Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bittersweet, or just bitter?

As I sit and ponder what to write for my first blog entry, I can't help but think about my former co-workers as they embark on the start of a new school year. As much as we all dreaded the annual first day Convocation, where the theme would quickly be coined as the catch phrase of the year - and later cleverly used against them while negotiating a new contract, I can't help but feel nostalgic that I am not there... That nostalgia soon turns to bitter resentment, and I'm not sure why...

Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mom... to have a tribe of kids, and stay home and raise them. Realistically speaking, it is extremely difficult to live off of one income. With this in mind, coupled with the fact that I felt completely unfulfilled in my career, I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. My rationale was that it was the best of both worlds - have 100% fulfillment in my career, knowing I was educating the youth of the world, while having a schedule that would allow me to have optimal time home with my (future) kids. It was the perfect plan...

Then all of a sudden, life complicated things... I easily landed a job as a high school English teacher at the school I did my student teaching. Now all I had to do was get pregnant. That shouldn't be a problem? Or so I thought. After months of trying and a miscarriage later, I realized my perfect plan was flawed. Never one to give up, we altered our original plans and started working on the contingency plans. We bought a house in Central NJ, and in the last minute found a teaching job teaching 6th grade Language Arts near our new home. As luck would have it, finding work in this new district allowed me to continue the dream of becoming a mom through a change in insurance plans.

Life was good - everything was going according to plan: great position teaching in a prestigious disctrict, awesome co-workers and principal that I would soon call family and friends, and a step in the right direction in starting our family. By the start of my 2nd school year, I was just months away from welcoming the newest addition of our family into this world - my son, Henry Joseph! Life was perfect - who could ask for more??? Knowing that time was limited, we decided to add another member to our family, but this time we got more for our money (literally) and welcomed twin girls, Josephine Florence and Dorothy Ann to our brood only 16 months after their big brother was born! We were ecstatic - we finally had everything we ever dreamed of - life was going according to plan.

The excitement over our new station in life was apparently not shared with the higher authorities, because soon after the announcement of our impending twins things started to change - and not for the better (for obvious reasons, I don't care to indulge you with the details - but do want to go on record as saying that I think the WORLD of my former principal - she is an awesome administrator who will go to great lengths for her staff, and for that I am truly grateful)... Before I knew it I found myself getting to be the full time Stay at Home Mom I'd always dreamed I'd be, so why wasn't I over the moon happy about it? Maybe because the choice wasn't mine? The grass isn't always greener on the other side? I have found this whole process to be exhausting, and at times makes me wonder about my sanity! As I continue to look for new teaching positions, part of me prays that the next interview will be THE ONE... yet I get anxiety every time I am brought in for an interview or demo lesson, thinking about leaving my beautiful babies in the hands of someone else.

Life is funny sometimes. Had I not taken the position in my last district, I would not have been blessed with three beautiful gifts from God that I call my children... Yet it is having those same three kids when I did that ultimately cost me my job... Do I have any regrets? Not one. I would not trade my children in for the world, and the friendships I have forged with my former colleagues are ones I treasure most today. And although I sit here with nostalgia, thinking about what could've been and what should be, I also realize that everything happens for a reason - and I am right where I am meant to be! So for the time being I wish my former colleagues well, but plan to enjoy every single second I have at home with my children while I can... because no matter what my plans are, life happens to sometimes just get in the way...