. . . for Lauren and Lauren: Missing my old purpose

July 29, 2015

Missing my old purpose

The other day I was pulling into the dentist (the first problem) and there was a lady walking out of an office building across the street.  In a cute skirt and heels and looking beautiful, and accomplished.  I was pulling up wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts, after spending my morning playing with Addilyn at a friends, putting her down for a nap and bringing the five year old I babysit with me to the dentist, while my mother in law watched Addilyn.  I felt nervous, frazzled, ugly and so not accomplished.  It made me miss dressing up.  Putting on nice clothes, getting to work, feeling purposeful in a career.
A few months ago, my close friend that was on my third grade team got to downtown for a three day conference, learning about a new math method, then got to come back to school to present it.  She did so well that they want her to work with some other schools and present at another conference.  Not that I would be close to as knowledgeable in this subject, but we used to do a lot of planning, creating and teaching together.  If I was still at school I would have been the one that went to the conference with her.  It made me miss teaching.  Miss the opportunity to impress people, to feel proud of an idea, and to make a difference in a ton of kids' lives.  

The same week when I was tutoring one of my students I asked her if she was sad that school was over or happy for summer.  She said both, and that she was only said about leaving "Mrs. Rempert."  Again, I felt sad.  I used to have students that said that.  And as time goes on, the majority of the students do not know who Mrs. Vale is.  

Later that week my timehop picture was of me and six students that moved up with me when I went from teaching second to third grade.  Six of my favorite students ever.  When I think about my first few years of teaching, it was so much of who I was.  I loved teaching so much.  Of course there's parts that weren't great, but it was what I was meant to do and I loved it.  

About 85% of the time I feel really confident and content with my role as a stay at home mom.  I know that God has made me to be Addilyn's mom and that even though I have no idea what I'm doing many of the times, that I'm a good mom.  I feel so grateful that I am able to stay home with my daughter and don't take it for granted, when I know so many people would love to be able to do the same.

But I think I'm surprised that I still have feelings like this.  When school started back up last year, I went through a phase where I had some second thoughts about staying home.  I felt like I missed the beginning of the year excitement, felt like maybe I should have tried to find a part time teaching job and wished that would have worked out at my school.  Seeing back to school stuff and pictures of teachers setting up their classrooms, brings back some of those same feelings again.  

The older I get and more experiences have it's clear that I struggle with change.  With leaving something behind and accepting that things are different.  I struggle with this in terms of blogging.  I miss when blogging was filled with deeper connections, more validation, more success.  I struggle just accepting that it's just different now and that's fine.  I struggle with change in relationships, circumstances, anything.  I think that I expect to feel completed confident and satisfied in my "new" role by now, and I don't.  I think that I need to start accepting that I'm probably always going to have a part of me that misses teaching because it was such a big part of who I am.  And there's a good chance it will be again.  But I'm reminded over and over that this is where God wants me right now and I sure am thankful for that.  

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Bria said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

One- I miss "old" blogging too.... It's so different now and looking through my reader of blogs, well over half have quit from when I started reading them three years ago. There are new ones out there but all of them seem so surface level and The pictures look like they were shot for instyle magazine- not interested.

Re: going back to work. I struggled with this a lot and still do sometimes as I am at Target with all the other SAHM at ten in the morning. The one thing that helped me the most was really limiting my intake of a lot of media. Let's face it, our culture these days does not value or respect stay at home moms. They want women doing everything. So limiting my intake of that greatly cut down on the feeling that I wasn't doing enough.

About four months ago, I told my husband that when our son turned a year, Id like to work part time. Then, my thoughts kind of changed and I decided I wouldn't. However, just recently, our circumstances changed again and I will need to work part time temporarily. Surprisingly, I am upset. I've never "had" to be away from my kids and he longest I've been away has been probably about six hours. While I don't think this is necessarily healthy, it becoming a necessity for me to be apart from my children has left me surprisingly conflicted.

Anyways, long novel, but I enjoyed this post and hope you are enjoying the summer with little A!

Amanda Weissinger said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thank you for sharing these thoughts! I am in exactly the same boat- decided to stay home for a year with my oldest daughter then became pregnant again and that year off morphed into until they go to school themselves. I love teaching, and I have had to work on guilty feelings about wishing for those old feelings of purpose and confidence as well. I think I will always have that lingering little hole where work used to be, but I feel a lot better accepting that I miss it instead of trying to shut the feelings out out of guilt... Its comforting to know there are other SAHMs who love being home but also acknowledge that their lives before were awesome and fulfilling too. Thanks again!

Denise said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

praying for you.

Kristin said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

The blogging of 2012ish was much different from today. We're different too, I think. That's not always a bad thing, but it's just...different.

That's, I guess, the only word I can think of to use.

Simply LKJ said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thinking of you. We all go through those stages in life a some point. And your feelings are valid. Addilyn will only be this age/stage once, you can teach anytime really. Won't be long before she will be in school herself. Maybe then. Or maybe then you will decide to volunteer and still be involved in that way. He will nudge you in the right direction.
Yes, blogging is different. More turning it into a business. But, there are still those who enjoy the old way of doing things, you just have to find them. I think things will change again not too long from now. I keep hearing how everyone is over the commercialism...the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one!

Sharlee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I can relate. It's sad that moms do the most important work but it doesn't always feel as accomplished and purposeful. ..but it's so important. Thank you for your honesty. I've missed those feelings as well and have found different ways to still feed my passion for education. Have you thought about working in different ways--curriculum, tutoring, assessment scoring? Not sure that's the right answer but I thought I'd throw it out there. When I start feeling a little lost (and that feeling is stronger when the school year is about to start) I remind myself of what I'm doing and why and I look ahead to the future. ..when JaiseAnn is in school and I know I am doing the right thing and that I'll always be grateful for that decision.

Sharlee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates
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Sharlee said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates
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Suzanne Bruce said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

it is always something right?? When i was on the way to the hospital (eek 18 years ago) there were kids lining up for the bus and I was so conflicted... and this month a friend of mine had a baby and I was so jealous!!!! It really doesn't go away... that "grass is always greener" thing... My school neighbor had a baby in April and was out for the rest of the year... every rainy, cold day I was so jealous!!!!! Your damned if you do.. damned if you don't...

Kayla MKOY said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I love your honesty, as always, girl. God has you right where you're supposed to be. I'm sure it's easy to forget but it's true :)

Sarah said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This was a great post! I just returned to work last week after staying home for three years. My oldest is 3 (obviously, lol) and my youngest will be 2 in September. I was ready to go back, honestly. I didn't go back for the money (though that's nice!), I went back because I was...hmmm...losing my sanity being with my kids all day LOL.

I miss them SO MUCH all day and have had thoughts of "What the heck did I just do?!?" but...they actually REALLY love their daycare (they went PT from Jan until last week, now they're FT), the teachers are great, and they get to play with kids their own ages all day. So, I know it was the right decision for us. I'm also a much more patient mom now because I cherish my time with them so much.

So...you'll figure it out :) Keep praying, and if you feel led to go back to work do it proudly!! Addilyn will be happy and loved no matter what you decide :)

The Lady Okie said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I can't say much to this because I'm feeling really anxious about having to go back to work. It would be nice to have the option not to work! But I do love feeling purposeful, and I love my job, and I'm praying everything will work out how it's supposed to :)

Bettina Rae said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This is exactly me. I really struggled with my first boy. Who am I now? Would spin around my head all day. Second time round I'm much more content, but I think it's because I put energy into me, and developing me, even though I'm not necessarily doing it for a professional reason. Big love, xx

Kylie @ Counselor with a Cape said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I think being a stay at home mom is admirable. It has to be difficult, but so rewarding to get to see your child grow and change every single day. Proud of you! :) And if you ever need to experience students- I will share mine I don't mind at all. I'll even box a couple up and send them your way. Trust me you'd send them RIGHT BACK!! haha! :)