Happy National Rum Punch Day!
Notice the time listed on the clock in this photo:
That’s what time I made it home from work today. My hours are 7:30-4:30 every day with a roughly 30 minute public transportation commute. I’m typically home by 5:30 at the latest, and that’s only if Nicky’s bus drops off late or I have to carry Maggie out of the building like a hay bale because she’s being stubborn. Needless to day, today was a long day.
I normally try and share the funny parts of life – the general shenanigans and silly things that happen – but some days it’s hard to find the humor in things. So today, I’m drained. I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. Plenty of occupations are WAY more challenging than mine, but there is something to be said about how wrecked a teacher can feel by the time they get home. Add in two kids on top of that. There are more days when I firmly believe I have the greatest job. I get to spend my day with children – sharing their joys, laughing, playing, hugging. Pure magic. On other days, I’ve spent part of my time standing over a puddle of diarrhea while simultaneously comforting the pooper and greeting parents (true event) then spent the rest of my day trying to keep one child from biting another child’s face (also true event). There are days where, possibly due to lunar effect or some other astronomical or astrological reason, the children are just sad. Like suck-the-joy-out-of -the-room sad.
The most unfortunate part of this is that after a sad day at work, my children are stuck with a mom who cannot “mom” anymore for the day. There are days where I literally cannot be responsible for another person – my patience is drained, I’m a heartbeat away from crying, and I probably smell like poop or some other bodily fluid. Nick and Maggie, however, have no idea what has gone on in my classroom that day – they’ve just had a great day at school and can’t wait to share it with me. They are unaware of how many children I have comforted, redirected, redirected some more, lost patience with, comforted some more…. how many tiny bodies have clung to me in sadness and discomfort. They just want mom. But a terribly sad truth is that some days, on really sad days, I cannot be clung to anymore – I need to feel like a human being for a moment, to feel my own emotions rather than trying to guide a room full of toddlers in theirs.
How can I explain this to a 7 and 4 year old? It’s difficult to explain this to Ryan at times – he has minimal human interaction all day and sometimes needs to just dump his thoughts on me. On most nights, I welcome this exchange! I love our conversations at the table as a family – I learn about Ryan’s weird theories, Nicky’s friends, Maggie’s thoughts on fast food restaurants… it’s one of the best parts of my day. But some days are… well, some days are just sad days.
Today was a sad day. I’m incapable of having a conversation with another human being in this moment.
So after a frozen pizza for the family and sad fake cheese nachos for me – I celebrated Rum Punch Day by myself at the table in silence.
Hug a teacher the next time you see one. Then buy them wine, they probably need a drink.