Back to school takes a while in this house. We are 'multi schooled,' even if we had just one child we would have to tie up two school calendars as I can't see me teaching my own child, but currently we have four different schools to consider. Five educational establishments if you consider the eldest at university - just as well my older daughter is taking a gap year, we won't have to contend with six different places until next year! So the back to school madness started on Monday, but doesn't finish until tomorrow. I'm not 100% sure when the university student goes back... but he is, at least in the right city!
This year has seen my youngest start secondary school. She had her first day today and seems very happy. For the first time ever, I am the last one to go back to work. This meant that I could go with her and watch her march off, heavily laden with her back pack and PE kit, to embark on the next stage of her life. I also got to pick up a very happy girl who had made new friends and is excited about going back tomorrow. It hasn't been a big change for her - she has been at the same school since she was 2yrs and 4mths old, but there have been just enough differences to make it an occasion.
It has been lovely to be at home when they get home from school and to talk about their day and their homework. It has also been lovely to be at home with an ever reducing number of people demanding lifts and snacks.
Tonight the two youngest were sitting at the kitchen table and one of them said 'Oh no - Mum's going back to work tomorrow!' and the other replied 'She'll be all stressy and tired in the evenings.' I nearly cried. I wanted to cry, I wanted to say 'I won't go back, I'll stay home.' There is certainly enough to keep me occupied around the house and garden there, but I like my job.
I love my job. I always knew that I would miss some things that my children did. Sometimes a parents' evening for my students would clash with a school play at one of my children's schools. Sometimes I'd end up sitting at a parents' evening, trying to remain resolutely positive and upbeat about my students' performance while worrying about what my children's teachers were telling Husband about them at their parent - teacher review....
I love my job. But I wish it didn't take over so much of my life. Maybe part time teaching is the long term solution, but at the moment finances dictate that we beed both the incomes. So my resolution this school year is to work harder on getting the work-life balance right. I will try to work more efficiently at school and not bring as much work home with me. But more importantly I need to learn to leave emotional load at work.
It is either that or win the lottery.....