I often feel like a walking conundrum, stuck in an endless battle fighting to be both a good mom and a good teacher at the same time. Oh and a good wife too.
I've come to the conclusion that it's pretty much impossible to be good at all those things simultaneously without losing my sanity. It's just too much. Way too much.
When I drop off my kids at daycare and preschool, I often feel guilty that I feel relief. Relief that I can be more productive. Like I have a purpose. Something to contribute to society other than changing diapers and doing laundry. I think about how I'm supposed to want to stay home and then more guilt sets in because I'm happier outside of it. Guilt.
The moments are short when I'm at home and not busy doing other things. I try to be present with the girls, but sometimes, I'm just too tired and turn the TV on instead. Other times, my patience is so thin from dealing with my students all day long that my own children get the short end of the stick... the impatient, grouchy Mommy. More guilt.
When I feel like I try not to do any "work" at home (which let's just be honest, is pretty much impossible as a teacher), then I feel like the piles of grading start taking over my desk. They start filling up the tote bag that I haul home each day, literally weighing me down each day they go ungraded. Once a pile is graded, a new pile seems to grow in its place almost immediately. It's pretty much impossible to always be "on top" of things. Pile on the guilt.
I try to get work done after the kids go down for bed, but sometimes the desire to finally just do something for myself that doesn't involve my students or my own kids is too strong to fight. Just one episode of TV, perhaps? Reading a chapter or two in my book would be nice. One more retry of that Candy Crush level. No really, just one more time.... after this one. Check Instagram again to see if what people posted in the last 30 minutes. Having time to do something for myself is so rare nowadays that whenever it does happen, I don't know what to do with myself. It takes me forever to even figure out what it is that I WANT to do in the first place.
All these things seem like a huge waste of time, especially the next morning when I haul that big ol' bag back to work, often untouched from the moment I dropped it on the floor when I got home the day before. Even more guilt.
I think what I really need to offer myself some grace. Perfection is a race that I'm never going to win. I need to be content with being "just enough."