Generally, when I have something on my mind. I can’t shake it. It’s there. It’ always there. It affects what I do and how I respond to situations. This has always been the case with me.
All adults have bad days at work. Whether that be due to sleepless nights, stress, health problems, family matters or relationship issues. Perhaps it’s got nothing to do with you, but with someone you’re responsible for. Ie. Your child. Which often means that’s worse than anything else.
(If you’re a regular at my blogs – you better be – you’ll know how much of a worrier I am. Especially as a mother. So I’m counting on you mums to understand my situation a little here and everybody else to not judge).
However, as a teacher, no matter what it is, it must be left at the door. A safe and tranquil mind of a teacher, means a safe and tranquil classroom for the kids. It’s very similar to the popular advice given to newlywed couples or parents; ‘’don’t bring your work stress home. It’s sets a very bad atmosphere.’’
This is hard.
If, like me, you struggle with this. I have one piece of advice.
Fake it till you make it.
Sunday morning is my favorite part of the week (that’s equivalent to a Monday morning to the Western world). I have the 1st two lessons free. It’s a productive time and allows me to slowly get my head around the fact that the week has begun.
This morning, after I dismissed my form group (otherwise known as ‘home class’ here in the UAE), I sat at my desk and I notice the reflection of my crying face in the locked screen of my laptop. This happened immediately. I cried and cried as I imagined my daughter calling out for me. I looked up at the camera in the opposite corner of my room, and lowered my chair so I could hide my sobbing face behind my laptop screen. The bin beneath my desk was full of tear filled tissues from the new box I just received.
It’s my daughters 1st day of nursery. Ever! She’s not even 2 yet, and I didn’t expect to put her in so soon to be honest. I wanted her to develop her own personality, likes & dislikes, and more importantly her independence. You’d think I would have easily let go because I’ve been back at work since she was 8 months old. But it was different then, my mum used to look after her in London. They’d go out together, shopping, coffee shops and play centres. By the time I’m home to pick her up, she’s already had her play time with kids her age, been outdoors in the fresh air and bonded so much with her grandma that we’re now both due a relaxing bonding session at home. Perfect!
You see, I’ve never had to worry about her when she was looked after by my mum. Id work all day without a care in the world. Sometimes I wouldn’t even call. Work would be too busy. My mum is a better mum than I’ll ever be. She’s brought up 4 respectful, caring and successful children of her own, and cared for dozens more. Not only did she do this so well as a mother, but also as a profession.
My mum’s got this. No worries. That’s why my decision to go back to work so soon post baby was so easy.
Now I’m in another continent. What do I do without mother dearest? I searched and searched and found the best nursery for her to attend. It took such a long time to finally make a decision that she began coming to work with me. Initially my timetable was light, so my husband and I would rotate. He’d watch her whilst I taught, and as soon as I was done. She was in my classroom drawing on scrap paper or watching cartoons on my over head projector (see pics). Sometimes she’d sit in the corner of my room whilst I taught when we had no other option. Luckily she was quiet the entire time. My students would give her their colours and stickers whilst she sat in the corner and became Picasso. I often caught her gazing at me in deep thought. Like, what’s mama doing over there?
But we both knew it was time for nursery. It would have been impossible to continue like this. How will she settle? Will she like the teachers? Will they be nice to her? Will they understand she’s new and adjusting to being in a new country and new environment? Will it be too hot? Will she eat? Will she find a friend? Will she cry for me?
Now, it’s finally her 1st day.
We drop her off early enough to settle her in. We’re then told to sneak out. But I’m sure she noticed. Because I hear her cries as we walk out.
Felt like a dagger to the heart!
Now I’m at my desk crying like an uncontrollable 4-year-old. Still hearing her cries in my head, on repeat.
My gut is telling me to be that annoying mum and call to check up.
I do so……
To be continued in part 2.