I did it...
I made the decision to stay at home with my sweet Riley Quinn.
It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. When I made up my mind before Christmas, I kept telling myself "I'm not going back and I need to enjoy the holidays." We sold my Miata and made some other arrangements (canceled the house cleaner, downgraded some bills, etc.) When we did some number crunching and figured out it could actually work... the decision had to be made. I was tired of crying myself to sleep every night and just rocking Riley and not putting her down because of the thought if being at work all but 3 hours of her awake time. I couldn't do it. Then came the time to finalize my decision... make it real. I emailed my boss (who is awesome, by the way) and told him how I felt. I've always been open and honest. I told him I didn't want to be a horrible teacher. I didn't want to just "be" at work but mentally be thinking of my Riley girl. I wrote and re-wrote the email several times before I actually sent it. This was it... I was not going back. I thought "how stinkin' awesome, I'm a stay-at-home mom!"
He got back to me and all was OK on his end. The sub agreed to finish out the year which was a big concern of mine because I did not want the kids to have a third teacher for the year. That is when it hit me... I'm really not going back. The classroom really isn't "mine" anymore. The kids in 107 aren't "my kids" anymore. I got sad about it and cried a little bit. But not as bad as I did when I thought about leaving my Riley. I knew I had made the right decision, but such a HUGE part of me was changing so much. He invited me to come to the monthly celebration. I thought it would be nice to see everyone and I didn't plan to go see my kids until it is all finalized and I can tell them.
It was nice to see everyone, and Riley was a great sport. Lots of friends held her and my boss fed her. After the bell, I went to say goodbye to K. My TA asked if I was going to see my kids and she thought I should. I'm not going to lie... when I walked in and the whole room had already been re-arranged, my heart sunk a little. But it's OK. The kids were excited to see me and Riley and I felt awful when one said "It's January, you're coming back this month!"
It hit me... I lied to them. These precious six year olds that I love so dearly... I lied to them. I promised them I would be back in January. I never imagined NOT going back to work. I love teaching. Yes, it is stressful and the county puts SO much pressure on you and micro-manages the heck out of you... but I do love the kids. I lied to them... I'm a horrible person. Now I have to figure out how to tell them I am not coming back. Such a big part of me is teaching. It's all I have known for the past 4 years... heck 8 years... I did spend a little
or a lot of time in college to get there... So yes, I cried... the whole way home. I even had a note from one of my students with a bag FULL of gifts for Christmas. Just from her. "Dear Mrs. S, I miss you so much. Here are some presents for you. Love, A"
Yep, I'm horrible. I lied and now I am going to break their hearts. I know they will be fine. It just reminds me of my 4th grade teacher who I loved so much. She left in the middle of the year because her husband got a job in CA. I still look for her on FB and try to find her. My heart was broken that she would just leave us. Now, I know the feeling she must have felt when she had to tell us.
I can't imagine not being here for Riley's first words, steps... anything. This is what is best for my family now and I want to be a teacher to my daughter while I can. I hope the students one day understand how hard this decision was for me. I am thrilled to be a stay at home mom and know that this is best.
Thank you for all of the kind words, support, prayers and thoughts. It means a lot. Please keep me in your thoughts for a little while longer when I have to go break the news to the kiddos.
~let go laughing.