Tomorrow is my first official day of work for the new school year. I have mixed feelings about this. I am excited to go back because I love my job. Things feel easier after five years in the classroom, and my semester is practically planned out. I love working with teenagers; it's never boring, to say the least. And, I have some cute new clothes I want to wear.
True Story: When I was in high school, I kept a list of the outfits that I wore every week. Wrote them down in detail. I wanted to make sure that I didn't wear the same thing two weeks in a row. Wow. Go ahead and laugh, Erin and Kate and Courtney, because I know you did it too...
However, I have really enjoyed just being a mommy this summer. I haven't given one thought to my job; instead, I have been spending my brain cells on teaching Cara some new tricks, finding good food and cooking it, painting my family room, going to Disney World, hanging out on the beach, and helping with my nieces. Once school invades my thoughts, there isn't always enough room for all of that other stuff. *Sigh* It's the reality of being a working mommy.
Last summer, I spent my time waiting (and waiting and waiting) to go into labor and then changing diapers, nursing, napping, and desperately trying to wrap my brain around what had just happened. I headed back to work when Cara was 9 weeks old, which is quite a generous maternity leave, but still, it felt way too early. I struggled a lot with my new identity/role/purpose in life and stumbled into a little PPD. I know a lot of that is due to hormones, but I think mine was about accepting a loss (my previous life, which I was very happy in) and embracing a new lifestyle.
This summer, I think I found my new lifestyle. I am bad at balancing the responsibilities in my life, so I have to set priorities and stick to my guns. Before Cara was born, my job, especially my coaching job, was very high on my list; it was a way that I defined myself and where I spent most of my time. I thought I would mourn the loss of that more than I have. Instead, I have poured all of that energy into being a mommy. I guess my worry now is that I will get overwhelmed with work and lose focus, but I think it will be easier to keep my emotions, priorities, and responsibilities in check because I'm not as sleep-deprived and I am not constantly worried about breast pumps and baby pudge.