I’ve been feeling a lot of mom guilt vs teacher guilt at the moment. There are so many changes happening in my life right now… “Mother” choices I’ve needed to make… You know the kind; when your decision directly affects the life of your family in a way that goes beyond what the kids eat for breakfast. It’s taken its toll on me, but I’ve had a few months to reflect on where I
need want to be. Searching myself, figuring out what is important right now, and even confronting the sense of self-imposed guilt that comes with putting ‘self’ first.
Mom Guilt vs Teacher Guilt
We’ve been back in South Africa for just over a year and I haven’t been blogging that much. It’s been surprisingly difficult settling back into life here again. There has been so much going on, that I kind of stuck my head in the sand for a while.
So I decided to go back into teaching earlier this year. I wanted to dip my toes into the “water” to see if this is what I wanted to continue doing now that we’re back home. After 2 years at home with my kids, moving back from the States, and having a new baby, it was no easy feat.
I was lucky enough to locum at one of the most prestigious schools in South Africa. An incredible environment with the most amazing staff.
But, boy oh boy did I learn a few things about myself.
For one thing, I’m done teaching! (At least for the near future.) I’ve heard it said many times, by so many people. “Oh how lovely, you have a half-day job”… All I am going to say on this topic is that, if you’ve never been in a classroom, you are CLUELESS! My blood boils when I hear that!
There are so many guilt feelings involved here, and I was inundated with them!
I would leave home and 6:00 am in the morning and sometimes only get home by 5:00 pm. I was so exhausted from giving 100% of my time and energy to other people’s children that when I got home I had none left for my own. Spending my evenings marking and preparing lessons when I should be reading my children a bedtime story!
We all have our own work ethic. I literally work myself to the bone. Making sure all my deadlines are met and expectations exceeded. So much so, that my own children’s needs were falling by the wayside. I was forgetting about school functions, grocery shopping, and Dr’s appointments. All because WORK CAME FIRST. I’ve needed to sit back and re-evaluate what my priorities are.
This is seriously a bad word in my house. We have 5 kids. I have to work. There is no way around this, as most of you will be able to relate to. However, there are other ways to earn money and know that whilst your family is being provided for, they are also getting your time.
Is it really worth it? The mom guilt vs teacher guilt? Enough said!
Teachers teach because they have a love for children. A passion to help them grow. Maybe not all teachers, unfortunately, but most are there to raise our future generation. However, I have gotten to the point in my life, where no amount of money and time is worth putting up with entitled and unkind parents. Now let me just add, that for the most part, I have had amazing parents in the classes that I have taught. But geesh. When people can be so irrational, rude, and straightforward “grown-up” bullies. I’m done with it. I would rather spend my time cuddling and giving my own children what they need.
My children are my priority. Period! But I have also learned that we are never too old to try new things, step out of our comfort zone, and work this around for the betterment of ourselves and our children.
I am so excited about jumping into the deep end to do something new (bringing in money as well) and being able to be with my children.
I will miss being in the classroom, I won’t lie. I will miss all the hugs and happy children. I will miss educating the future.
But … right now, getting the chance to push my children on the swing in the afternoons, sitting at the dinner table as a family and discussing the day, cuddling up and watching a movie with all these little bodies against me. This, this is where I am needed.
Who knows, maybe down the road, I won’t be able to resist picking up that red pen again. But, first I will have to deal with the potential mom guilt vs teacher guilt creeping back in again.