I Am Not Perfect
On Friday morning, I was laying in bed sick, and came across the article ‘Self-care’ is not enough to fix how much moms are burnt out by Diana Spalding. Although I strongly encourage you to read the whole post which literally stopped me dead in my tracks, this particular part resonated deeply with me as I laid there weak and unable to care for others:
Every single time I read an article about motherhood, it hits me like a ton of bricks… not just for the obvious reason that I am a mother, but also because I see so many parallels as an educator. I truly believe that being a mom is the hardest thing on the planet, and being a teacher just might be the second hardest. Talk about one challenging combo! Everything that Diana says about about moms being burnt out, is as equally true for teachers, and I loved the idea of simply sharing our truest reality to shed some light on our struggles and how hard this job is.
The last four days have been extremely challenging for me. On Thursday, I got to school and my nose was stuffy, my throat was scratchy and tighter than usual making every breath harder. Allergies… it’s that time of year, I thought. I texted my husband asking him to bring me my puffer after he was done working, and a slurpee, because slurpees are the solution to everything, in case you didn’t know!
Then, at lunch, I realized it wasn’t allergies. It hit me hard, and after taking two Advil, I walked to one of the Kindergarden classes where I had a meeting. I laid down on the carpet and waited for the Advil to kick in. I somehow got through the afternoon, because I’m a teacher, and that’s just what we do, (also I’m positive that the slurpee that hubby delivered mid-afternoon made that possible) and by the time I got home around 4:45, I felt worse than I had in a long time. It was so bad that I was literally holding back tears and all I could do was crawl into bed and sleep, and that’s exactly what I did. I just need to sleep this away so I can feel better by the morning. I can’t miss tomorrow, I just can’t. I slept, until my alarm woke me at 5:30am. My husband brought me Aleve, something stronger, in hopes that it would get me through the day. I was determined to get to work. By 6:15, I was still trying to build up the strength to get up for the day, but I realized that as much as I wanted it to happen, it just wouldn’t. I requested a sub, sent a text to my colleagues, called my mom to ask her to drive my boys to daycare and school, and was oh-so thankful that I had an emergency sub plan in my sub folder ready to use as I drifted back off to sleep. (And I realize that I made all of those listed items seem quick and easy because I was able to write them in one sentence, but don’t be fooled, just getting the day set up so that I could rest was exhausting… moms and teachers have to think of everything).
I literally slept for 36 hours, and the only reason I got out of bed Saturday morning was because we had our oldest son’s birthday party. I managed to get through it, and then came back home with the twins while my husband brought our older two to hockey. All I could do was sit in a lawn chair in the driveway as the boys rode their bikes around our cul-de-sac. Thankfully, my mom offered to come over and help, and as soon as she got here, she told me that she was taking them out so I could rest.
Long story short, it has been a really long four days, where I needed a lot of help, and missed out on a lot of things that I wish I could’ve done (and that I feel guilty that I didn’t do). As I’m sitting here writing this post on Sunday evening, I am finally just starting to regain my strength.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because pretending like life is easy and like I have it all together all of the time doesn’t help anyone.
I hadn’t folded laundry in a week and a half and my family was tired of searching through baskets for clean clothes that were scattered all over the floor. My house was a disaster and life was crumbling all around me. But, I had no energy to do anything about it. I am not a perfect mother. I am not a perfect wife. And I am not a perfect teacher.
This week, I asked for help, from my husband, from my mom, and from my friends. This week, I said no to something I wish I could’ve said yes to, but didn’t because I knew that saying yes to that, would mean saying no to something more important. This week, I tried to be more intentional, because when I get sick like this, although it is the absolute worst, it helps me to re-evaluate and see things more clearly.
So today, I write to say that…
I need help.
I am not perfect.
Being a mom is HARD!
And being a teacher is HARD!
But I wouldn’t have it any other way, messy house and all!