I love my job.
I have said this before. I’m a teacher and I really love my job.
What I don’t love are the hours; the paperwork and the time commitment needed. There really aren’t enough hours in the day to be a good teacher and a healthy mum/partner. So many teachers are leaving the profession before they have really started. The holidays help but when you are working such long hours in the term time and don’t engage with your own children, something is very wrong.
So, here I am working more and finding myself at the same crossroads whether to work part time or full time. How did that happen, again?
Let me tell you a story….
Once there was a great teacher who worked hard at her job. She loved it. Then she had 2 young children of her own. Suddenly, there was the immense guilt of not always being there for her own children. She had an amazing partner but she wanted to be there for her children when they needed her. The teacher was also very committed to the children in her charge and would worry about them as if they were her own. She juggled and juggled and was promoted to a management position which meant more money but more juggling was involved. She was good at her job and because of that she was given more work which she juggled some more without complaint. The teacher went to university to study for a Masters during this time throwing more into the mix yet still she juggled. As her children grew they became involved in sports at the weekend so she couldn’t rest at the weekends as perhaps she should. But she was a working parent and that is what we do…until….
The teacher looked up and realised that not all was well with her family. She realised that her family needed her at home. She also realised that she was unhealthy both physically and mentally and in order to sort out all of this, she needed to stop. Stop and breathe. Stop and live. Stop and take a pause from teaching.
After a whole year of being at home, the teacher began to enjoy life again. Her family healed and she felt present in all of their lives. A new fur baby arrived with a gorgeous brown nose which allowed her to get outside for long walks and to feel the fresh air for the first time in ages. She reconnected with nature; her first love and realised that this was living. She reconnected with friends lost due to having no time. The teacher began to exercise again and found that she needed it. However, soon teaching called to her to return and she threw herself back into what she loved but what made her unhealthy. The reality of full time teaching had been forgotten and the same stresses returned. The teacher recognised this and luckily was able to work part time.
Part time teaching is what the teacher needed and this worked out well as her children grew around her. However good teachers get asked to work more and being the sort of person who loves teaching, the teacher accepted all the new work given to her. However, full time work is bringing back all the same feelings and she feels at a crossroads again in her life. Will there be a time after her children have grown that she feels she can work full time or should she stay as a part time teacher? Part time teaching is not the career she imagined but perhaps is the career that she needs.
What is the answer? I honestly don’t think women can ‘have it all’ and survive!
What works for your family and do you have any tips?