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February 09, 2018

Today feels like spring. Today feels so good.

Last month I almost lost my mind. Stefan was gone a lot, I was sick, Peter was needy, there was really nothing going on but you know how sometimes that makes things worse? I felt so lonely and just.. bad. I felt bad. Which was sad because January has so much potential to be a really feel good, start fresh kind of month. 

I was desperate to make something happen. I needed to make time for myself, I wanted to feel more fulfilled in some way - feel like I was contributing to my family and to the world - I needed to be a better mom. 

It had been a couple months since I started trying to substitute teach. I really liked doing it, but it was hard to make it happen with Peter. Who wants to watch my kid for eight hours straight? I tried to find days Stefan was working from home so someone else could watch him in the morning and then bring him back home to Stefan for an afternoon nap. It sounded simple, but always ended up feeling like a little too much work on everyone else's part to make it worth it. Then my sister heard about an elementary school that needed more reading aids to come work with students for a few hours each week. I met with the principal and it all seemed really doable and just what I needed and today I finished my first week! 

Honestly it feels like a miracle. I'm at the school for an hour and a half max, four days a week. And I'm convinced I was paired with the sweetest third graders ever - I am not a kid person so this is big. So far finding a place for Peter to play for a couple hours in the morning has basically been done for me, thanks to people who have straight up volunteered to have him over? He has so much fun playing with cousins and friends - we've moved on from the crying when I leave phase - and he RUNS to me with the biggest smile when I come to pick him up! So we've entered the me crying when I come to pick him up phase.. I love him so much! Having a short break from each other where we both get to go socialize and be our own person has been so, so good for both of us.

Not surprisingly, Stefan saw this problem coming years before it did. I remember him asking me when we were still in school if I was sure I didn't want to work after graduation. I was so sure. And I don't even think this was a situation where I was refusing to recognize something about myself - which happens embarrassingly often.. - I really think I was convinced I would be fine staying home with our kids full time. And I still think someday I could be! But lately I've been learning to recognize phases for what they are and to be okay with them. In this phase of my life our new set-up feels right. I don't expect it to last forever, but man am I grateful for it right now. 

Needing my own space and time for myself is a big part of my personality. I don't want to work full time and be away from Peter all day, but I also don't feel guilty about this very part-time job. Someday I think I'd love to have a similar schedule where I take the time for myself to work on art more regularly. Someday.

But today, today felt good. The weather was so nice after I picked Peter up from our neighbor's house that we played outside for over an hour. And I was excited to do it! And I really played with him! And at one point he told me, "Mama turn! Fast!" (Mama's turn to run fast) So I ran fast ahead of him and looked back to see him running fast behind me and we were both laughing and it makes my heart hurt to think about how happy I was in that moment.

3 comments :

Lesa Emmett said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I’m so glad you like your new job! It sounds like a perfect situation for now. I’m sure those kids love you. And Peter seriously is the cutest boy!

Denise said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Erin,
I haven't ready ANYONE'S blog for a LONG time. I opened yours up today since I try to write in mine now on Sundays. What a great read...as always! And I was reminded again why I love reading your blog so much, and how much I have missed it. YOU are still sooo soooo soooooo wonderful! I ALWAYS think of you when I think of Girls Camp (which was a huge part of my day today as we met with a ward conference - I'm in the Stake YW Presidency)

Anyhow...just wanted to stick my nose in and tell you I love you! Glad for your stage and your personal realizations about YOU!

Love, Sis Hot Diggity Demers!!!

Leah said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

aw this is so awesome! I'm glad you're doing something you love!

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