|Pool days are the perfect days.|
Summer was perfect.... I mean absolutely perfect. Don't get me wrong their were days when my kiddos fought nonstop, days when I couldn't get nap times lined up, days when the whining outweighed the laughter but all in all summer was really really good. I hit my groove on managing life with 3. My big girls were great playmates to one another, Joss was so cuddly and sweet, and the sunshine outweighed the rain.
But more than anything we had downtime and the downtime was good. I am always ready for summer but I also love teaching and the start of school but this year has been different- hard- and I'm drowning a bit. But this blog is a place for honesty, for reflecting, and a keepsake of the memories. I want my girls to look back when they are in their own seasons of mommy hood- and probably being working mommies, if I could guess- and I want them to say wow, our mama did it and it wasn't easy but we can do it too.
I didn't blog much this summer because I was in the moment with my girls and nap time left me busy with reading good books, playing with Ivy, and sneaking in a mommy nap from time to time. And then school started. I wanted to blog about birthdays and first days of school. I wanted to blog about Ivy and Tula taking gymnastics. I wanted to write about the two weeks that we weren't looking for a house but found one we loved, put our house on the market, and then it was off again faster than could blink. But starting school paralyzed me a bit- so here it is, nearly 9 weeks later and my emotions are here in this space.
|Pool nights with Daddy|
School is different- there are the things I love, my students. Man, I love my students. They are the coolest group of third graders ever. We can laugh, we can nearly cry, and we are learning this 3rd grade thing together. I also teach with some of my best friends and that is something that I love. You can't beat going to work with your best friends, it makes the days pass quickly and the support system is always present. The actual teaching part- yep, I love that too. I love teaching kids to love reading. And now I am teaching them that they are learning so much just from the things they are reading. I just was grading their personal experience stories and they did a great job. I love picking out the catchy beginnings or the way they used dialogue just like I taught them to do in my mini-lessons. So what's not to love?
Everything else. Teachers are under a new evaluation system and let me be clear- it's TOO much. We have other new initiatives that are constantly fired at us like rockets one year after another and that also makes me feel beaten down. Reflect on this, set goals for that, teach this lesson like this, and use this curriculum here, and pull a little of that there. Make these students grow three years since they are a touch behind, oh and the gifted students- yep challenge them too, but don't make anyone feel average or less than. Oh and the summer slide back- no such thing. You, teacher, are now responsible for May to May growth- never mind that your students did NOTHING academic for 75ish days.
Teachers have so much direction given and have lost every ounce of teacher freedom. Teacher freedom- freedom to know what's best for our students- we should have this, right? After all we have a college degree and are forced to get our masters with little reimbursement and complete many hours of professional development each year. With all that said- I can barely breath. So I am wrestling.
|Summer adventures with Nana|
I am wrestling to stay afloat for my family. I come home to three little girls and one precious husband who need me each day. They need the real me, not the me who can't seem to manage life as a working mom. I am wrestling to find balance with a career I love and feel like I was very much called to do with having a family which is my first career which I also feel was a high calling from my Maker. I am wrestling with why me- when I hear about stay at home moms getting to take their kids to daytime music classes, story time, and preschool parties while complaining about their stained yoga pants and how their kids don't sleep. I am wrestling with number crunching- trying again to see if next year I could take the year off. I am wrestling with insurance and cursing at the fact that my family can't get insured in any affordable fashion other than through my benefits. So I must rest.
|1st day of school and Joss Maven's 1st birthday!|
I have to rest in His plan for my life and stop wrestling. I know that God put the seed in my heart to teach when I was a little girl and I was even younger when I knew I would be a mommy some day. So I know that these two roles are super important and are bigger than me. I also know that if there was any way possible and it was His will, I would be able to take a brain break from the education system and soak up these last years of motherhood with young ones at home. I have to rest in the promise that I will do my best for my students and put the system behind the little people that I lead. I have to rest in His strength to be it all. And I have to rest that one day their will be jewels in my crown for trying to be everything for everyone August to May, Monday through Friday, for the next 20 years or so.
So I am surrendering to all the things I am wrestling.... and just letting myself rest.