Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Secret to How I Do it All

I have gotten so many emails in the past couple of months from fellow teachers that have been so incredibly complimentary and sweet.  Emails that remind me of why I started this blog in the first place.  But along with those emails, many have asked the question, "How do you do it all?  How do you find the balance?  The time?  How do you manage blogging, creating, teaching, kids, and family?"

The answer is so simple.

I don't do it all.

I struggle with balance.  Life with 2 kids is hard.  Working is hard.  Keeping my house clean is a tiny nightmare.  Blogging has fallen off the priority list, as has creating teaching resources for TpT.  I would be lying if I said that it doesn't bother me.  I feel a tinge of jealousy when I see other teacher bloggers that seem to be able to do it all--and then again, maybe appearances aren't what they seem.  Maybe they have the same exact struggles that I do?  The thing about blogs, Facebook, and instagram is that people usually share all the good things.  Nobody really shares the hard things.

So, hard things. Here we go.

I just want to keep it real with y'all.  And reality is, I still love teaching.  But..my classroom isn't as tidy and "picture perfect" as it once was.  For example, it's a daily struggle to keep my teaching table cleared off.  I *may* or may not be guilty of shoving things in cabinets and random drawers to make myself feel better.  Shoving things in random drawers and cabinets actually causes a new set of disorganization problems, but... I don't worry about it until I need to worry about it.  I don't work on school stuff until midnight anymore.  I have a laundry mountain waiting for me at the end of each week.  I don't exercise.  I stuff myself with cookies, candy, and junk food when I'm stressed--so...that's pretty much everyday.  My family goes out to eat for dinner way more than I'd like--because, after a long day of teaching, I'm just way too tired to cook anything.  And I SURE don't want to clean it all up! I run my dishwasher nearly everyday, because I don't want to hand wash any dishes.  Call me lazy... I don't care! I haven't had a hair cut since before my son was born.  That was about 8 months ago.  True fact.  I forget to pay my bills, even though they are due the exact same day EVERY single month! (I mean, really, what is the matter with me?!) So, the truth is, I'm kind of a mess.  I'm a little scattered.  I need to be more organized.  After nearly 9 years of teaching, I'm still figuring things out.  I think that's normal, but maybe it's not.  I don't know.   I need a popsicle.

I love my babies.  But I feel guilty because there are times when I focus more on my classroom than on them.  I worry about the time I already lost with my little girl when she was a baby because I was busy blogging or creating.  I don't want to regret time lost with my family due to technology.   Our family suffered a great loss this past month, and I've realized that family is the most important thing.  So, even though I certainly don't "do it all"--I know that I have the people I love around me, and I'm doing the best I can.

I'm off to work on that laundry mountain.  And also, pay that bill that was due on the 4th.  Thank the Lord for Halloween candy and baby snuggles.

58 comments:

Reagan Tunstall said...

Amen!

Jeanne said...

Perfect "keeping it real". I am sure these thoughts go through many, many minds!

JennDare said...

Well said. Lots of pressure to have everything "perfect" with the classrooms, recipes, and home designs we see on Pinterest. We can't get back that special time with family and friends, so enjoy those moments :)

Robin Green said...

Wow. That was awesome. I hope we are not the minority.

Robin Green said...

Wow. That was awesome. I hope we are not the minority.

Lovely Nina said...

Thanks for sharing this!
-Lovely Nina

Cathy Hoffart said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way! Too often my classroom looks great but my house in a nightmare (or vice versa!) Thanks for the honesty!

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah! It's like you're writing about me! :) Thanks for keeping it real. You're not alone!!! I'm off to pay my past-due water bill and climb laundry mountain, too. :)

christine said...

I am not glad that you struggle with it all, but I appreciate your honesty! I have 4 kids of my own teach. I cringe when I see how cluttered the house is, but when am I home to fix it? My days in the classroom are too long - why don't I leave earlier to enjoy time with my family? Why are my kids fussy when we get home instead of enjoying our family time? Well, not all of them, but at least one of them it seems. Life is hard, but life is good. and there always is chocolate!!

Jodi said...

Hallelujah...SO TRUE! I get asked this all the time and it's a constant struggle! Thankfully, I have an amazing husband that does SO much, but it is always so hard to juggle it all!

Rebecca Maddox said...

Thank you for being real and honest. I think that is a struggle for all teachers and mommas.

Rachelle said...

Oh my word. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I am struggling so much with balance right now and I'm just not feeling at "peace". Thank you for this post! You are such an amazing mom and teacher! I love ya!

Growing Firsties said...

Precisely!!! Relieved to be in such great company!!!

Jennifer White said...

We all feel that way! You're awesome! =)
Jennifer
First Grade Blue SKies

Erin Blecki said...

I LOVE reading these types of posts. I don't even have children yet and I still struggle to get everything done and ALWAYS wonder how in the world do teachers with children do it all-- even if they don't blog! I spend SO MUCH time in my classroom. I just assume that once babies are here, that additional time spent in the room goes away. Teachers are (for the most part and in my opinion) over-achievers. We strive to always do our best and better our students! Kuddos to you for keeping it real and learning your new balances with 2 kids :) Thanks for sharing the real picture!

Erin
Creating & Teaching

Jessica Cross said...

Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Today is the day I will conquer the laundry mountain as well or at least make a dent in it.

Kristin said...

Thank you for keeping it real!!!!

Jessica said...

Totally with you on this post. My family as suffered the past couple years from all the work I have been doing both in my classroom and creating resources for TpT. It's been a blessing financially, but at the same time a major stressor. I have a two-year-old and four-year-old at home and they need their mama present with them. Things are gonna change next year ... just gotta figure out how to do it!

What I Have Learned

Anonymous said...

Ahh, you make me feel so much better. Keep hanging in there!

Abby said...

Preach!!! #amen #loveyou

Angela Griffith said...

You are totally awesome my friend!!! I've learned that's it's ok to not do it all!!!

Mrs. T said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! I only have one child, I don't blog anymore (couldn't keep up with it), and long to earn big bucks on TPT (but don't have the time to create anything!). My guest room is the dumping ground for anything I'm too lazy to put in its place, and it is a stressor. Trying to cook dinner with a precious toddler who wants mommy to play is hard. Trying to be my best in a variety of areas just leaves me feeling like I'm doing nothing well. Such a vicious cycle!

Teacher At Heart said...

It's so easy to forget that other people feel the same way we do! Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us that it's okay to live and enjoy our lives! You're awesome and so classy, and you sure make it look like you're doing it all, even if you feel like you're not! :)

Teacher at Heart

Jen Bonner//Sparkling in Second said...

Bless you for sharing this!

Anonymous said...

God Bless you! I too wonder how I can do it all. As teachers we are always trying to be perfectionist and do it ALL. Reading your post made me feel good to know that I don't have to be super mom, super wife, and super teacher all the time. Thank you for keeping it real with us! Much love

Miss T said...

Feeling it this year as I now have my own class. Blogging and TpT have definitely taken a back seat and I will just have to be ok with that!

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

Kim @ Mrs. Hs Resource Room said...

Thank you for this post! I couldn't have said it all better myself!
Kim
Mrs. H's Resource Room

Stacie said...

As you can already see by all the posts ahead of me...you are in good company! I'm 9 years ahead of you in the teaching profession and my kiddos are 9 and 14, so I've been beating myself up a little longer but if I can tell you one thing for sure...enjoying what you do is whats most important! If I have to choose a game of Uno with my boys over a home made meal, UNO wins every time! We have chosen the two hardest professions on the planet...teaching and motherhood so Id say we are heroes either way! :) Don't beat yourself up for taking a little me time to blog if that makes you happy. Your kiddos will be ok. And don't beat yourself up for not blogging for a day or a week or a month if that's what makes you happy! We will be ok! We only have so much to give in this life and we most certainly should be happy should while we give it! Thanks for sharing your honesty and remember, we are right here with you...messy house and all!

Vickie said...

I needed this post so badly today!! I've too felt jealous when I see others being able to blog and pump out stuff for TpT, but I also don't want to regret letting that take a front seat over spending time with Ellie Grace. Thanks so much!

The Scoop in Second Grade said...

You are not alone! My FIL used to say 'all that glitters is not gold' . Isn't that the truth! Some may make it appear easy but I'm sure they also have balance struggles.

Anonymous said...

I feel so much better after reading your blog!!

Michelle said...

Can't agree with you more. I've been having the same struggles! Love you!

Raye said...

Personally, I think the people who seem to have it all really don't either. There is no way they aren't sacrificing SOMETHING. No one is the perfect mom, wife, teacher, TpT author, blogger all at the same time. It is just not possible.

MLTeach said...

Love this!!!

Karen said...

Best post ever! Thanks so much for being open and honest. Our jobs are not easy, add on all that extra stuff and it becomes even more harder! I want to enjoy my life and what I have been blessed with. All that other stuff will just have to wait!

Karen
An Apple a Day in First Grade

Lee Ann Rasey said...

You described me to a T! Your examples are exactly what I also feel-laundry, not too clean house, don't do dishes, don't have time to exercise and eat too much junk! My girls are now 21 and 16, but when my oldest was 10, she asked why I spent more time on my school kids than on my own kids. Ouch! That's when I took a part-time teaching job, and I just got full-time this year. I forgot how little time there is to do anything for myself and my family.

Julie said...

Ahhhh! I love this! Sounds like me! Except with 3 kids...and tons of life. Don't even get me started on eating out too much, my mess of a house, and laundry! I feel you girl! Love you!

Brandy Withers said...

What an awesome post! I love your honesty here. As a newer blogger, I'm always in awe of all you celebrity bloggers and how you seem to do it all. I have had the same concerns with focusing too much on work/blogging than on my daughter and worrying that I'm missing too much "family" time.

Brandy
Firstie Kidoodles

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this awesome post!

Gladys said...

Amen!! Love 'ya, girl!

Glenda said...

Emily Dickinson came to mind when I was reading your post for some reason. I think it is because, like her, you are blessed in abundance with that gift of gifts, amazing childlike wonder that is so contagious. And, like Emily Dickinson, you recognize that we are all stumbling pilgrims. Hooray! At least we aren't alone in these things. We all have self doubt and regret..... goodness, that is the universal lot of mothers. In some measure, it is a gift in that it teaches your children in turn that life has ups AND downs. Resiliency and independence are good things. Wish I had more of them myself.
Your post also made me ponder the positives of speaking positively..... mostly. I blog and find that it is true that positives usually win out. Not because I am trying to hide or am afraid to be real, but because it is a mindset I hope to cultivate...to see the joy and the goodness and be grateful. But it is a kindness to share those stumbling pilgrim sorts of times though, for us to read and be reminded that we all struggle. I think the beginning of a new school year is bound to be a huge transition for a family with little children as you have. Try not to feel guilty. You are a light to many. And just make one small change that makes you happy for now. Be kind to yourself.

Positively Learning said...

Thank you for saying this aloud - SO timely!
I've seen more and more "real" posts like this lately & I'm loving it!
Jen :)

Lindsey (The Teacher Wife) said...

Love you!!!

Darla Hursh said...

Good perspective. I am a mom, teacher and relatively new blogger. I don't have a ton of followers yet and I feared it was because I did not spend enough time blogging. It seemed all the successful blogs were way more often than me. Now I don't feel as bad. I'll blog when I can and hope for the best! Bouncing Through Life in First

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with you! I'm don't have kids yet and I always wonder how people get things done! Thank you for keepin' it real!

Katrina McNamara said...

Thank you! As a new mama and teacher teaching a new grade this year, I completely understand everything you've mentioned. I love knowing we're not alone and its ok to do the best we can! Happy fall!

Anonymous said...

Love this!!!!

Mrs. Richardson said...

What a breath of fresh air! :)

Rachel Lamb said...

Amen sister! And I'm still jealous of you! =)

Nicole from Teaching With Style said...

Sarah! I could have written this blog post! I really WANT to do it all, but I can't! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Thanks for keeping it real! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. I am a blog follower and although I always come out with great ideas, I sometimes feel like I'm not as organized and my class does not run like the well-oiled machine the I see on other class blogs. Nonetheless, my kiddos love to come to school each day, they learn, and some don't want to leave. I take that as the proof that what I'm doing works! Thanks to all bloggers for their idea exchange!!

Creativity to the Core said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS. It is just what I needed. Off the computer I go...

Meredith

Christy_P. said...

Melissa Machan said...

Completely with you and so happy to read a post where we are keeping it real. Thank you for the honesty because it makes us all feel better knowing we aren't alone.

P.S. Laundry = NEVERENDING!

Melissa
First Grade Smiles

Lita Lita said...

I loved this post. I feel like I am always behind everything. You are awesome! :)

lyndsey said...

Thank you so much for your transparency!! Wow I so appreciate it!

Jennifer Jones said...

Oh, Sarah Cooley, I love you even more than I did before...if that's possible! So true...we only share the good stuff...not the junk food or the late bills, but I am so there with you! (Except Lisa Webber Mattes...she does share her son's dirty laundry and her daughter's less than exemplary citizenship report...and that's just one reason why I love her so!) Every day! We argue over technology and time, constantly...it's a constant issue. At least your kids aren't old enough to also be on technology constantly...teenagehood is certainly different than when I grew up. And nothing about parenting is easy...and it gets harder as they get older. But thank you for being real! And honest! And for choosing to share it on your blog! Did it make you feel better? I'm considering a "coming clean" post as well, but not sure. Thanks, Jen

pammy said...

Well said and good job!

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