Three weeks ago I started back at work. After being at home all summer and getting to be a stay at home mom, it's been really difficult leaving that behind and getting back into the motion of being a working mama.
There's been a lot that I've learned the past several weeks:
1: Why do I even bother going back to work? We'll, honestly I love my job. It has been incredibly overwhelming this year. I feel like I'm never ahead of the game and that I'm pretty much just treding water most of the time. But, to me, it's where God wants me. He has put me there with those 26 fifth graders in room 12 and has given me them to guide to the best of my ability. I know that no matter how hard and overwhelming the rest of the job becomes, it's more than that. It's being a "mother" to those kids. Teaching them about what's right and wrong, teaching them how to be honest human beings, and teaching them the knowledge that will take them far in life. And to me... It's worth it. I know that I am working (and working HARD at that) for the glory of God and even if I can't actually teach them about Him, at least I can show them love and that they belong.
2: Sometimes doing God's work down right sucks. That's right, I said it. I like to think that maybe Jonah said the same thing when God made him go to Ninevah. But what sucks about it is being away from my sweet not-so-much-of-a-baby-anymore girl. I have to trust that it's the best thing for us right now. It breaks my heart when I drop her off and I leave her with tears in her eyes. I hate that I miss out on so many hours each day of her exploration and development. And honestly, when it gets close to the end of the work day I'm packing up and getting outta there as fast as I can so I can soak up the few hours I do have.
3: I cannot be a super teacher AND a super mom. So yes, I love my job and I know that's where I'm suppose to be. But I can't spend loads of extra hours going above and beyond anymore. And yes, I miss out on Sara's life during the day. But any extra energy I do have after work, all goes to her. If I have to choose, I choose being a better mommy. The other night we had our Back to School night. So I had to stay at school until 8:00. I remember early on in my teaching listening to other teachers complain about how they had to stay so late. I always use to think they were annoying because it was only a couple days out of the whole year where we had to stay after, but now I understand.
4: I am not a perfect mama. I realize I have much to learn and that it's much different having one child than 2+, but I have to remember that I'm doing the best I can with what God gave me. I can't spend my days being a Pintrest perfect mom. I just don't have the time or energy to do that. But I have my love, laughter, and arms to hold her in when she cries. God decided that I would get to be Sara's mama and when you think of it that way, it seems more of a privilege.
5: I am needed. I get caught up in feeling like I am the one who has to do everything. Sometimes I don't stop and thank God for letting me feel needed. It's exhausting being the only one who can nurse her, or doing all I can to pump at work. It's exhausting having to prepare meals, clean up, keep her safe and happy. Luckily I have a man who helps out with the little things and he is such a blessing. But sometimes, all Sara wants is her Mama. I know it's not going to be this way forever and instead of being annoyed that I can't do something for me... I try to stop everything and enjoy being needed. Every time I pick her up from daycare, she does this happy, excited cry. All she wants is for Mommy to hurry up and get over to her and hold her. So the past weeks or so I've really just tried to hold on to these moments of feeling needed.
6: Balance. It's easy to be consumed with being the best at one area in life. I've been trying really hard to just BE. When I'm at school, I try not to think so much about what I'm missing and I try to give my all to my work and kids. When I come home I try to leave work at work and be with my family. But even further, I've had to learn to balance my time with Sara, and the time I put into cleaning the house, and then the time I spend with Jason, AND on top of all that, my relationship with God. It's hard.