Well y'all, as quickly as my time off began, it's now quickly coming to an end. Feeling emotional while the kids nap [does that happen to you??], I went back and read some old posts of mine. It literally feels like yesterday that I was counting down until Christmas break and looking forward to the months I would be blessed to stay home with my kids. Now here we are...I go back to my classroom in TWO weeks [only for four days, and then it will be summer vacation], and I'm like, "HOW!??!"
Lastnight in bed, I started to pray. I apologized because honestly, it's been a little too long since I had a sincere heart to heart with the Lord; and I just asked for guidance. Previously I had said during this season, I had wanted to write more, get more serious about the blog, and book more sessions--and guess what? That just didn't really happen. I did a few sessions sure, and I have a few weddings in the coming year, but I wasn't slammed. And when I opened my laptop to write, usually I couldn't find the words or motivation to get my fingers moving. This has been a season of motherhood, and as I sit and reflect, I am so grateful for that.
I'm a good teacher. I've taught for six years, in a self-contained elementary classroom; teaching all subjects, and meeting HUNDREDS of children along the way. I love fifth graders especially, their humor and sarcasm [or attempts anyway] and when they really start digging deep to figure out who they are. I LOVE teaching writing and inspiring kids TO write. I like interacting with my co-workers and having adult conversations. But at the same time, the thought of working a five day a week job again...it really makes me sad.
My son Pierson will start kindergarten in August [THREE months from now, ahhhh!] and our sweet Reese will be all by herself. She's never known a day without her brother, and she definitely hasn't been away from him all day every day! We don't yet have a sitter for her, and it makes me SO emotional to think that I won't be the one with her each day. Especially her by herself, will be SO fun; she'll be four in September and her personality is just bursting with greatness each and every day. What I wouldn't give to do preschool lessons and 'field trips' with my baby girl. But it's just not the case.
I asked God to give me this time to focus on being Mom, and He answered. Back in November, I wrote this:
There is one thing that I DO know though...that I need this time with my kids. With my son going to kindergarten August 2017, I know that I will be so thankful for these next few months. We aren't sure when our daughter will start school, as our school district just changed the date and age kids need to be when they enroll; so as of now, she may start the year right after him, or she may have to wait two years. Regardless of what happens, if I go back to work full time, part time, or WHATEVER, having these coming months to focus more on being MOM, sounds so wonderful.
The last four months, I definitely focused on being Mom. I think, and have to trust, that God wants me back in the classroom for a while longer. I don't think it's unfeasible that I'll be able to get more paying jobs and possibly in the future get the chance to stay home again, but that time is not now. Reese will definitely be home next year, but we aren't sure yet about the following. If there's a chance she can enroll in kindergarten early, we may look into that because she is SO intelligent, especially socially. But if she does stay home for two years, *maybe* I'll get to stay home again the second year?
I had written another post back in December about my goals during this time off. It was pretty humbling to re-read them today, so let me share with you how those have panned out ;)
1. Eat breakfast [at the table] with the kids and read a devotional while they eat
2. wash my face and everyone's teeth [maybe throw in a shower?] ;)
3. start a routine of school work with them / letters, sight words, science projects, SOMETHING...
4. read aloud daily, other than at nap/bed time
5. go for a walk or play out back before naps
6. if laundry gets done, put it AWAY. this never happens [am i the only one?]
7. eat lunch. be healthy. take care of me.
8. if i don't make it to the gym, do at least one Suzanne Bowen workout a week
9. write for at least 15 minutes a day, whether journaling or in this space
10. cook/prepare 1 meal a week, since my husband is THE chef of the household
Basically, I never cooked a meal... I think I did once? Tacos or something? No wait, I also made a meatloaf and mashed potato dish. Sorry, Babe! I DID brush my teeth daily (you're welcome!) and for the first few months, we were in a great swing of 'school' in the morning. We focused on letters the first several weeks and did fun crafts with things that started with whichever letter (like 'P' we made and designed pizzas and talked about penguins and popcorn, etc.) We went to the park a lot, rarely out back though. I have been *pretty* good about laundry, even putting it away, though this hasn't religiously happened and I do often ask for my husband's help if we let it get away from us during the week. I definitely did not work out, other than running, but that goal was made before I ran the mini marathon so maybe that one isn't a fail? And I didn't write daily...as much as I wish I had. During the kids' naps I was often tired and accepted the fact that it was OKAY to lie down or just rest!
I'm pretty good at NOT knowing what the future looks like. But it's been really humbling and a huge eye-opener, that I can always look back and see how God answered prayer and opened or closed doors. A year ago I was dreaming of staying home, unsure if it would ever happen, and then look. Then, I prayed for some quiet and a season of stillness, and that's what I'm currently living! Though it's hard, and definitely bittersweet, I am surrendering my future yet again to Him.
Pierson will do great in kindergarten. Reese will be well cared for and loved. I will make a difference in the classroom. And everything is going to be just fine.
That was my little benediction to myself, but in all seriousness, I could use your prayers and well wishes. I literally do NOT know where the time went. The saying, "The days are long but years are short," is beyond true. Some days have been so hard, but I wouldn't have traded them for anything in the world!