I took the day off today and by “off” I mean pack lunches/ physical therapy/ school sub plans/ eye doctor/ bank/ oil change/ grocery store/ clean house/ respond to work emails/ laundry/ unload dishwasher/ take Katherine to dentist/ drop off and pickup Katherine from cross country/ cook dinner/ clean kitchen/ plan lessons. It felt SO GOOD!
As this is my 10th year balancing teaching with parenting, the challenges of September are not new to me. (Remember September vs. Allison?) And as much as I try to prepare, each year’s challenges are unique. This year, I have 29 amazing fifth graders to love. The good news: to help support all the different levels and learning styles, our class qualifies for two special education teachers and an ESOL teacher. The bad news: these three positions have yet to be hired. This is out of my control, so I just keep doing what I can do, one day at a time.
I spend a lot of time trying to balance
work and home and I distract myself thinking about it all. Last week I drove to
Physical Therapy to run and realized I was still wearing my flip flops. This
week I tried to get a jump start on dinner by roasting a chicken while
preparing for work. I opened the oven to check in and a huge poof of smoke came
billowing out. “Please don’t set off the smoke alarm,” I thought as I started
frantically fanning the cloud.
|I love this bunch!|
Beeeeeeeep, beeeeeep. Too late.
So, when Paul ran out to the kitchen at 6:00 am to find me in my PJs waving dishtowels in the air, I could only turn, smile, and say, “Dinner’s ready!”
One of my teammates is back at work this September for the first time since having a baby. It’s not easy. “I just feel like a failure,” she mentioned as she stuffed her bag full of papers that needed grading. “I don’t understand how everyone else does this.”
Pssst—here’s our secret. We don’t. We try, but we end up burning chicken and running in flip flops. We make choices and prioritize. Sometimes that means eating Fritos and a candy bar for dinner so we’re not late to our son’s game. Sometimes it means falling asleep at 8:00 pm instead of folding laundry. We support each other and we laugh and we drink too much coffee and too much wine. We lose ourselves in the moments that really matter--with our students, our families, and friends.
And sometimes, we take a “sick” day to stay healthy.