Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In the Moment of the Beginning

Tomorrow is the day.

Tomorrow I go back to work. Kind of full time. Kind of part time.

Tomorrow and Thursday I have meetings. I have to sit and listen to blood borne pathogens and handbook policies. I have to meet new teachers and staff members and greet old ones- some physically old but most just old because I know them already. I have to sit on really uncomfortable chairs in the school library and listen.

Essentially, tomorrow and Thursday I will spend my days just as my students do- listening to stuff I don't feel like listening to.

I really haven't given this beginning of the new school year much thought. I thought about getting a new outfit. Not for tomorrow, for next week. I thought about getting classroom supplies- Staples gave me a new USB drive just for being a teacher, woo hoo! I thought about seeing the co-workers that I haven't seen all summer. But I really haven't thought too much about tomorrow and the days that follow.

My kids won't be in daycare probably until next Friday. I am making a big push-hah- this weekend for potty training. We're doing poopy U at our house from this Friday through Labor Day. Tomorrow and Thursday they'll be with grandma and pop-pop. Next week they'll be with the husband and with grandma. Really, I don't feel like I'm leaving them. I feel like I'm going to the supermarket or out to lunch with friends and they're just home or playing with grandma.

When I think about next Friday and daycare it's so different. I don't know why. Well, I guess I could speculate. It's the fact that it's not a family member with them all day. It's the fact that they're back in a setting with lots of other kids. It's the fact that it's not an extension of me caring for them.

That bothers me. It doesn't bother me enough to stay home full time. Well, it could if we had the income. But I'm not even completely positive of that. I like my work. You know that.

We had a really good summer, though. When I think back to last summer and how, well, shitty it was I am really proud of how far we've come. How far I've come. Last summer was all about depression and sadness. Last summer was PPD. Last summer was the couch and the TV and crying and sadness and anger and hating being home. Last summer was no fun.

This summer was the beach. This summer was laughing. This summer was the sprinkler and the pool and sno cones and day trips into the city and down the shore. This summer was spending time exploring with friends and family. This summer was peaches and high points and botanical gardens and playdates and fun. This summer was crying and anger and sadness, too, but not nearly as much as last summer- not even close. This summer was fun.

I could say that I don't want my summer to end. I could say that I want to continue being home and being free to take the kids and go whenever. I could say that I want to be able to go apple picking in the afternoons in the upcoming fall and go for hayrides during the mornings. I could say all of that and I wouldn't be lying- completely.

I am excited for tomorrow. I am looking forward to see people that I've missed this summer. I am looking forward to catching up with them, laughing with them, just being with them. I am also excited for this Friday when I get to be home with my kids and spend the day doing nothing.

This time of year is always hard. At least for me. I get excited for the new beginning. The chance to start fresh with a new class and new material. I get excited for the months that lay ahead.

Then I get sad.

I think about my kids and the months we've been home together. Yeah, we've had our rough moments. Yeah, I've begged for work to come faster. Yeah, I've cried over poopy diapers and my messy house. But I was with them. And now I won't be.

It's a fine line to walk. Some days are harder than others. Some days I want to be home so much more than I want to be at work. Some days I want to be at work so much more than I want to be home. I worry over it. I over analyze it. I over think it. I underestimate how intense my feelings are going to be.

This year, I'm just going to let it happen. I'm excited for tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy tomorrow. I'm going to enjoy seeing my friends and co-workers. I'm going to enjoy blood borne pathogens. Probably not. I'm going to be in the moments of tomorrow and know that my kids are enjoying every minute- probably- of their day with grandma.

Tomorrow evening I'm going to enjoy being home and being with my family. And I'm going to take Thursday as it comes. Next Friday, daycare day, I'm thinking I may not enjoy so much but I'm going to do my best not to worry about it until we get there.


lattemommy said...


This is a huge transition you're making, no wonder you're a bit apprehensive! I'm glad you had such a great summer with your kids, and I'm glad that at least part of you is looking forward to getting back to work. Your kids will do great in daycare, I'm sure, and you'll make the most of the time you are with them.

Enjoy your new beginning. We only get so many of those in life. :)

Kate said...

This is the best working mom attitude that I've heard in a long time. Seems like people (meaning anyone other than working moms) assume that we are either hard core career women who hate the idea of being home with the kids OR that we are poor souls who wish they could stay home instead of HAVING to work.

Well - I kind of "have to" work, but some days I love it. Some days I miss my kids and some days I'm practically skipping to my car after dropping them off at daycare. You are absolutely right - it's day to day, minute to minute...and in the end you just have to appreciate what you like about that day, that minute.

LaskiGal said...

It is a crazy emotional line on which you tread.

I was a bit melancholy last week when school started--knowing that someone else would be teaching my students, making themselves at home in my old classroom.

I think you perfectly captured the essence of what it means to be a working mom.

Good luck!!!

Kate said...

I hated in-service days so much. I just wanted to go to my classroom and get things ready!
Other Kate is right - there are a lot of layers to being a working mom.

Helen E.M. Wright said...

I'm glad that you have good and sad thoughts about it all!! Means you're well balanced!

I would love to be well balanced!! ;)

ConverseMomma said...

I don't want to even think about going back to work. I had the most amazing summer, too. I keep hoping I find a large sum of money between now and next tuesday.
Love and peace!

Leendaluu said...

ok, chickie, I like you. Thank you for stopping by my place...I'll be back at yours...often

crazy working mom said...

Heh, isn't it ironic that when we're home with our kids, we wish we weren't. But, when we are not we wish we were! I am the exact same way. Hang in there, though you're a great momma and it'll be a nice retreat, I'm sure.

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