Before I get into this post, let me say that I am incredibly grateful that I was able to stay home with my daughter last year (she was born in November) and that I get the opportunity to do it again this year. I know that many would kill for the chance to do the same and being a mom to this little cutie has been the most rewarding gift.
Buuuuuut (there's always one, right?), as everyone around me goes back to school I'm feeling a bit left out and missing some things that I NEVER thought I would miss ha! Last year, I wasn't missing work at all since I was *super* pregnant at this time of year and couldn't think about anything other than getting the baby out! And then came figuring out how to take care of a newborn. Now that Gracie's nine months, I finally have time to reflect on what is going on! Here's some of the stuff I've been longing for.
Note: I do realize these are all superficial components of teaching...but that's probably all I can handle right now! And all I need at this moment to fulfill my longingness (word?).
First up, school supplies (and games and books and toner and arts and crafts stuff and containers and everything else teachers buy during the summer)! I get knots in my stomach as I walk through Target and see all the new crayons and buckets of glue sticks and pencils. I know I don't need the stuff (I have plenty still in a closet upstairs) but I still want to buy it and add it to my collection. Because someday I might need it, right? If my husband didn't have me on a budget and so toys and stuff for my daughter obviously comes first, I probably would buy them anyway! Priorities change I guess.
Sharpening pencils...beyond the first week of school I hate sharpening pencils. I always try to pass it on to a kid, but they break the pencil sharpener or arguments begin or they can't sharpen the ones with the lead that keeps falling out over and over so sometimes I'm stuck with it. But right now it seems like fun. Maybe I should find the ones I have and just sharpen away and then I'll have enough for the rest of my teaching life.
This is my poor lonely laminator collecting dust at the bottom of a bookcase...and I don't even know where my cutting board is since it's not with its partner. True story, I asked on the Facebook page for my local community if there are any teachers nearby that need help doing this stuff because I can do it at home at night. It's too hard for me to actually volunteer at a school right now because I have my daughter all day, but I'd totally do it at night. My baby is turning one in a couple months and I'm already thinking about what I can make to use my laminator!
Containers and labels...new ones, colored ones, decorating them, sorting supplies into them...all teachers love doing this right? Soon we are making a playroom for Gracie. I guess I'll have to get my fill there. Poor girl is going to be going to mommy school before she can talk!
Books!! It seems like every year I spend forever labeling and sorting my library books (in a different way than the year before of course). Mine have been in bins for a year!! I miss them. Actually I want to buy them all again and put them in Gracie's room. Is that weird? I don't want her to have the used books that have been in and out of my classrooms for nine years, but new ones. Even if they are the same. She probably doesn't care, so I guess it's me who wants the new ones. But when I go back to work, I'll need books for school and books for her, right?
Whoever thought I would WANT to wear dress clothes? I have apparently forty pairs of work slacks...I need a reason to wear them. I actually find them comfy! Jeans aren't that comfortable. But if I were to wear black slacks around home they'd be covered in cat hair, milk, and baby drool. And I'd love to wear my flats again! Right now I live in flip flops.
I miss rushing around, being busy every second, and having the day fly by. I always loved the morning rush to get to work as soon as possible once the building was open so that I could have as much time to myself to work as possible (I'm a morning person, not a night person). The day being over before I knew it, no chance to eat or sit or use the restroom. Yes I miss that! Sometimes I have no chance to eat or use the restroom now too, but the day doesn't go by as fast and sometimes I feel like I have accomplished nothing and struggle with what I am supposed to be doing. Never a problem as a teacher. Always something to do. I'm sure if I was doing it right now I'd feel differently, but we know the grass is always greener on the other side!
Then there is the heart of teaching, planning, collaborating, working with students, making a difference in their lives. I'm not sure I miss this yet (well I miss it, but I'm not ready to actually do it), because I don't think I could handle it along with being a mom. I wouldn't know how to split my time or how to not do something completely. So to those of you who do, you are amazing! I don't know how you do it all.
Are you staying at home this year? What do you miss? Have you in the past? How did you know you were ready to go back?
If you are a STAH, then you might understand the post on my personal blog today about my husband always waking up the baby. Click the button above to find it.