I miss my job. Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad to not be teaching during this pandemic. Teaching is enough work as it is, so I can’t even fathom being able to function with everything being turned upside down by widespread illness. But I do miss teaching. I miss having my own classroom, I miss morning calendar at the carpet, I miss singing songs, I miss witnessing kids learn and grow, and I just miss feeling like I have purpose. The purpose bit sounds harsh because I have my baby and I get to be with him each day, but I’m missing the role I played aside from mum.
When I met with my psychologist and occupational therapist to discuss how working just wasn’t something that was doable I was choked about the loss. At the time it wasn’t so much because I wasn’t going to be working; I had a young child and was recovering from a pretty awesome relapse. It was that it wasn’t my choice. I had only just begun my career, I was still learning how to be an adult, I hadn’t received the coveted continuous contract at a school, and it’s etched into my brain that I need work to be a contributing member of society. I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mum. I remember when I was pregnant I had told Neil that I was going back to work at 6 months and he was staying with Oliver. Well that plan was pretty far-fetched, but excuse me I had never intended to be at home going on 4 years. I did end up going back for a short time when Oliver was almost 2 and I had a classroom from October-June, but that was the year COVID ended classes for the first time.
I suppose it’s good that I didn’t end up getting a permanent position after all. I would not have been okay with using walking aids at school. I was still trying to hide my MS that was slowly becoming visible. It’s like it was just peeking around the corner like some creep sneering and waiting for me to trip. I would be staggering down the hallway, someone would genuinely ask what was up and I would just say I had a “sore knee.” To be fair to me, my knee does hurt sometimes as if my bones are just mashing together – when I hear Oliver grinding his teeth every night from our back room when he is UPSTAIRS I imagine that’s what’s going down with my bones. But I was ashamed. I didn’t want my principal to find out and use that as a reason not to give me a job. I didn’t end up getting a permanent position there and don’t think it was ever really in the cards so I shouldn’t have cared so much.
I want to go back to work, but then I remember how stressed out I would get with so much on my plate at once and the impending deadlines. It didn’t bother me at the start, but I guess when my brain became more muddled it was too much. I also remember that I would get “Sunday sad” when Monday came closer. I would pout all day and give Neil a hard time over things that weren’t entirely in his control. “We didn’t even do anything this weekend, it was just two days wasted.” I would say this after I slept in and slothed on the couch all weekend (this was before Oliver). No thank you Sunday sad.
Energy is also a thing. I do 2 hours of PoNS, which is walking with hip control, balancing in different standing positions, and varying hand exercises and I’m totally exhausted afterwards. How would I manage a regular work day? How did I even do it before? I would get to work around 7:30am and sometimes wouldn’t leave school until close to 6:00pm. I would teach standing up, walk around the school doing stuff, do recess supervision, teach gym, and still have energy to prep after school. Even more when I taught kindergarten I would teach a morning and afternoon class. Where did all my energy go? Who took it? I demand that it’s returned because I don’t enjoy being tired always, especially when I haven’t done anything.
So I have no idea what I’m going to do once Oliver is not with me every day. Cry? Scream cry? Crying gives me a headache so that won’t do. Next year he will go to preschool three mornings a week, then KINDERGARTEN, THEN HE’LL TURN 16, THEN HE WON’T WANT ME TO SIT WITH HIM WHEN HE POOPS, but it’s ok because I bet he’ll still sleep in our bed telling Neil “don’t snore really loud” and me “you smell!”
Well, that started one way and ended somewhere completely different. Welcome to my brain. 🙂