Written by Guest Blogger: Jennifer Griffin
The day starts at 5:30 am. The alarm sounds and I hit “snooze” three times before I have my cup of Joe. Stumbling down the stairs I think to myself, “I wish I could be a stay at home mom!” Occasionally, I utter those words to my husband who “sometimes” makes my coffee for me. It’s a Kuerig people! One stop shop at the Griffin household.
As I sip on my hazelnut, light and sweet, I start the rundown of my day. Stress, anxiety, excitement, happiness and sadness ensue. Why all the emotions? I’m still trying to figure it out. You see, I am considered, in the educational field, a “veteran” teacher. I’ve been teaching elementary education for 10 years. With a Master’s Degree and countless hours trying to perfect my profession, it continues to be an uphill battle.
Question: Why? Why is it so difficult, when teaching should come so naturally at this point in my life?
Answer: I am a working mom to two amazing girls, and I am married to an active husband who enjoys his family, adventure and the outdoors all the same!
Before kids I promised myself that my work/life balance would be easy and beneficial. I would naively chant — I got this! — to myself. Everything seemed simple back then. My first daughter, Rylan, was born in 2009. I had a birth plan. Typed it out (Times Roman font…size 14). Gave it to my doctor. (Yes, I am somewhat of a perfectionist, clean freak, OCD…call it what you may. I am she!)
I went back to work when Rylan hit the four-month mark. Returning to my kindergarten class after Thanksgiving was a real blessing. My students were enthusiastic and the parents were compassionate and empathetic to my new life as a teacher/mom. I was balancing my growing family and teaching. However, the voice in my head still remained. How can I possibly juggle a full-time job educating young children while trying to love and nurture MY OWN young infant?
Fast forward 32 months and Reese, my little firecracker arrived! She is spunky, beautiful, silly and completes our family. And again, I was forced to find balance between my family and my profession.
I continue to reflect on life and what matters. I’ve come to realize that BOTH my family and being a teacher are what matters to me. I now know that without teaching I would have no balance. Despite the stress, contributing to the education of my students year after year makes me a better mom.
In the end, happiness matters, friendship matters and sadness matters. Without these parts of the emotional equation, we wouldn’t learn and grow. They balance each other out and that’s life. The good with the bad. Happy and sad. Family and friends. All = LOVE.
The process of writing for Runitlikeamom has helped me realize all of us working and active moms are striving everyday to empower ourselves and most importantly, our children. And now, I’m going to buy a diary!