The excitement of Back-to-School is making a slow transition back to reality.The reality is that I’m a working mom again. I like to think that I’m a “pretend” stay at home mommy for about 3 months out of the year. I have two kids of my own, but this week I met 25 new ones who will also be under my care until June. Oh yes, I have to teach them a whole lot of things by then too. I think we’re in good shape so far. It was a good week.
Oh the exhaustion. My almost 8-year old and I were enjoying a chill moment on the couch after the first day of school.
“We did it. The first day of school is done”, I said, offering her a high-five.
“I can’t believe it! I can’t believe I’m in second grade! And good job today, Mommy.”
“So how are we going to do this everyday for the rest of the school year?” I was really asking her for some insight on this one. I was tired, and the day was catching up with me.
“Now that’s the real question, isn’t it?”, she responded. Her tone was so even, so calm, and so composed.
Good answer. Really good answer. I’ll take it.
I asked my daughter a silly question at a moment of stress and exhaustion, but her response was real. It was Mommy-like. It was teacher-like. And yes, she may have heard my husband say that a time or two. I have no idea how the year will go, but it started off well. There’s no way of knowing what is to come, and I only have control over what’s happening to me in the moment when it happens. Reflecting back is helpful to some degree. However, I know it’s not healthy to dwell. For now, my brain sees a couple of lists.
My 14th First Week of School
- The custodian told me again that I have the cleanest and best smelling classroom in the school. He thanked me.
- I implemented meditation in my classroom. 5 minutes of being mindful after recess is powerful.
- I heard some healthy gossip at work. A couple of people want to clone me. I do to. I can get more housework done that way.
- I had McDonald’s once this week for dinner. Exhaustion won that round.
- At Target, I wiped my toddler’s nose with his own sweater in front of someone I ran into. I hadn’t seen her since high school. It was an awkward reunion. Meanwhile, there are 60 boxes of tissue living in my classroom.
Motivation and Mehs are the driving force of life. Compliments and affirmations can really make someone’s day too. I plan on stopping more often to enjoy the moments, even if they’re “meh”.
I will tuck a few tissues away somewhere, just in case.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA