I've been busy. Incredibly busy. Ridiculously busy. Back in May, I decided to make a complete career change and apply for a new alternate teacher certification program with our school district. Out of over 100 applications, I was chosen to participate along with 15 others. We had four rigorous weeks of training which included teaching summer school. During this time, I also crashed studied to take multiple Praxis test (including 4 extra times for to pass math), leaving very little time for my family. After the training. I accepted the only position I could find, a kindergarten teaching position at a high-poverty area school.
At the beginning of the school year, I was excited, nervous, and overwhelmed -- nothing out of the ordinary for a new teacher. My husband was supportive and really stepped up to help with the kids. Now, eight weeks later, I'm drained and living in survival mode. I'm not going to write much about my classroom experience but it has been difficult for me to handle. The children are very sweet. They have a special place in my heart and as tired, overwhelmed, and stressed as I am, I get up every day to do what I can to teach them. I have learned a great deal about myself and the world of education over these past few weeks. Never had I thought education would encompass so much strategy, data tracking, planning, resources, tools, etc. I can't even begin to explain the amount of work a teacher has to do - I would say even more so in kindergarten. Believe me when I say, if you complain to me about your child's teacher, I will most likely not speak to you. You have no idea what they go through! God bless teachers and please do not discourage those who have a deep passion to teach.
This is by far the biggest challenge I've ever faced and for once in my life, I don't think I can make it to the end. Along with the amount of time and work that I've put into this career change, I have been under extreme stress and my family is really suffering. I'm constantly in a bad mood and becoming more and more angry about I don't know what. I thought I had what it takes to be a good teacher but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm too just old or set in my ways for this drastic of a change?
On top of all this stress and work, on Sunday, my oldest son moved out. He's 19. I know it's time since most kids his age move out to go to college. I was there once. It was a part of our plan for him but the problem is that he decided to move out without telling me. Long story short, I came home from working at a teacher's house to learn from my husband that he had moved out. They had a been working over the last few months to fix my mother-in-law's old trailer for him to move into sometime after graduation. We had a plan with a loose timeframe. He broke that plan. So, as you can imagine I was confused and heartbroken.
Even though the trailer is practically in our backyard, there is something about your first child moving out that is special. I'm working through he biggest range of emotions this week with this move that I can't even pin one down. To understand where I'm coming from, you have to know our journey and relationship. Him moving out, without anyone telling me, has made me feel more like an unimportant step-mom than ever. Along with how our relationship has deteriorated over the last few months, I feel like everything I've done for him didn't matter nor did I deserve the respect for even a text or call.
Another thing that has me seriously upset has to do with his birth mom and plans she has with him for tomorrow, which I will not discuss here out of respect for him. She has had very little to do with him for most of his life until recently (when all of the hard parenting work is done of course) and still randomly when it's convenient for her. I don't know why I let these things with my oldest son get to me so much...I guess just because I've been there for him for so many years and I care.
On top of all these new school expectations I don't know how to handle, I also don't know how to handle this change in life, especially with him. I've been having a difficult time letting him become a more independent young adult and now moving out and moving on. I know I'm technically his step-mom but I've been his mom for 14 years. He's called me mom for 14 years. I've raise and cared for him...I've seen him through school and sports...I've laughed and cried with him...I've been mom. Why do I feel like I'm being shut out? Why now? We have always been a close nit family and for many years it was The Three Amigos - Roger, Juliet, Brendon. But now, he's distanced himself from our family in general. He's gone every night and weekend, either at school or with his girlfriend and her family, and not attending his little brother and sister's events. Very rarely do they spend time at our home and if they do, they go straight to his room to watch a movie. I know it's because he's 19 but I can't help but feel it's all to avoid me. I'm desperately recalling my memories and old feelings from when I was 19 to help calm my nerves and go with it.
This post is all over the board. I'm sorry. Like I mentioned, I'm dealing with a range of emotions I can't seem to work through. There are worst things in life, but I've had a difficult past two years and now going on a third. Each year had chipped away at my self-esteem and I don't know how much more I can take.
With all of this, I'm reconsidering my role in this teaching career. Is it just me or should a first year teacher really be stressing this much??? For some of those going through this program, they are doing very well and I am happy for them. But for me, I just don't see it. I handle change ok but I'm dealing with too much change in my life right now. As a controlling person, I'm completely out of control. I'm very hard on myself but I just feel like my world and my family is falling apart. I blame it my big change. I'm stressed, I cry all the time. I barely do anything with my kids. My marriage seems rocky. My house is just not kept. My head hurts and I have had a hoarse voice for 8 WEEKS! I can't put off the school work because I'll fall behind and my students will suffer.
Why am I blogging about this? Honestly, I have no idea. It's not anyone's business what's going on in my home or work life. I know I sound whiny, childish, jealous, and bitter, but writing can be therapeutic - so there you go. Events this week have just sent me over the edge. I'm in a hole that I hope I can get out of very soon. I desperately want to quite feeling this way but I don't know how. I dealt with my daughter going through cancer better than I'm handling things now.
I started rebuilding my relationship with God last year and I was happy. We had no money but I was home with my kids and my life was good. Now, I have no desire to pray. I have no desire to do anything for that matter. So, I'm asking for continued prayers. Prayers that I can get out of this slump and get my life back. I'm only holding myself together for my family.
I hope in my next post you will find me in a much better place.
While finishing up this blog post, my husband just got home from running errands and handed me a box of chocolate cover cherries. My favorite. No matter how tough things are, I do love this man. Baby steps.