Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nebraska Bloggers Connect: Career Day

I am a stay-at-home mom. Last year at this time I was cleaning out my classroom, after five years of accumulation, to start my new stay-at-home mom "business." Now my classroom is reduced to boxes in our storage room and a shelf in a corner of our basement.  
My classroom library is now in our office in the basement. And yes, it is a requirement for an english/language arts teacher to have a plethora of books... right? Right?!

In a teeny way those boxes make me sad. I love being a teacher.
A gift from my brother (I was always correcting his grammar), even he knew it was my destiny! And now it's hanging in my office instead of in my classroom where I can explain to my kids that it's a joke (one they don't always get), but it serves as a constant reminder that it's what I'm meant to do, even if it means I'll only ever from this point on teach my own children.
I know teaching is what God called me to do. However, when my husband and I learned we were going to be parents we felt God leading us in a different direction and He closed doors (like finding a day care) and opened others so that we could make it happen. We took a huge leap of faith. Every day I'm so thankful we did.

 Someday I will go back to teaching. Right now I'm 100% satisfied "teaching" in my home. (I mean every mom is a teacher. And besides teaching starts at home.) A year ago I wasn't entirely convinced that I was up to the whole stay-at-home mom thing. I had my dream job: JH Reading teacher, JH Head Basketball Coach, HS Assistant Track and Field Coach.
A gift from a parent coaching a sprinter. Look at his form! Woohoo!
From around July to May I was a crazy woman. Getting ready for my classroom, preparing lessons, grading papers, coaching until 5 or 6 in the evening, and spending long days at a track meet or basketball game (including weekends). So I have a closet full of cute professional teaching outfits and various coaching shirts (as well as tights, water proof jackets, and such for track - you must be prepared for any weather). Now, I wear sweat pants, jeans, shorts, t-shirts (sometimes I even forget to put on deodorant, don't judge) - whatever is most comfy. Even when I had to dress up every day I loved it. So when Tuesday's, Wednesday's, and Sunday's roll around (church) I put those dress up clothes to good use (yes, even when I'd truck along to youth group where my husband and I help out).

Before my "Career Day" looked like this:
  • 1st period
  • 2nd period
  • study hall
  • 3rd period
  • 4th period
  • Lunch
  • 6th period
  • 7th period
  • 8th period
  • Planning period or from October to December was basketball practice
  • Come late February I'd have track after school until May.
  • Oh, and cram an occasional IEP meeting somewhere in there and 2 potty breaks (Not to mention grading papers, dealing with discipline issues, hosting 2 JH dances, trash pick-up days, movie nights, and 7th and 8th grade town team basketball). Looking back I was a crazy lady, but I wouldn't hesitate in doing it all over again. Those are my kids!
In every class the schedule was the same:
  • Personal reading time for 15 min. where I'd meet individually with struggling readers and/or keep records of book, pages read, etc. (that way they actually completed a book instead of getting a new one every day)
  • R-n-R (read and respond - journaling activity)
  • Vocabulary lesson
  • Comprehension/Fluency lesson
I crammed a lot into a very short time period, but it was consistent and it worked.

My week looked like:
  • Monday: School, practice
  • Tuesday: School, practice, discipleship (church), occasional basketball games or track meets
  • Wednesday: School, practice, 1 on 1 discipleship with a JH girl, Youth Group
  • Thursday: School, practice, occasional basketball games or track meets
  • Friday: School, Professional Development, Practice, occasional basketball games or track meets
  • Saturday: occasional basketball games or track meets
  • Sunday: Church
Now my "Career Day" looks like this:
  • I wake up to a smiley baby around 8 am.
  • I feed her.
  • She plays independently while I eat breakfast and read my Bible.
  • I play with her.
  • We take a walk or FaceTime with my sisters (Brielle loves this!) and this is the time we talk about our Thankful Journals.
  • Around 10 she goes down for a nap.
  • I write in my blog, do my chores (kitchen clean up, laundry, etc.), get supper out and ready for this evening (sometimes I bake snacks for the rest of the week)....
  • She sleeps until 12 (typically) and I feed her.
  • She plays independently while I eat lunch and read.
  • I play with her.
  • By 2 or 3 she's ready for her afternoon nap.
  • I clean, fold laundry, work on whatever shower I'll be hosting, start supper....
  • Brielle's afternoon nap isn't as good as her morning nap, but thankfully she typically wakes up happy.
  • DADDY'S HOME! Which I think is Brielle's favorite time of the day.
  • We eat supper.
  • We play.
  • She gets a bath.
  • We read a book.
  • She eats.
  • She goes to bed and we follow suit.
What my week looks like now:
  • Monday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle (occasional P.E.O. meeting)
  • Tuesday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle (discipleship at church)
  • Wednesday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle and Youth Group (which is now out for the summer)
  • Thursday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle (We "play" basketball or I have worship team practice)
  • Friday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle
  • Saturday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle
  • Sunday: Brielle, Brielle, Brielle (Church and occasional baby/bridal shower that I host)
I know I made the right decision when I try to cram Brielle, Brielle, Brielle (and not to mention my hubby) into my hectic week of school, practice, and church activities. Oh and Kyle works 50+ hours a week and while I was teaching would help out with laundry and cooking dinner. Could you imagine the craziness if we added a baby?! Ahhhhhhh! Nope. Didn't want to do it, I simply had to pick.

When I submitted my resignation I specifically wrote this one truth: I'm a perfectionist. I do not go into anything half heartedly, it's all or nothing. I would either do this job half heartedly, and my mom job whole heartedly, or my mom job half heartedly, and give my full attention to teaching. I could not, nor did I want to do both. The first few years of my daughters life are so short! When I sat down and thought about her life with just mommy it was a short 5 years and then she's off to school! If Brielle lives a full 100 years on this earth, what's 5 years?! If I live a full 100 years on this earth, what's 5 years of giving up a career (even if I did get a Masters degree in it - so what?!) it's a SHORT five years!
I want to treasure and soak in as much time as I possibly have with her, so these 5 years are precious to me because I know they will fly by and we'll both be at school. Then I'll blink and she'll be 18 and off on her own! Ahhhh! Time! There just isn't enough of it! I will go back to teaching, but I will never get these years back and so I would trade a million lives of teaching other kids to spend a short 5 years with my beautiful daughter.

My days and weeks aren't as crazy as they were before, but it still flies by. It revolves around this cute little chubby baby that I didn't know I could love so stinkin' much! I mean, just look at her!
1 Month

2 Months

5 Months

6 Months

7 Months
Being a JH teacher is the best birth control out there, ;) and I was absolutely convinced that I was never, ever going to have kids. I'm so glad that wasn't the case, because this "mommy" job I'd never thought I'd do, is now the best "career" any woman could possibly pursue.
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Check out other bloggers across the state of Nebraska as they write about their career and why they're doing what they're doing! Nebraska Bloggers Connect is an awesome idea thanks to Kelsey at Keeping up with Kelsey and Suzi at Chores and Chandeliers. Can't wait to read about other "Career Day's!"


2 comments:

  1. I definitely agree about doing a job whole heartily. That was my biggest decision maker about the staying at home mom gig and I'm so glad that I took that path. And yes, teaching and mommy hood go hand in hand, so I really do love everything about staying at home. :) It's a HUGE blessing!

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  2. Being a stay at home mom is a rewarding job!
    You are right about it going so fast!!!
    thank you for linking up!!!!

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