don’t mind me as i pull out my soapbox here and climb aboard. there have been some comments made to me lately, and i anticipate more, that have been festering, and i really need to vent.
it’s jut a few short days until my maternity leave ends i go back to finish out the school year with my 19 children that i didn’t give birth too. I have been very, very lucky to spend my son’s first 113 days with him, all day, every day. we are even more lucky that Ralph will be home with him for the next ten weeks while the school year ends, before i am off for the summer. pignut will be nine (!!!) months old before he begins in daycare, which i think is remarkable considering that we don’t have any family locally helping with childcare. i just want to get that all clear lest someone thinks that i don’t appreciate our situation. ok then.
so i have talked before about looking forward to returning to the classroom, and i still am. i honestly really enjoy my job (most of the time, of course. every job has moment that suck). i have been lucky to find a community to spend a great deal of my time where i have found my best friend, my mentors, my adopted new jersey family. people who love and care about me and my family. who cried with us both when treatments failed and when we were successful. who held my son when he was just hours old.
i love teaching with these people. brainstorming and problem-solving with them. helping our kids. gossiping with them. eating lunch together. happy hours, holiday celebrations, retirement parties. but i haven’t seen much of them lately. in part because a middle school is a giant cesspool of germs and they are concerned for pignut’s health. in part because (despite a common opinion of our profession) our work doesn’t magically stop at 3 o’clock. there are plans to develop, tests to write, essays to grade. on top of that, they have their own families and lives. it makes it hard to find the time to see each other.
honestly, i have been pretty lonely. even with weekly playdates with a friend on maternity leave (you’re keeping me sane S!), i can go a week or more without seeing anyone other than my boys and random people on our errands. and text messages, facebook, and phone calls can only help so much. i love spending my day with my son, but it can be very isolating.
when you combine these feelings of loneliness and isolation with the mild depression i have dealt with for years, you don’t get a maternity leave filled with puppies and rainbows. i am very lucky to not have experienced the post partum depression that i feared, but there have been bad days and low points that would worry me if they were more frequent.
so that’s my very long-winded explanation for why i am happy to be going back to work. i’m not saying i won’t be sad, and that it won’t be hard. but i am confident that i will be a better mom and wife if i am working. i wish, i wish, i wish i was made of the right stuff to be a stay-at-home-mom, but i’m not.
so please, if you are really the friend you say to be, stop with the condescending remarks, both to me and behind my back. stop projecting your opinions, your family’s history, onto me. stop trying to make me feel guilty. if you’re really my friend, please support the decision my family has made that having me go back to work is what’s best for all of us.
and if you can’t do that, then just keep your comments to yourself.