Real life happenings!

Phew!  What can I say, but to offer up my apologies for being missing so long!  This is the longest break I have taken from my blog since I started writing it!
Please allow me one 'negative nelly' moment, by way of explanation, then it's out there and I can move on.
You all know that I use this blog often as a creative outlet for my feelings, it has never been a straight up education blog, mainly because a lot of what I might say about my daily teaching cannot resonate with other teachers out there across the pond,  as our curriculum, and all that entails, is just too different for me to write about anything that may be of use to you.  This is why my blog has morphed into a bit of everything and this is why I want to mention a bit about where my head had been at these last few months.
I am writing this down not because I want to be negative, but in the hope it will be cathartic and it might also be read by other teachers out there, who may be feeling the same right now.
So......I knew this year would be hard.  I was tackling a new grade, a new classroom with very little to go on from the previous teacher.  I wasn't worried about this and was ready for the challenge.  I was lucky to be looping up and knew my kids inside out already.  Somewhere, something changed.  Today, I feel burnt out, exhausted and tearful most days.  I am overwhelmed with work and the more hours I put in, the less I seem to really achieve.  My work day stretches from 7.30am to 6pm.  When I arrive home, I walk my gorgeous dog, who is always so excited and happy to see me, make dinner for hubs arriving home at 6.45/7pm, clear up and head to my office to grade or plan.  I have always enjoyed being busy, but somewhere in this, we have lost our work/life balance.  I have come to resent spending that much time of every day on work related things.  My hubs, my frail mother, social media and TpT have been sidelined.  Forget housework!  If I can keep on top of the laundry, then I have to be satisfied, but I certainly won't be inviting anyone into my home in a hurry!
If I could close my door and be with my kids, then teaching would be the best job in the world, but everyone out there knows that it is so much more.  Without going into detail, I am experiencing a lot of interference and extra demands that I really can't cope with any more.  I am very good at putting on a front and being the happy, funny person at work, but inside I am feeling totally different.  I have reached a point where I can no longer hide how I feel, so some hard decisions need to be made if I am to regain some enjoyment of my daily life.  This all sounds so dramatic, as I am writing it down - lol - but I have had a period of reflection and know I need to make changes for myself, the people I love, for my health and for a sensible work/life balance.  I live in fear that a flare up of my illness will be triggered by daily stress and I don't want to continue to function at less than 75% and be the absent employee.  I am lucky to have a husband who keeps me sane, shows me perspective and continually teaches me to prioritise.  Teaching is such an exciting job - it works when you are young and fit.  I am approaching my 52nd birthday and unless I make some major changes, I fear I will continue to lose my way.  I know many teachers who feel the same way......I just haven't found a solution yet, that works for me.  I would be interested to know if any readers have ever been in the same situation and what they did to make change happen, other than resigning.
At the end of October, we had a mid-term break and hubs and I flew off to Malta - this is the first 'proper' holiday we had taken in a number of years because of our oldest dog.  For those who don't know where Malta is:  it is a little sub-tropical island, south of Italy and north of Africa.

Just as we were about to depart, we got a call that my Mum had fallen and broken her hip.  She was shipped off to a second hospital to have a hip replacement, then to a third for rehabilitation.  Her earliest release date will be Christmas.  My Mum has had heart failure since having a heart attack in 2005.  During the operation, something went wrong and her heart and breathing have suffered as a result.  Whilst we were away, we had time to take stock.  My hubs will be 60 in a few months - his working day is 5.45am to 6.45 pm - this includes a long commute.  Basically we are done!!  We need something to change to regain a balance in our lives.  I will be talking to my Principal on Monday to see if we can find a solution.  Without breaking any confidences, a lot of 'stuff' has been going on that should not really be part of the teaching day.  Please pray for us all through these tough times.  I am fully aware that I have a lot to be thankful for, I am just struggling to remember it right now.  I know this will change and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their continual and unconditional support.
As an aside, I have always kept my blog relatively anonymous, as I have been connecting with virtual teachers and never really wanted it to be read by teachers I actually know!  Certainly I have never shared my blog with friends - it was always intended as a creative outlet outside of my real life.  However, in recent months, I have been 'outed', so to speak, so I thought it was about time I gave you a face to the name!!
This is me and my darling hubs!  Please excuse the silly smile - I have no idea why I was doing that!  You can tell we still have some way to go with perfecting selfies - haha - spot the eye direction fail!!
Watch out for a second post today!  I will be having a giveaway just to say thanks!  I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

21 comments

  1. Wendy, you are not alone. You said it all - a lot of interference and extra demands. I have never seen or heard so many teachers saying the exact same thing until this year.

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    1. Pat - it helps so much to know that I am not the only one feeling like this. I have spent such a long time hiding from my true feelings, that how I feel right now has hit me like a ton of bricks! I know it will pass, but not without some much needed change. It has helped me already just to acknowledge it and write it down. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it helps so much!

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  2. Wendy you are so brave to confront your fears and make some much needed changes in your life. I wish for you all of the good things that are coming your way and that you deserve. Congratulations!

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    1. Aw, Kathy - YOU are the sweetest person ever! I feel like I have known you all my life and shared so much with you, and we have yet to meet!! Where would I be without your never -ending support? Love you, dear friend!

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  3. You are NOT alone! I am really struggling this year too! I wish we could just close the door and teach. All this extra stuff really weighs you down after awhile. Virtual hugs to you and love the pic of you and your hubs. Hope you Mom is on the road to recovery too.

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    1. Aw, Carrie - thank you so much for your sweet words! I hope by writing it down, that although I offer no solution, it might help others out there to know they are not alone too. And aren't I lucky to have such a sweet hubby?!! Thanks for your well wishes for my Mum - this is the 6th bone she has broken in the last couple of years! It is tough for her, but she manages to come through ever time - I need some of her fighting spirit!

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    2. Also Carrie - I hope your struggles ease for you as the year goes on and that you have some support and an outlet to help you through. <3

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  4. Wendy, you have perfectly stated the demons that wear down outstanding teachers. Thank you for being brave enough to speak out. Prayers for your mom and meeting with your principal that all goes well. You are not alone, my friend.

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    1. Lesley - thank you so much for being there, you sweet, sweet girl! I know I am luckier than most and I pray for a solution for our family right now. It really does help and gives me a better perspective to know that others feel the same at times and with support, we see the light at the end of the tunnel eventually. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!

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  5. Love you Wendy. Prayers for making the best choice for you and your hubs. <3

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    1. Thanks so much, Cyndie, sweet, sweet friend. You know how absent I have been, but I really hope I can get my life back on track soon. I can't express how grateful I am to have such sweet, supportive (virtual) friends! Here's to CHOICE and peace! <3

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  6. My heart goes out to you, Wendy, because I have been where you are now. I pray you find that balance you are seeking. Life is too short to give up your joy in order to deal with unreasonable demands. I am hoping your meeting with your principal will be profitable, and will, perhaps, give him a perspective that he may not have right now. Prayers and positive thoughts going out for you and yours!

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    1. Thanks so much teachrmama! The last few weeks have been tough, but I have been able to make some decisions. I hadn't realised that I had been pulled so low. It touches my heart when people take time to respond and it's really good to know that I'm not alone. <3

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  7. My heart breaks as I read of your struggles; please know that I am stuck in the same place as you. Spending time with my special ed kiddos is a joy & delight, but that time is increasingly overshadowed with paperwork, politics, new demands, meetings, more meetings, & continual stress. My autoimmune disease is no longer in remission as a result of the continued stress. I often feel like a hamster on its exercise wheel...I'm running as fast as I can, but GOING NOWHERE. Mike has been unemployed for over 2 1/2 years, so our finances are very precarious, with no solution in sight. I hope & pray that your talk with your principal goes well & that you regain that precious balance!

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    1. Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. My heart aches for your situation - there seem to be so many people out there who are struggling too. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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  8. You are doing what is best for you right now, and you have put a lot of thought into this decision. I hope you will find some peace shortly.
    PS My younger son is doing a work co-op in Malta this semester.

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan! I have managed to make some decisions after falling as low as I could go - not nice! I hope I find my positivity real soon and get back to the person I once was. I am sure your son will love Malta!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. I know I am very lucky to be in a school where I feel like I can just close my door and teach my kiddos. My heart goes out to you for your situation. I can't imagine having to be in that "boat" and the stress involved. I will be praying for you and your family that you find the balance you so desperately need.

    ~Laura
    Luv My Kinders

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet, kind words! It has helped so much to know that people understand and care - there seem to be so many of us struggling in one way or another. Thank you so much for your prayers - I am lucky to be able to talk it all through with someone.

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  10. Hi, Wendy, you are definitely not alone! I feel for you and the struggles you're going through. I teach 5th grade math/science in the US, where education and teachers are the new political target. In my own school, two teachers have quit already this year and one passed out one day due to the stress we're under! Like you, I'm on the verge of burnout, though I still love my work and kids, and am trying to preserve my health from the effects of stress. I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm following your FB page, too. Your work is wonderful and I appreciate being able to learn from you! It would be a blow to education to lose such a loving, giving teacher. Please do try to find that balance for your life - I will, too! - and if I can be of any help, please let me know. The subheading to my blog is, "We're all in this together!" and I really believe it. This job is too hard to do alone. Take care and hugs from across the pond! Pat

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    1. Oh, Pat!! Your kind words brought a tear to me eye! Thank you so much for your heartfelt post and for your unswerving support - it's great to know that people out there do visit the blog from time to time! I have made some headway since this post and pray that I have made the right decision. <3

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All messages are heartily welcomed!

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