So what went wrong? Why did I give it all up? Did I have terrible working conditions? Am I wealthy, or even comfortable financially? The answer to this a resounding "no!". This is why I gave it all up~
|Graduation Day May 2012|
See, I can not do it all, and at this point in my life I do not want it all. And I'm not afraid to admit it. I admire women who can keep an immaculate or even a reasonably clean home, cook healthy meals, work all day, take care of their own children, and work half the night preparing for the next day, blogging, etc. If you are a teacher, you know that the work never stops. Your brain is always on. There is always something to do. And if you are like me, you don't settle for doing something the same way twice. How can you? Each year you have a new batch of kids who are unique and deserve the best that I can give. So, although I don't always recreate the proverbial wheel, I always tweak and customize my units and activities each year.
I have a somewhat unique situation. I really have two families. My oldest is almost twenty and my youngest two are 6 and 7 years old. Way back in the 1990's, I did it all. I taught 130 middle school kids a day, did after school enrichment, led department meetings after school, took graduate classes at night, worked on curriculum in the summer, and was a single mother. I'm a self-professed work-alcoholic and perfectionist. I tried so hard to be the perfect mother and perfect professional. The county in which I taught was intense pressure... test scores, test data, (repeat 10 times). In spite of it all, I loved my job, I loved being a mom, and my heart was always calling me to be home... to attend my son's class parties, to volunteer in the classroom, to go on field trips, and to not be so mentally drained at the end of the day.
So now, I am starting all over again with two little ones. And that tugging at my heart did not stop. After much praying, much thought, much discussion with my husband, we decided that it was God's will that I be home. I had to be home... I had to give it all up to gain it all. My family is my purpose... I know that some will cringe a that, but it is really what I feel I'm called to do. Yes, God called me to teach and I am passionate about my career. But I'm even more passionate about this beautiful family that He has blessed me with.
What about money and logistics? That is a tough one... we are not rich and as I mentioned earlier are not even financially comfortable. Each day can be a struggle, but God always provides. Here's something else...
- I do not live in nor do I desire to have a huge, or even medium size, fancy house. My humble, little cozy house is one that we love.
- I do not need a new car... well, I do, but my mini-van is hanging in there, barely, but for today, it runs.
- I'm beyond needing cute, trendy clothes and jewelry... we buy ours at the thrift shop and my sons receive hand-me-downs from my sister.
- I don't really need the monthly hair appointments, manicures, and pedicures. Do I miss them? Yes!!!!
- We don't take many vacations and when we do it is to spend time with family in Ocean City, MD. We are blessed that we can stay with family and not have to pay outrageous prices for hotels, condos, or beach houses.
- I don't have a Smart phone, iPad, or new computer. What I have is adequate enough.
But, I need to simplify... I need time to breathe... I need time to cherish the time with my children, with my husband. To be in the moment as much as I can.
I'm headed into uncharted territory... I will be homeschooling (or as is probably more correct, "doing public school at home", as I will be using a cyber school) my six year old next year. Depending on God's provision, my seven year old may attend public school for the first time ever in the fall.
Am I scared? Absolutely I am. I don't have this all figured out... I don't know exactly how we will make it work. But, I know one thing... I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what I was meant and created to do.
And I know that through it all, God will provide.