S1:E3: I’m Putting Family First


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Hey Guys, so last week… I did a thing. 

The past two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. The realization that teachers are currently public enemy number one, with the idea that we are being asked to teach online and in-class students at the same time while providing all of our students the same attention and quality of education, made me do something that I never thought I would do, I resigned. After thirteen years in the classroom, I resigned.

I have been a high school teacher since 2008. I loved my job, I loved my content, I loved my students, I loved my community, and I loved my co-workers. Yet, with all of those overwhelming feelings of love and fulfillment from my work, there was still a part of me missing. As I go through this episode, I want to make a few things clear. First, I am not advocating that all of you clear off your desks, turn in your badges, and walk out on a stable source of income. Especially, if that income is what is providing you and your family healthcare benefits. And definitely do not do it, if that is your only source of income. I am in a bit of a decent situation in that I have a few income streams that I can fall back on during this time. Healthcare, I will have to figure out before mine expires on the 28th of this month.

I am also not advocating that everyone should work from home and be their own bosses because we all know our limitations. Some of you, me included, thrive in a well-structured environment where we know what is expected of us at all times. Most of us, I would imagine, would prefer to know that every two weeks a predictable paycheck is coming and that we have a pension safety net for retirement.

With that said, I did a thing. And to be honest, it was sort of on a whim. I spent two weeks agonizing over what I needed to do to be happy and provide the best care that I can give my daughter. I was bumping up against schedules and her school schedule and mine started conflicting majorly as winter progressed. My school no longer allows snow days, they have become virtual days, and her school has had a few two hours delays, so when this happens, I cannot take her. She was missing out because of me, and her education is more important to me than my job. I have the resources to bounce back and find income. She, however, is at a vulnerable age when learning could be something she falls behind with, or worse, decides she hates. And I was not going to let that happen if I can help it.

I have been employed full-time in some aspect since I was 17. The longest I have ever gone without a paycheck from a steady job, was three months and that was when I was 19. I need structure and I need confirmation that everything is stable and consistent. Recently, I have found myself fantasizing more and more about setting my own work hours and doing what I love at my own pace and on my own terms. My holdback has always been whether or not I have the self-discipline to work for myself. It’s always easier to know where you are supposed to be and when, and having someone else hold you accountable.

I have decided that my goal this year will be a full 365-day focus on improving my mental health and well-being while making sure that my daughter has the best care a rejuvenated me can give her. It’s time to focus on me so that I can better focus on her.

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