I am a teacher. The school year just started. I had my girls at the beginning of the last school year. I was home with my girls for five months. A few months later, it was summer break. I was home with my girls again for two months. Now I have the whole school year ahead of me. I will not be home with my girls, for any significant amount of time for a while. As the school year approached, and my summer began to disappear, I was surprised by how I felt about it.
Being a mother is the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of. It has changed my life. It has made me a better person. And still, even with all the love I have for my girls, even though I miss them when we are apart, even though I think about how many little wonders I won’t witness because I am not there, I did not feel how I thought I would about going back to work. I was happy. Not relieved, just happy.
I have been teaching for about a decade. It is a part of who I am. Not only that, I love it. I love my job. I love working with my students. I love the challenges my students present me with almost daily. I love that my job has a valuable purpose. I love it. Why does admitting that make me feel guilty? Why should liking my job make me feel guilty? Why should the fact that I am okay with being something other than a mother make me feel like I am a bad one?
It is no secret or suspicion that the idea that the most important thing in life is falling in love and having a family is reinforced throughout our entire lives. This is a fact. The glory of love and the miracle of children is an idea they start selling early. I honestly feel like I am one of the lucky ones. That dream they sell, the one where you are truly in love with the person you marry and the life you build together is better than anything you thought possible, that dream is my life. I don’t know how or why, but the truth is, we are that happy. So with all that happiness, why do I feel like I shouldn’t want anything else. Why do I feel like now that I have my girls, I should be content just to care for them and watch them grow. I love them. But there is more to me than just Mama. I have more to give. That sounds crazy to me, considering how exhausting twins can be, but it’s true.