From September 2007 to June 2008 I spent much of each day with 24 third graders. I planned their school day, helped them solve friendship problems, taught them about multiplication and Native Americans and what makes a complete sentence. I was their teacher and I loved it. Unfortunately, my first teaching position was also a temporary one. The school did not need my position the next year, and I was sent packing.
It was devastating. And even more so when I didn’t get another position the next fall, and had to turn to substitute teaching instead that next year. After I had a few months to look back on it, I realized that I was probably so devastated because I had my whole identity wrapped up in being a teacher. So when I lost that, there was nothing of me left. There was no purpose. I loved teaching, but I was more than a teacher. I decided to work on identifying myself as more than just a teacher, and vowed never to let myself get that wrapped up in just one aspect of my life again.
September 30th, 2010 was definitely one of the best days of my life. It was the day I became a mother. Just recently, I have become a mother of two. Mothering is the most tiring, frustrating, yet wonderful experience. I love being a mother. But I’m not just a mother.
I think especially since my second son was born, I’ve been in danger of identifying just as a mother. Babies are so all-consuming, and add a toddler into the mix…well….there just isn’t much time for anything else. Slowly the other things that are important to me have been slipping away. I don’t have time for sewing. I quit bell choir and Stephen Ministry for the time being. I hardly thought about my commitment as a Child Ambassador for World Vision until my husband mentioned it the other day. I found myself wondering if I should really teach summer school again since there are two kids now. I even questioned if my husband and I should really go use those Symphony tickets we had planned to use for our anniversary date. Being a mother was taking over everything else.
I love being a mother. But I’m not just a mother. Maybe if I keep writing it, it will sink in faster. I love my kids, but I’m my own person too. I’m a mother-wife-Christian-Teacher-and so much more-woman. I’ve started to take myself back by getting my body physically in order. I started Weight Watchers. I started running for exercise. Those have been a good start. I ordered picture folders so I can try to get more children sponsored. I decided that teaching summer school is important to me.
I love being a mother. But I’m not just a mother.