Dear mama (who is also a teacher)
As I sat around the campfire during our family’s last camping trip of the season and reflected on the last two months of summer spent with my four boys, I couldn’t help but think of my post: Dear teacher which I wrote towards the end of last school year. Although this last camping trip was amazing, soul-filling, and exactly what I needed before stating another school year, this summer was hard. I feel worn down and exhausted, and the school year has yet to begin. No one said that being a mom was going to be easy, they said it would be worth it. No one said that being a teacher was going to be easy, they said it would be worth it. How lucky am I to do both?
Dear mama (who is also a teacher),
As the summer break comes to an end, I know that stress, anxiety, and doubts start to creep into your mind.
You are still tired.
You are still worn down.
And, in the same breath, you begin to feel as though you didn’t do enough, yet you did too much. You didn’t give enough of yourself to your children. You didn’t give enough of yourself to yourself. You failed as a mom, and you didn’t even take care of yourself, either.
You question everything and analyze the time you’ve had with your kids, with your family, with your friends, with yourself. You could’ve done more and you could’ve done less. You should’ve done more and you should’ve done less. And now the new school year is just around the corner, and you’re wondering how in the world you’ll be ready for this new feat, and if your children are ready, too?
You can’t even give your own kids all that they need when you’re not working, how will you manage when you’re back at school and giving all of yourself to 20-something kids, too? Are your youngest two who are starting kindergarten going to transition well? Do they have the basics that they need to start school? Will the one heading into second grade have regressed in reading and writing? Will the 4th grader who is starting ELA this year thrive or will his confidence be squashed? Will your boys lose their curiosity and love of learning? I didn’t prepare them. I could have done more. I should have done more.
Mama, I see you. I feel you. And I want to remind you that you are enough. You did enough. And your kids are lucky to have such a loving mother who goes above and beyond over and over again. For them. All for them.
Worries creep into your mind because you care. You care so deeply about their well-being, and how they make their place in this world. You are constantly growing and learning, so it is in your nature to doubt what you’ve done. This, although an incredibly valuable quality to have, also weighs you down if you let it.
I am here to remind you to check yourself; don’t let yourself drown in your worries. Acknowledge them and let them wash away. And that guilt you are feeling? Let it go. It doesn’t do you any good to hold on to it.
You. Are. Amazing.
Don’t let anyone, not your kids, nor your husband, and especially not yourself, make you believe anything less.
And, you may not be able to see it now, but you continue to positively impact your children who will go on to do amazing things, actually, they are already doing amazing things. All because of you. You. And they are so very lucky to have YOU as their mama.
Now, go pick your outfit for tomorrow and paint your toenails. This school year is going to be amazing, for you, your students, and for your kids!
And remember, you are positively impacting so many lives both at school and at home. Not many people have the privilege of saying that.
Get after it!
That same mama (who is also a teacher)