love.  I want to love unconditionally; I want provide security.  I want to be a mother.
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Teachers come in many forms, from big brothers, to roommates, colleagues to children.  We learn when people take the time to teach.  We learn when someone decides that not only the knowledge is important, but the learner is too.  I have had amazing teachers in my life, some in classrooms and some in living rooms.  The teachers in my life decided I was important enough to spend time and energy on, they decided that I deserved to learn.

 

Wonderful people have taken the time to be a teacher to me, they have given me new ways to think.  Teachers have helped to awaken my spirit.  A great teacher has the ability to reach into the mind, heart and soul of another and turn on a light.  Teachers open doors, free minds and create hope.  I want to be a teacher.
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Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  When we live in the knowledge we have, we stay where we are.  Only through our dreams can we move further, can we create the beautiful future that awaits.  Dreams are hope.  Dreams are a desire for a better future.  A dreamer realizes that it can be better, we can be better and holds on to that dream.  

Every step forward has come because of a dream.  But hope can get weighed down with the stress of the world and people put their dreams aside.  Without our dreams, we sink into the monotony of life and lose the beauty of the future.  Our lives today were the fanciful dreams of others.  I want to be a dreamer.

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Mother Teacher Dreamer, a simple definition for jobs I have, but really it helps me remember who I want to be and what I want to do.  I want to love deeply and unconditionally.  I want to provide stability and understanding.  I want others to know their importance and to help them find truth, knowledge and passion.  I want to hold on tightly to the hope of a better, kinder world and beautiful future.  I want to be a Mother, Teacher and a Dreamer.