She snuggled next to me and I tried to encourage her to go back to sleep. It wasn’t quite 7:00, but I needed to be up and out of the house within the next twenty minutes. She had been in my bed most of the night, which has become the new normal. She barrels in sometime close to midnight when I am just too tired to continually return her to bed. Then the next few hours, she is asleep curled into me as closely as possible. I remind her to wear her sneakers for her asthma testing appointment the next day, since she’d be on the treadmill. “Mom, I hate you working.” “I don’t like that you are leaving before it is even bright outside and I want you to be at my doctor’s appointment.” I certainly could have taken a half day for the appointment, but I have been so sick lately that I am afraid of taking any time off when I can be at school.
I have been back to work in some capacity since my daughter was 4, but this year is different. Now I am teaching full time. I am never at work and wishing to be home. Once I am there with those first graders, I am theirs mentally. What that means though is that some days I give all the best of me to my first grade students and have not as much to give to my first grade daughter. This is a struggle, I think all working parents have. It is balance and choices. I was very fortunate to have been able to be home for as long as I was. Now we have a new normal and it hasn’t come without its share of bumps along the way. What I know is that most of the time, my daughter gets what she needs from me as a mom. I know that we will all get through it.