Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mama and the Teacher

Well today Olivia is feeling a bit run down. After almost a month of daycare, the colds and germs got to her. I mean she did have a bad cold way back in December when she first started transitioning, but this is her first cold in awhile. We were doing so well. So she is finally asleep after a night of tossing and turning, coughing and sneezing, and just warmer than usual. I am hoping she will catch up on her sleep that she missed out on from the last couple of days. Another difference from her last bad cold is, I am actually back work.

Last night, when I had to call in to make arrangements for a supply teacher to come in, I was feeling out of sorts. First of all, here is my daughter who was absolutely miserable and needed extra attention. She didn't have an appetite and she was sneezing and coughing every five minutes. Of course I would stay home with her the next day and even the next day after that if she wasn't feeling better. Any parent would. However, not every parent is a teacher, and there was a tiny trace of guilt or worry about not coming in the next day.

Of course, the class would be fine. But I was finally back at work and starting to get my routines underway. This year my class proved to be the most neediest I have ever had. There was a bit of worry that all my efforts of trying to build a routine and structure for these kids would fall down the drain because I was not there. This is silly I know. But I realized that this is a teacher thing. Parents who are not in the education field wouldn't give it a second about not coming into work. As a teacher, there is some amount of accountability to these kids and their parents. It's a huge responsibility.

Even with 12 years of experience, I rarely called in sick. Even if I had the flu and was still recovering I wouldn't take time off. First of all, it's such a hassle to leave instructions about the class and their routines, and then trying to find work that would keep them busy and didn't require a lot of teaching time. It would literally take about an hour to get organized the night before I knew I was going to be away. It was even more of a hassle calling in the morning of and not having anything ready for the supply teacher. Needless to say, most teachers would go in sick, work the day, and then make plans for the supply teacher the next day to recover. It's insane I know.

It's funny though last night, I was thinking about how different life has become. This is the first "sick" day I have taken for Olivia. Yes, there was a day last week when Olivia had a doctor's appointment. But today, she was really sick so I stayed home. I wouldn't drop her off at the school feeling like this. But in my mind, I sick would she have to be for me to stay home. Does that cross any other parent? If she's sick, of course I wouldn't go. But if she just had a cold, I don't really have the luxury of staying home either. And that sucks. She will always be my priority. As a mother now, my priorities have changed. Family first. My daughter's well-being is first. School or work...well...that's a close second. This is my life now. I've banked all these sick days for a reason...for myself and my family if they needed me. Today she needed me. I'll just do some planning while she sleeps. :0)

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