Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back to Reality

The last month has been a whirlwind of lesson planning, cutting, pasting, laminating, and organizing. In other words, school is back in session. After a blissful ten week hiatus, my lazy summer days have come to a close. And it's been a bit of a rough adjustment on my end. During those ten weeks, I had allowed myself to nestle into a very cozy place in my life. Mornings in my pj's with Lina, afternoons straightening up the house and running errands, evenings curled up on the couch watching Kenny Powers with Mike (did I mention I started watching Eastbound and Down this summer? My new favorite). For a while there, I was living the delusion that I was a housewife. A stay-at-home mom whose only job was to look after her baby and keep her apartment tidy. 

One of my favorite days of summer
The truth of the matter is that changing diapers, bleaching the bathroom, making baby food, mopping the floors, and spending quality time with your child (and husband) is a bonafide full-time job in itself. But over the course of the summer, I had actually gotten really good at it. I had established a routine, a system, in which I could keep my home livable, while still having plenty of time for my daughter and even a few date nights(!) Not once did I forget to pay a bill because I was just too exhausted, or fall asleep at 8:00 on date night, or trip over the laundry bag that I never got around to putting away. None of these things were an issue over the summer because for the first time in my life as a working mother, I was actually on top of it. My only job was to be Mike's wife and Angelina's mom. And I must say that this was the job I was born to do.

But now I feel as though someone has taken a pin and popped the little bubble I was living in. It took all of two days of being back to work full-time for the sink to overflow with dishes and for the perpetual exhaustion to settle back in. Truth be told, I have a great job. It's incredibly challenging, and very demanding of my time, but I honestly love my students and do enjoy my work. I just wish I could go above and beyond professionally without my personal life taking a hit. When I stay late after school to work more, I miss out on even more time with Lina, which just kills me. But if I spend my whole weekend relaxing with my family, I feel guilty that I should have done more work for school. Sometimes I feel perpetually guilty. If any of you working moms unlock this mystery, please share your secrets!

I guess at the end of the day, it's a balancing act that I will eventually master. In reality, I was blessed that the city of New York gave me ten paid weeks off to enjoy with my family. Maybe instead of complaining, I should acknowledge what a wonderful thing that is, then focus my attention on how to better balance it all. We all wear many hats, I suppose; wife, mother, teacher. I guess the trick is to master how to change them swiftly, while not letting the other ones fall.

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