Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm on my third day back at work and I think the fact that I have forgotten to put on deodorant every single morning should say something.  Other than that I smell at the end of the day.

Good thing I keep deodorant in my car at all times.

Really, I'm not sure I'm going to make it much longer.  I sent an email to a friend after first period on my first day back and all it said was, "I no longer love my job."  That's a lot for me.  I really used to love my job- even on the worst days.  I used to look forward to teaching and being with my students.  I looked forward to coming to work.  Now?  Now I get up in the morning and I dress and drive all over God's green earth to drop kids at respective schools and then I get to my school. 

And I work.

And then I drive all over again picking kids up and I head home.  I have not gotten home before 5pm either day this week and that means that I have just enough time to feed, homework and get my older two ready for bed before they actually go to bed.  The younger two spend their time eating and snoozing while everything goes on around them.  Minimal interaction between any of us.

Is this really how it's supposed to and going to be?


I'm not sure if you know Susan or have read her blog over at Toddler Planet but she was one of the very first blogs I read, along with her very good friend Canape over at Don't Take the Repeats.  Well, Susan has been fighting and battling and beating cancer for a number of years now but has now reached the point where that bastard cancer is, very very sadly, beating her body.  Not her spirit.  You must head over and read her story because only she does it justice.  But know she is probably one of the smartest and strongest fighters I have ever encountered! 

Susan's story and her life have really had me thinking.  Susan has two wonderful little boys that she loves to the end of the earth and back and I can only imagine that they, through all of this, have been at the forefront of her mind and heart. 

We have been very lucky with regards to our health, as a family.  The things we have gone through have been treated and taken care of and monitored.  We haven't had to battle things nearly as hard as others in and out of the blogosphere have.  But reading about Susan and her fight and also finding out that a good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer has really brought a lot of new thoughts to the forefront.

Is working, if I don't really have to, worth it?

Do I want to get to a point where I miss firsts and seconds and thirds because I'm in a classroom somewhere or at a faculty meeting?

God forbid something happens to my husband or I, are we happy with the amount of time we've invested in our children and their happiness and well being?

There are so many what ifs.  And I know, we cannot live our lives based on the what ifs.  But am I living our life, my life, as a have to?  I have to go to work.  I have to have those extra dollars just in case.  I have to put my kids in certain schools or certain activities.  I have to, have to, have to.

I took it to the worst the other night and I thought about Susan as she and her family made the choice to bring in Hospice care.  What if it were us?  What if we were bringing in Hospice care, would I really be ok with the fact that I spent my last time on the earth, the majority of it, not with my family- my children?

I think everyone knows the answer to that.

But I really am afraid to walk into my principal's office and quit.  I'm afraid to walk away from my work.  I'm afraid of not having that paycheck- as meager as it is- to add to our bank account every two weeks.  I'm afraid that in 3 or 4 years when I decide that I want to be back in full time work, whatever that may be, I will be considered a dinosaur in the working world. 

I don't like to live my life, or my family's life, out of fear.  Whether that's fear of cancer or fear of leaving and jeopardizing my family's well-being.  But there has to be a better way.

If I have learned nothing else from Susan and her courageous and never-ending fight- and that's just what it has been, she has not given up her faith or her hope or her fight- it's that I need to make sure I do what is best for me and my family.  I need to fight for them, in every area of life and living.  I need to work past the fear of what lies ahead and just live.

But, as with all else, that is far easier said than done.

Please head over to Toddler Planet and check out Susan.  She really is a brilliant scientist and wonderful mother and, again, one of the strongest most courageous people I've encountered.


Katy said...

Hi Stella,
Stopping by after seeing your comment on Throat Punch. Hang in there and hope you find your way re: work outside the home. I work part-time and it's been a pretty good fit for me and my family. A little bit of both worlds. But I certainly wouldn't ever advise someone to do what I do, or pass judgment on someone who doesn't do what I do. :)

Family Travellers said...

Found you on "People I want to Punch." I am one of 4 kids raised by a working mom. Amazed that you do it. My wife works and we have 2 and I happen to have a flexible schedule but it's still a juggling act. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

PletcherFamily said...

Hi there! Saw you on "People I Want to Punch in the Throat". Until this past August, I was a working mom as a school nurse. As much as the schedule was awesome, and I enjoyed being there, my heart was pulled in two directions. Especially this last year. We have a child with special needs, who requires a lot of attention and has a lot of appointments. I have two other children as well. We run a non-profit foundation.

When I found out we were moving and I would be leaving my job and I wouldn't be returning to work so that I could get the kids on track, I was relieved. And when I sat with my principal and told her I was leaving, she was sad and glad at the same time. She said the same thing - you are doing so much outside of school that is where your focus needs to be. You are giving 100% at work and 100% at home and 100% to our foundation and that is too much for any one person.

It made me feel better. I would bet your principal would feel the same way. I think they would be sad and glad at the same time because you are making the decision that is right for you.

Good luck,

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