I’m writing this to my Teacher Friends, but also to many women who are struggling.
Please be sure you’re taking some time for yourself.
You’re so busy taking care of EVERY THING & EVERY BODY.
You’re probably burning the candle at both ends …make sure you don’t burn yourself completely out.
My mom was in the “Rosie the Riveter” generation in the era of World War II. She went to work after high school as a “switchboard operator” at a local factory. (Look that term up if it’s new to you… ha !) Rivets are similar to bolts; they hold plates of metal together on an airplane or machinery. If enough rivets come loose, the plane is unstable.
Remember that as you read, please.
I knew at an early age I wanted to become a teacher and my dad encouraged me to do it. Several in my family were educators including my grandfather, grandmother, sister and a cousin.
So that’s the profession I pursued and, for many years, I loved teaching.
At one point I was teaching out of town, driving 30 miles to school, getting there at 7:15, leaving at 5:00 or later and driving back home. There was supper to cook; thankfully my hubby grilled some nights to help me out. Then there was homework to be done… the things I could bring home in my bag to complete after supper: grading papers, lesson plans, etc. When our daughter was at home, I helped her with her studies in her elementary years. On Friday night I graded papers until 11:00 or later and collapsed into bed. I slept in on Saturday and then did laundry, housework, etc. (Before you ask, YES, my family did help.) Sunday night was spent writing notes to parents on their child’s test papers which were sent home on Monday.
I was getting about 6 hours of sleep per night, if I could shut my brain down. I was running on fumes. Many afternoons, I would call a friend to keep myself from falling asleep while driving.
After twenty-five years of car-pooling and driving I made the decision to leave, moving to a local school to teach kindergarten.
There I promised myself I was going to do better, be more efficient, delegate more tasks to my assistant. (I was blessed to have a full-time vs. part-time one in kindergarten!)
I was only five minutes away from school so I MADE myself use the hour I saved from driving, leaving at 4:30 a few days each week to go to the gym to work off the stress.
I stayed until 6 or 6:30 on Fridays trying to get it everything ready for the next week so I wouldn’t have to go to the school on Sunday afternoon to finish.
AND I wasn’t there by myself… there were others working there on weekdays, Sunday afternoons as well.
Doing everything possible I could for my students, I was not able to just walk out and leave things undone.
When I left, I frequently took something to work on at home, trying to get ahead.
Every week I thought:
I’m going to start working on the next week earlier so I can figure out a way to get more done & go home earlier. The only way that happened was to take more work home where I could at least sit in the same room with my family while I was working.
After thirty years I was tired and I retired. Now I’m loving my time-freedom and I have a business that allows me to set my own hours. I’m so much happier and relaxed.
My advice is to plan ahead, retire as soon as you can or find a job that allows you to LIVE YOUR LIFE.
I’m sure you’ve heard that this school year there is a teacher shortage because teachers have left what they once considered to be their “dream job.” They’re feeling burned out, undervalued, and underpaid. (Keep in mind they didn’t join the teaching profession to get rich by any means.)
The rivets are coming out of the plane in many fields.
It’s also happening with women in the medical field as well.
We are realizing (along with some of our male counterparts) that a career is not all there is to life. We are simply not willing to work ourselves into a state of exhaustion any longer. The demands placed on workers today are overwhelming many.
So, please, this Labor Day weekend make yourself a promise, however you do it, to delegate some of your tasks on your job to others if possible, part of the household responsibilities to your spouse, your kids, to whomever you can and take time to rest, take a bubble bath, a nap, and practice some self-care- WHATEVER it is that helps you relax & feel rejuvenated.
Are you in education, the medical field or another demanding career?
How long have you been in your career?