Monday, November 7, 2016

Remember Me?

Hey.

Remember me?

It’s a week past the first of the month.

It’s the first time since I began my “word-of-the-year” goal that I’ve missed an entry detailing my progress.

I know you don’t really care and probably didn’t even notice.

The irony of this happening during the year my goal is “remember” isn’t lost on me.

School. It overruns my thoughts and my days and some of my nights. Seasoned teachers tell me the first year is the worst, and that it all gets better from there. I’m trying to believe them.

Right now I’m barely swimming. I love it. I hate it. I can’t stay away from it. I can’t make myself do it.

It’s a weird place to be.

And while I feel like I’ve found a part of me that has been buried for decades, I caught myself thinking about and missing the stay-at-home mom part of me. The part of me that decorated for holidays and endlessly searched Pinterest for new ideas. The part of me that took photos of meticulously organized closets and pantries and kids’ drawers. The part of me that could spend an entire morning at Target wandering the aisles with nowhere else to be until school got out. The part of me that blogged regularly about the crazy antics here at the Sanatorium. The part of me that spent dedicated time each day on homework (my own kids’, not someone else’s).

I ask myself the same question many times a week:

Is it worth it?

When I’m in the classroom and I read something one of my students has written, I get flooded with excitement when I can pinpoint exactly what I taught them. That feeling is incredible. I love it. I love my students. I love the subject. I love the challenge and the learning and the environment.

But is it enough?

I haven’t had a break from teaching since August. Fall break was in DC, and Thanksgiving will be out of the country at a wedding. It’s beginning to wear me down, and I can’t tell if that feeling is because I need to rest or if it is something more.

I’m trying to find the middle ground, wondering if I can find that place where I can do not all the things but do the things that really matter.

When will I Christmas shop? Or decorate the house? Or wash the car? Or fold the growing pile of clean laundry at the foot of my bed?

Just some small things.

And can I do it and still remember the important things: birthdays, scripture study, exercise, prayer?

Both of my older boys pointed out to me my lack of blogging lately—an outward manifestation of my crazy schedule. The other kids feel a little ignored as well. I love this picture of photo-bombing Ben on Halloween night at the neighborhood carnival. 

Can I continue to do this? Should I?

8 comments:

  1. You should continue. I love reading about your family's adventures.

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  2. Dear Jenny~ I have read your blog for so long now, I can't even remember how I stumbled across your amazing blog, but I am glad I did. You may not know this but your blog has helped save me in more ways that I could possibly tell you. You are an amazing mother and I feel like I have learned so much from you through blog. So, thank you, thank you for all of your wisdom. Thank you for sharing patience with children, love for you husband, and your faith. Thank you!!

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  3. You have been looking for something that is missing from your life for a long time. I was sure this was it, but I didn't know it would be so hard on you. I hope you will give it at least a couple of years. Maybe you will find out that a stay at home Mom is what you have wanted all along. I know that is always what I wanted, but you are way more ambitious than I could ever be. Good luck, my dear daughter. Love you

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  4. One of the hardest adjustments I have had so far in my life is not the empty nest but going to work full time. I do not hate my job, but for so long my job was taking care of my family. That meant recording the fun things (and not so fun things) that went on in my family, cleaning, decorating for holidays (my fall decorations consist of fake leaves scattered on my dining room table, BOOM! done) and having some time to give attention to all members of my family. Now I go weeks without seeing my parents and I do not like it. It was easier to take care of Gma because that fit into my life so much easier than taking 8 hours (teachers spend so much more time than that!) out of my day, 8 hours of time but also of energy, patience, motivation and brain power. I am sure there is a balance, but I am not great at finding it. Love you my friend! I wish I had words of wisdom to help you but sadly, I am still struggling with the issue.

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  5. Long time reader.....I appreciate your conflict I wish you luck in figuring it out. I just thought about my family with 4 grown children and an 8th and 11th grader......and a husband, all used to me being available most of the time. Change is super hard. I know you will do what is best for your whole family. Hard hard stuff. ❤️

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  6. Yeah. It's a hard one, and everyone has to make these decisions for themselves. I did a year-long stint of working when my youngest went to first grade. After a year, I decided to hang it up because much as I enjoyed counseling others, I felt like my own family was needing me a little bit more than my clients. It was a hard choice and wouldn't necessarily be the right one for every woman. But I felt too scattered, and my home life wasn't quite what I wanted it to be. I was lucky to have a choice, because while my income helped, it wasn't essential. I did go back to work the Monday after my youngest left for college, though. And before that happened, I wrote a couple of books, something I was able to do from home at a pace that worked better for me at the time. Anyway, I have great faith in your instincts, and you will figure this out with the Lord's help. I expect it to be abundantly clear to you by the end of the school year. Maybe even sooner! ;)

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  7. I missed you! Was worried about you and yours. Plus it is close to your blogiversary. I admit - I feel a bit creepy. I have been following your blog for so many years now. Since you were pregnant with you rainbow baby Evie through a mom's loss page. So long ago I can't even remember which one.

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  8. That's a tough one. You need to keep searching in your heart what is the right thing to do for you and your family. Don't worry about the frills around the holidays, my guess is your family won't suffer and may pick up the slack if asked. The first theee months of any learning curve is steep and tough...give it a bit more time and set your expectations lower. Finish what you started but before you sign on for another session keep asking yourself the questions you are and make a change if you want to. Life is too short to be doing something that doesn't bring us joy and fill our cup. Good luck, you will get there!

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