Mommy Guilt – The Struggle is Real

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Maverick & Maggie – my heart and soul

Even as I write this blog I am struggling with the fact that I will be putting my raw emotions out for everyone to read. I like positivity, and I like happy. I don’t like seeing negativity spewed all over social media because it makes me sad; however, I feel like this is a post that I need to write for myself and for my kids, so when I look back in a few years I don’t forget the struggle. Because the struggle has been very real. I said I would never go to grad school. I had my teaching degree, and that is all I ever wanted. I did not need to go any further because being a teacher (and a mom) was my dream since 2nd grade. But…..I came to a stand still. I was over the TAKS, the STAAR, the worksheets, the mundaneness of doing the same thing over and over. Then Warren ISD adopted a 1:1 iPad initiative. The community as a whole was very hesitant as what this would mean for our students. Teachers were concerned and administration did not know how all of this would pan out, but there were certain people put in place that knew whole heartily that this was the best decision for student success in the 21st century. After all, isn’t that what this is all about? Thank goodness that all of this started happening because it ignited something inside of me that had disappeared after years of boring lesson plans and teaching to the test – guilty as charged. We were so excited. There were so many cool things that we could do with the new technology in our hands. After forming PLN’s on Twitter our eyes were opened up to a whole new world again. Project Based Learning, Augmented Reality, thinking outside of the box, collaborating with other teachers and students from all over the world, all of these things made lesson planning exciting again. I could not wait to get to work the next day to see my students actually excited about learning. One thing led to another and my assistant principal decided to sign me up for grad school. She paid the admission and everything. And just like that I was going back to school. I was really excited, scared, doubtful, so many emotions all rolled up into one. I was so scared that this would take too much time away from my kids. I did not want them to feel slighted. I did not want them to grow up thinking that their mom thought other things were more important than them. I have struggled with these emotions the entire span of grad school. I have cried. I mean ugly cried. I do not even want to say how much stress chocolate I have eaten. I have wanted to give up. A lot. My oldest sister literally had to talk me down a few months ago (over text messages) because I was so utterly overwhelmed that I did not think I could see this thing through. My husband would take the kids out for the day to allow me to work on homework, but then I would sit here feeling guilty because I wasn’t with them and sad because I wanted to be having fun, too.

I have even struggled with my Christianity throughout this grad school thing which makes my heart hurt because Jesus is and always will be my top priority. I have not read my devotionals like I should; however, I have prayed just as hard as I ever have. I can promise you that without my prayers and the prayers of my family and friends that I NEVER would have made it through this. I have not missed church no matter how tired I was. But I have had to listen to some people make pointy comments toward me. Things like that really get in your head. Make you question if you are doing the right thing. Questions about my lack of cooking. Questions about me going back to school in general while my kids should be my main focus.  Some have questioned me as to why I want to teach my daughter all of this “technology” when I should be teaching her to cook and clean and take care of a house. “We should be teaching our daughters to take care of a husband and her kids,” they say. Well, I agree. However, I will also teach my daughter how to take care of herself so that if something happens to her husband she will not have to depend on or run to another man to take care of her. She will be able to take care of herself. There is not a thing wrong with a woman having an education. My husband has an MBA that he earned two years ago while having two small children. No one questioned him. No one asked him if he thought that meant he was putting things before his children. I am lucky that he feels just as strongly about education as I do – for our son AND for our daughter. He also does not mind eating a bowl of cereal for dinner because his wife has homework. (Thank goodness)

Yesterday I passed my LCE, and when I got in the truck I cried. Relief, I guess. Knowing that I am so close to being finished. Maybe. When I started grad school I said that I was not going to “walk” that I would just get them to mail me my diploma. I have definitely changed my mind. I may do flips across the stage. This is the hardest thing I have ever went through. Not the classwork (I have a 98.3 cumulative average) but the time management, the many different hats that I wear daily, working full time, wanting to teach my students awesome things, wanting to teach my kids about Jesus and about kindness, balancing it all, and the occasional laundry – just feeling worthy as a mom and a woman in general in this Pinterest crazed era. You know what I mean. So props to all you moms that are doing it all, being it all, hugging your babies, and being the best YOU that you can be. You are AMAZING. You are not anyone else, so don’t compare yourself to them. My kids are proud of me, and I know without a doubt when I walk across that stage that Maverick and Maggie will be standing up screaming my name, which is Mom.

Psalm 46:5

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