Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Becoming Becky...

I've gotten several questions inquiring why I decided to leave classroom teaching when I seemed to love it so much. Here's my vulnerable answer...

For three years, the focus of our family's life was my teaching career.  Although I taught at wonderful, private, Christian school, I confess I didn't balance home and work, at all, not even slightly!!!  I LOVE teaching (and feel it's my God-given talent) so it was easy for me to pour my heart and soul into my "classroom".  I taught 1st grade my "first" year back and 2nd grade for two consecutive years.

During my teaching tenure, Rob and Josiah were EXTREMELY supportive.  They both (and many others) went above and beyond to show their support for me and my lofty classroom endeavors.  I can't even begin to relate how patient Rob & Josiah were!

Josiah would go to school early and stay late.  Because of my drive and focus, he didn't have the opportunity to join in extra curricular activities or enjoy friendships and play dates outside of the walls of school.   Rob took over most of the parenting duties and all of the cooking duties, as well.  After working 10-12 hours at his full time job everyday (4am-??), he would immediately come to school and be my "helper" the rest of my school day.  Both Rob and Josiah stayed to help me clean up, correct some papers and help prepare for the following day.  We'd arrive home around 5pm and I would nap until Rob waked me up for supper. Then, I would be with Rob and Josiah until they would go to bed and I would continue correcting papers, preparing lessons, etc... until quite often, 2-3 am. On the weekends, they helped me drag everything home and I would work nearly non-stop until Monday morning.

I literally became a workaholic and because I was doing the Lord's work, I convinced myself, everything was a-okay. I thrived on my students enjoying school so much that they were sad when the school day ended.  I was motivated when parents spoke words of affirmation.  I loved helping other teachers find joy in teaching.

Unfortunately, Josiah and Rob were often left begging for my attention and affection.  They grew weary when I'd half haphazardly spend time with them or break yet another promise of "not working" as hard this weekend. There was always another activity, unit, email or classroom Facebook post that "required" my attention. Gradually our family's happiness seeped into a quiet puddle. Not only that, but I completely abandoned friendships, as well.

You are probably expecting I had a nervous breakdown or that some huge turning point or catastrophic event caused me to reevaluate my priorities.  Thank goodness God spared me, our marriage, and my family from such a life-altering event.  Rather, I slowly realized my selfishness and became emotionally and physically tired of the insane pace I was keeping.

Although I knew God and my family wanted AND needed me to resign from my teaching position, doing so was agonizing for me.  As I worked through the decision to quit, I was forced to slow down and examine the current state of my life.  I became uncomfortable in my own skin because I found the real Becky was hiding behind teaching triumphs and trials.  I had lost sight of who I was and was created to be outside of being "Mrs. Thompson".

It may sound strange, but I was apprehensive to quit because I only knew how to be "Mrs. Thompson".  I had forgotten how to be "Becky".  I was overwhelmed by the facades I needed to crumble and baggage I needed unpack to find who I really was.  But, at the same time, I was also sad that I worked so hard to become a wife and mom, yet I wasn't taking time to actually enjoy being one.

As our family considered me quitting, we quickly realized our family was meant to home school for this season of Josiah's life.  Home schooling is allowing us to reconnect as a FAMILY.  We can spend oodles of QUALITY time together and Rob and I finally feel like we are raising our son, TOGETHER!  Of course, I am not only able to enjoy being a mom, but also I can still be a teacher.  I love investing my time and talent into Josiah and ONLY Josiah (instead of putting him and his needs & wants on the back burner)!  Rob and Josiah are overjoyed that the kitchen is once again my domain. We are thriving on having a slower more meaningful pace of life.

Best of all, I am slowly becoming Becky...

1 comment:

  1. Becky, may you soon feel fully at peace, you Rob and Josiah. You are one of the most wonderful people I know. I thoroughly love and adore your personality. I am so happy for your family to have this time to heal from this experience. I love you guys so much. I hope that we can resume our friendship...I have missed you dearly.