Inside this mailbox is my letter of resignation. This afternoon, after the mailman drives by to pick it up, I will officially no longer be a teacher.
You see, when I took this new “job” as a stay at home dad almost two years ago, I did so by taking a leave of absence from teaching. I could return to my old school and my old teaching position if I came back sometime within the next two years. Well, the time was up. I needed to make my choice. Return to work or continue staying home.
To be honest, it wasn’t really a hard decision at all. I didn’t have to mull it over and wrestle with it in my mind for weeks on end. I didn’t have to seek anyone’s input because I couldn’t decide. I knew how I felt and I knew how my wife felt, so I didn’t even really need to talk to her about it either.
My time as a full-time teacher was over. I gave it seven good years. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I like to think I taught a few kids a thing or two also. But I also stressed out a lot. Trying to balance teaching with having two small kids and a wife as a Resident was a lot to handle. When we found out our third was on the way, something had to give. Things were already waaaay to crazy. Add a newborn to the mix and it almost became unimaginable. I was already waking up two kids at 6 a.m. getting them dressed, fed, and out the door by 6:30, then starting an hour long commute to daycare then work. After my work/school day ended I would try to get as much as I possibly could done right after school, leave work, pick up kids, walk in the door, start cooking dinner, eat, clean up, get the kids to bed, and get ready to do it all over again the next day.
I’m intentionally leaving out my wife’s schedule from all of this because most of you wouldn’t even believe the hours and days in a row she works.
All that to say, things were moving too fast for us. We needed a way to slow things down a bit. Everyday life seemed stressful, that’s not how things are supposed to be. Add to that something like a a family member getting sick and it would send our whole family into a tailspin.
So, back to the decision to stay home, has it helped? Were we able to slow things down? Absolutely. We have. Life isn’t quite a stressful as it was just a few short years ago. Occasionally I do have to remind mysef of this though. If I start to get frazzled about the kids’ schedules or something silly like that, I take a step back, put things into perspective and calm right down.
Because being a stay at home dad isn’t easy, but it sure does feel right.