Today was the day! It was officially my last day at school. As of now I am a full time stay and work at home mommy! This is the most amazing and completely terrifying thing I think I have ever done, but I am so excited to go on this new adventure and see what God can bring to me and my family through this experience.
Since it was my last day, and the last day my friends would be at their base school for the year, we had a little end of year get together. We went to one of those places where you are free to bring your beverage of choice 😉 and you follow the lead of an artist to create your own painting that *hopefully* looks something like the sample you signed up to paint. It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with them in a social setting and say a little, “see you around” before we’re all off to our various summer plans. Of course some of the other moms and I will get together with our kiddos over the summer, but tonight was a bit of a last hoo-rah to celebrate the end of a major chapter in my life. I have worked at that school since I graduated from college and have really enjoyed my time there, building relationships with coworkers, students, families, and other community members. Of course, that’s not to say there haven’t been moments where I wondered what in the world I was thinking to go back the next day, but overall it has been a wonderful place to work and definitely the best group of people to work with that anyone could ever ask for.
So, why, you may ask, would I want to leave? Why would I leave the only job I’ve ever know, ever trained for, ever wanted, to stay home and do laundry, and wash dishes, and all the other never-ending tasks that go along with being a stay at home mom? Well, it’s like this: I didn’t choose the mom life, the mom life chose me! (Thanks to all the freshman that try to keep my lingo up to date – I know that I’ve failed you miserably with this little quip, but it fits so I don’t regret it!) I have always said that little kids are not “my thing.” I was built by my creator for a specific purpose and given gifts and challenges to prepare me to fulfill that purpose. For quite some time now, that place of calling has been my high school. I truly believe that I have made a difference in the lives of many students. If nothing else, they will look back on their days at that school and know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that someone in that school cared about them as an individual and wasn’t afraid of doing what it took to help them succeed. I have loved a lot of students over my 8 years of teaching. I still get teary-eyed when I think of several who have held a special place in my heart for one reason or another. I believe that many of my students will seek me out when they find out I’m not going back for another school year. All of these are great and beautiful triumphs in my career, my walk of faith, and for our education system. But none of them is as important of a legacy as my own children.
I don’t want to sound like I think my children are better or more important that anyone else’s or that my time teaching, loving, caring for other children has been a waste. I do not feel that way at all. But I do feel like the biggest impact we can make on this world is to raise a generation that is loving, God-fearing, and hard-working, and what better way to contribute to that than starting with my own children? Could I raise loving, God-fearing, hard-working children while working a full time job outside my home? Sure! Are their parents who do just that? Definitely! However, I don’t think that this is the correct path for me and my family right now. I described it to a co-worker this way: There’s only so much room in my stress bucket, and school takes up a lot of that room. Being counselor, nurse, friend, parent, custodian, teacher, advocate, conscience, comedian for my students all day long wears me out. I get home and only have a little of me left to give to my own children, and then even less left over to give to my husband, and unfortunately God seems to catch the scraps most of the time. This is exactly backwards! It will be crazy and difficult, nerve-wracking and mind-numbing, monotonous and tedious. But at least I will have all of me to give to the little humans God has trusted me to care for. I can give the best of me to my God and my family first. Then if I feel like I have something left over, I can tutor or visit at my school. But no longer will my children, my husband, and my God get the mouse’s portion of my time and energy!
All of that to say, I will miss working at my school, collaborating with my friends who are my colleagues, and spend time with my colleagues who are my friends. I will miss working with those students who would have had a special place in my heart. I will miss seeing the ones that already have a place continue to grow. But, I am grateful for the opportunity to work at home, collaborate with my husband, and spend time with the Lord. I am grateful for my two children and the ones that I will have in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity to watch so closely as they continue to grow.
Before I go, I’d like to say hats off to all the teachers out there for finishing up a great school year. Cheers to you for doing what you do so well! Rest, relax, and take some time to rejuvenate so you can be your best you come August. Then you can get back to changing the world one student at a time!
Until next time…