How Motherhood Changed Me - Sam
10 years ago, if you asked me what I wanted to do for a living I would have told you “finish college, teach high school history and coach ice hockey and lacrosse, preferably at Archies”. I had just joined the Coast Guard Reserves and was heading off to boot camp. In the days between the end of high school and boot camp I was helping my mom. She was moving her Childcare from our home to her very own center. I specifically remember helping replace floor tiles. I got my background check done so I could help her when I came home part time, if she needed it. Fast forward a few months and I’m working at Dunkin’ Donuts, going to school and working part time for my mom (on top of drill a weekend a month). I have the Facebook status memories to prove it. It sounded something like “Opening dunks then helping mom at the daycare at 12!”. A couple years go by and I helped her more and more, until I was deployed for the oil spill in Louisiana. I never went back to “dunks” when I came home and just worked with my mom full time. My mindset started to shift from “helping mom” to “this is my job” pretty quickly. I did all the Teachers Assistant stuff. Cleaning, diaper changing, etc. I got qualified and slowly started to love the job even more. But teaching high school was still in the back of my mind.
I don’t know how or when it happened that I knew I was destined to be at Bright Ideas forever, but it happened. I fell in love with early education and there was no going back. My mindset shifted again, but this time from “this is my job” to “this is my second home”. I took trainings and classes and learned as much as I could. I loved all the kiddos and we had so much fun. I was able to work in every classroom and learn from many teachers. I became pretty open minded and I was always looking to improve. But I loved having control and had a hard time not doing everything. And then Jonathan came along. I had to give up control to be home with him for a little bit. If you don’t know me well, that’s a hard thing for me to do. I like things done my way. But, I had set my team up well and I trusted them and knew they could handle anything that was thrown at them. That was the first big change. When I came back, it was like I was looking through a different set of eyes. Eyes that understood the difficulty of being a working mom. I had to work my way back into going to work which included planning and implementing in the classroom. I also had a small child counting on me to do everything for them. Literally everything. I was so used to worrying about myself and even that could be hard on some days. But now, I see how hard it is to get your stuff together in the morning and how easy it is to forget something. Mornings can be chaotic and rushed and I put myself after everything else that needs to be done. I usually forget my own lunch and have almost forgotten Jonathan’s a few times. Getting out of the house takes twice as long (on a good day).
I like to think motherhood has made me a better teacher, care giver and person in general. I look at situations differently and understand that sometimes the battles aren’t worth fighting. I always had made it a goal to be purposeful in the planning and implementation of my lessons but now I understand it’s much more than that. The “big picture” is more than just the Bright Ideas walls. It extends to each family’s home. I knew being a mom would change a lot of things. But I never imagined I would change in all the ways I did. When people say motherhood changes you, they actually mean it. And I couldn’t be happier about the mental and physical changes it has brought to my life.