Doubt and Hope: I See You
This quote me stopped me dead in my tracks… probably because I am constantly full of doubts.
Doubts as a mom.
Doubts as a wife.
Doubts as a teacher.
And truth be told, the doubts in my mind lately are bigger than ever.
It probably has something to do with the representation made in this visual by Momics (minus the wine, I don’t drink wine, oh… and add two more kids).
I. Can’t. Do. It. All.
This isn’t a new found revelation, but now more than ever, I feel as though I am falling short in every single aspect of my life.
I wasn’t lying when I said a few weeks ago that it felt as though I was losing my purpose when we found out that we’d be remote teaching until the end of the school year. I found a bit of relief in knowing that I’m not alone in this intense feeling when I read this passage from Jacob Chastain in his book, Teach Me, Teacher:
“I have a passion for teaching, a desire to teach young people the wonders of reading and writing. I feel like less of a person when I’m not in the classroom, even when we’re on break for a holiday. My desire to teach, to be amid the day-in and day-out grind of it all, is so great that it’s literally like being away from a loved one when I’m not in the classroom.”
So now, not only am I struggling professionally, to be all that I know my students deserve and need, but I am also struggling as a mother. I am spending most of my day neglecting my own kids because I just need to do more for my students. And then guilt sets in there… my job right now is also to make sure that my own four school aged boys keep up with their learning and assignments. It is an impossible task. I yell too much, I don’t listen to them like I should, and my nose is always either buried in my phone or laptop because I’m helping students on Seesaw, or answering a parent e-mail, or having a virtual staff meeting, or having a Teams meeting with students, or having a virtual meeting with my same grade colleagues to plan, or… it never stops. Ever.
And I feel guilty. My mind fills with doubt.
I am not doing enough, yet I’m doing too much.
I am failing. This is not sustainable. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
So let me just take a minute to say that I see you.
I see you working ridiculous hours as a teacher and as a mom.
I see you bribing your kids to just be quiet for 30 minutes while you’re on this conference call.
I see you letting them have as much screen time as they want – because it keeps them entertained while you work.
I see you going to the grocery store and delivering needed items to loved ones who can’t go out because it is too risky for them.
I see you exhausted at the end of the day, but still needing to put in another hour of work so you feel as though, just maybe, tomorrow will be better.
I see you taking this day by day, hour by hour, minute to minute, because it’s all your mind can bear right now.
I see you choosing hope every day, because hope is what allows you to go on.
And maybe, just the simple fact of acknowledging that this is so hard, and that you are not alone, will be just what you need to keep going.
Because you know what, this won’t last forever. Nothing does.
I appreciate you. I value your work. And I see you.
Grab those doubts and keep hoping, because as Jacob says, “I hope. My hope is fueled by my doubts… I doubt, and yet I use those doubts to drive my purpose and vision.”
Let’s embrace our doubts and use them to hope, because in the end, these doubts probably mean we’re wiser than we believe.
Joy KirrApril 22, 2020 at 7:26 am
Annick, I am with you – even those without kids (who do NOT say, “Aren’t you loving all this free time?!” like me – many of us are constantly doubting ourselves. Then, in moments where I feel almost “normal” for a minute, my hope creeps in. Sometimes it sticks, and sometimes it doesn’t. Kudos to you with all you do with your family and your students – may hope fuel you as much as it can, and may your doubt stay at bay so you can focus on what’s important for you and yours!
Annick RauchApril 22, 2020 at 4:23 pm
Yes, Joy!! Everyone has challenges, no matter their circumstances, and kids or no kids, trying to juggle it all is impossible! I, too, have felt like “okay, I’m finding a groove here,” and then the next minute, my world turns upside down. It’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day!