There are so many complex decisions that went into making this decision, that it would take hours to discuss, so I will keep it simple. The main reason I am taking some time off is
|Brooke is now 7 and Kayla will be 10 in August.|
This past year I seemed to be asked fairly often, "How do you do it all? How do you have time to regularly post new products to TpT, teach full-time, blog, and be a mom?" I will be the first to admit, I'm not very good at trying to manage all of those roles. I felt like I was trying to juggle three full-time jobs- being a dedicated teacher, a business owner, and a devoted and present mom. The stress was huge, mainly because I am a perfectionist, and it was mentally and physically draining. One would think that I would have been exhausted from trying to manage so much, but I reacted the opposite... I couldn't sleep well at night, and that obviously made for even more challenges. Ultimately, I knew that I didn't want to look back in twenty years and regret the years when Kayla and Brooke were young. I didn't want to wonder what happened to my marriage (but know deep down that we drifted apart because of the time I spent on the computer after my daughters went to bed each night). I knew that something had to give... I had to give up one of my three responsibilities for now.
Some might ask why I decided to give up teaching and not TpT. Time for honesty, here... after 16 years of teaching, I'm feeling a little burned out. Also, I tried really hard to cut back on creating things for TpT for awhile, and had no success. Yes, the money is nice, but it's more than that. I love creating things, and then knowing that they are being used in classrooms across the world at any given moment gives me an even added boost of fulfillment. When friends send me photos of completed craftivities hanging in their classrooms, well, it's hard to describe the joy I feel! Creating lessons has always been my favorite part of teaching. When I first started teaching, I loved writing lesson plans. I remember
realizing admitting to myself around Year #3 that I actually enjoyed creating the lessons more than teaching the lessons! So when a friend suggested that I try posting some of my materials on TpT in the fall of 2012, I was in for less than a week before I was sold on it. When I tried to cut back on the amount of time I was spending on TpT, I couldn't. I found myself STRESSED about not being successful in my goal to cut back.
When did I make this big decision? Actually, it was quite recently. Back in January, I had no idea that I would be resigning at the end of the school year. The notion first came to mind when my twin sister sent me Ari's blog post back in March when Ari announced that she was leaving the classroom. (My twin sister is not a teacher, but in following my blog, she has come to follow quite a few educational blogs!) When I read Ari's post, I felt like I was reading my own thoughts- but written down in a clear manner. She wrote what I was feeling!!! I forwarded it to my husband right away, almost as a hint to see if he had a reaction anywhere close to my own. We talked about it a little at that point, but at that point we decided we should wait another year before taking such a big step.
The idea simmered for both of us, and we talked a lot. There are some benefits for Troy to me working from home. For the past ten years, Troy has gotten the girls up and ready for school almost every day of the school year. He's looking forward to being able to go into work earlier and being able to skip the "doing hair" part of his current daily routine. It was May when we decided together that it was time to go-out-on-a-limb, take a leap of faith, and to see what happens.
Is this a permanent decision? My hunch is that this is a short-term situation for my family. I really do think that I will return to teaching at some point. I might have some time away and find that I really miss teaching and working with students directly. I might find that I need to be in the schools every day to keep my creative juices flowing! For now, I am enjoying my peace of mind and I am taking one day at a time!