I go back to work in less than a week. Less than a week. How did that happen?
Some consider my summer break (which is NOT 3 months long as critics like to assume) a perk of teaching. I don't consider it a perk. I consider it completely necessary, and anyone who has taught for any length of time knows exactly what I mean.
From the outside, teaching looks like a sweet gig to many people. They assume that teachers start their work day when students enter the classroom, and end it when students exit. They assume we get all our work done within the confines of a school day, and leisurely eat bon bons at home the rest of the time. They would be wrong. Most school days I work 7:30am-5pm, and take work home, as well as answer parent communications. I also chair committees, run student clubs, work on special projects, etc. in addition to all of my lesson planning and instruction. Let's not even start with professional development and summer curriculum work. Plus, let's just say it isn't the kind of job where I can go grab a Starbucks or pick up my dry cleaning mid-day. Sometimes I find I've gone the whole day without peeing!
I say summers (about 10 weeks) are well deserved. And even then, I've tutored 2 days per week (and often during the school year) to supplement my mediocre income.
This summer was very different than any other because of LF. To be honest, I didn't know how I was going to feel about it when the school year ended. My maternity leave was a tough time for LF and I. I was deep in the throws of PPD and desperate for some semblance of my pre-mommy life. Honestly, I was relieved to go back to work at the time. So, when late June came around, I didn't know if I was going to feel as overwhelmed as I did in April.
Little did I know how amazing this summer would be. In just these last 9 weeks, he has developed so, so much. Not only is he doing things like sitting up and army crawling across the floor (hello, baby gates!), but he is constantly babbling with consonant sounds, went from 4(!) catnaps to 2 predictable longer ones, is eating solid foods, is sleeping through the night (mostly), and is generally amazing. Even at those times when he is driving me nuts because he won't cooperate with whatever I want him to do, I am just overflowing with how much I love this baby. He is a person now, and someone I miss desperately when I am away from him.
But here I go. About to walk into another school year. And here he goes. Into a daycare/Grandma care split.
I keep thinking of how much I am going to miss during those weekdays, all of the things he will do for the first time when I am not there.
I'm sure once we get into a routine again, I won't feel so despondent about this. The stimulation in daycare and quality time with the grandfolk are big benefits right? He won't forget I'm his mom, right?
At least we have the summers...