I accepted a maternity leave coverage at school this fall so I'm back in the first grade. I went from being the student teacher in a class with two other adults to the lead teacher in a class by myself. The adjustment has been... challenging. I barely survived the first day of school and by 2:45 felt like Id been hit by a truck. (I may have even cried in the bathroom during my lunch break, wondering by I ever thought I could do this.) We're almost two months in and things have definitely settled down in the classroom. Our routines are set, the kids know what to expect each day and I have grown to love them... even the "difficult" ones. I love, love, LOVE being in the classroom.
As a result of me working though, life at home is crazy. I wake the boys at 6:15, get them dressed and fed and out the door by 7:30. I drop them off at daycare then head right to school. After teaching for 6 hours, I usually stay 2 hours late to prep for the next day. This means I don't get back to the boys until 4:30, sometimes 5. This gets us home just in time for dinner, baths and bed. Once they're in bed, I clean up the dishes, pack the lunches for the next day, shower and dry my hair then crash into my bed at 10:30.
I struggle everyday with whether or not I'm doing the right thing. I feel like I'm failing at both jobs. I can't commit fully to the teaching because I have to get home and take care of the boys. And I'm not fully committed to the boys because I'm not with them all day!
I have exactly 5 weeks left at this job. I have been looking for something to do next but there's not much out there. Part of me is relieved because being able to wake up and not have to go, go, go sounds amazing right now. But part of me is getting anxious because I know I want to work, and that I will go crazy if I'm home full-time. Should I work or should I stay home? It's an internal question that I still don't know the answer to. A question I'm sure most moms ask themselves everyday. For now, I am trying to enjoy my time in the classroom and learn as much as I can and then enjoy my quality time with the boys in the evenings and on the weekends. Only time will tell what my next step will be.