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Monday, February 18, 2013

Transparent

Tuesday I will add a new title to the many "hats" I wear.  I admit that I didn't plan on EVER wearing this hat.  But keeping in step with all the life changing things that happen to me...it CHOSE me.  Tuesday I will become a HOMESCHOOLING mom.  Mark and I were really praying about and researching homeschooling for Grace beginning next fall, but situations be as they may...a change was needed now.  So...here we go into uncharted territory.  Truthfully I am nervous.  Not that I can't teach her.  She loves the work, and will sit with me until I need a break.  Just nervous to catch her up.  To make up lost ground.  To reteach and make progress at the same time.  She is a year behind in her classwork and reading.  Grace is also struggling with symptoms of her obsessive compulsive disorder.  Once things settle regarding her schooling, I am going to pursue art therapy for her as recommended by Luke's therapist.

Grace will be attending a 2nd grade classroom for two half days a week at our school districts alternative learning school called Evergreen Flex Academy.  She could stay the full day (twice a week), but she just isn't ready for that yet.  We will see where she is next fall.

My heart breaks for how much she has been struggling in school.  I am also disappointed that staff never told us about her struggles until we questioned them.  We spent time talking with Grace's teacher, and she agreed that Grace needed more help.  I have had Grace tested for special education services but she was not low enough to qualify for any extra help.  Luke and Grace have reported that several other staff members (neither of them work with Grace) at the school questioning them about our decision to home school her.  I find that very unprofessional as Luke and Grace do not know the full reasoning surrounding the decision.  I promptly informed those staff members that if they have any questions regarding our decision to home school that they could please contact me and then gave them my cell phone number.  I would be happy to discuss it with them.  I think that shut them up, as I haven't heard from them.

As an educator myself, I understand how some teachers feel about home school and public school.  What I have learned as a mom and a teacher is that not every student is going to learn the same way.  Not every child's education is going to look the same way.  Our decision to home school is based strictly on what Grace needs, our desire to see her experience academic success and thrive in an environment that supports her. 

Here is the transparent part of this post...I feel that I have too much going on in my life.  That I am being pulled in too many directions.  That I am wearing too many "hats".  This leads me to feel not effective in anything.  I am on the brink of burnout.  The last month I have really had to take a step back and figure out what is most important, because what I have realized is that I CAN'T have it all like I thought (see previous post).  I've learned and am still learning some really difficult lessons. 

I have issues with needing "titles" to feel like I have value.  Stupid...I know.  It's just the truth.  We've probably kept our foster license too long because I didn't want to "give up the title".  I went to work this school year for a lot of reasons but one was for the "title" and the badge.  In a way, looking at my picture on my badge that said "staff" made me feel like my schooling and hard work had value.  That I had accomplished something.  I went back to WSU because I wanted the "title" that goes with the finished the product. In hind sight all these "titles" have cost me too much.

In this past month we decided that we are handing in our foster license.  We will NOT renew.  It is time to "let go".  This has been a difficult decision for me to process.  I wrote notes to each of my favorite social workers Peggy and Beth telling them our decision.  Both of these women were instrumental in helping me become a mother.  How to you thank them for that?  I tried.  I admire them and the challenging work they do.  They loved my children before I did.   They changed my world.  I hope they know how much I love them and miss working with them.

I stopped teaching the preschool class at church.  Too much preschool can wear a girl down.  I said no.  I may or may not continue with WSU.  I am still thinking about that one. 

And on to work...hind sight is 20/20 right?  I probably knew I shouldn't have decided to work on August 24th, 2012.  This was the day I found out Bella had delays and was going to need therapy.  My heart felt like it was ripping from my body.  I knew that she would be with her dad, but here I was going to go off to work to help special needs children and my own baby was diagnosed with special needs.  I ended up in the ER that day hooked up to the heart monitor because I was having heart palpitations.  I was stressed, anxious and I hadn't even started working yet.

When I started working I found out that my 20 hours a week job really was going to take more time (25 hours a week) plus my hour commute, plus all the time working on things at home.  It was more than I planned on.  We have made adjustments, but I have a VERY high stress job, and a high stress job with my own children.  There has been a lot of stress!  Things have become clearer to me as Mark and I process them.  My first priority is my sweet little family.  They are a full time job.  My heart is with them.  For me...I have a difficult time balancing be a special needs mom and a special needs teacher.  I know there are many out there that do both and they have my admiration because anytime I try to both...I fail.  I am committed to finishing this school year and then re-evaluating.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I love your transparency. I love your heart. Thanks for being so open and honest. We adopted three special needs kids last month, and I'm in the same processing of finding balance as you. It is so good to know that I am not alone. And you can know that a mom in Florida understands, and is praying for you.

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