Last week, when I was updating my blog look (and a hearty thanks to those of you who have commented about it), I was trying to think of what to write for my little sidebar bio. It's really of no consequence to anyone, except that it's kind of my way of introducing myself to first time visitors. As I was typing up a description of the hats I wear around here, my heart raced a little bit thinking about one particular hat that I would be wearing again soon. In other words, I had not yet gone back to the classroom.
But now I have.
I'm back, baby, and I feel...well, actually, right now I have this massive head cold, so I don't feel fabulous, but I would if my nose ever decided to drop the stuffy accent. Stuffy pretentiousness is not pretty on anyone, particularly noses.
So, yes. Last Thursday I greeted two sections of Fundamentals of Speech, and fairly quickly determined that I have a pretty good bunch of students. I like the energetic, sassy groups. Every couple years I get a classroom that has fabulous dynamics, and it just makes me happy. I don't mind the studious, serious groups either, but it makes my job a teeny tiny less fun. Just a tiny bit.
I admit that if I could have stayed home this semester and not gone back to teaching, then I think I would have. But the extra income is helpful, it's only two days a week, and as an adjunct, it's never a good idea to be gone too long or else you get replaced. I like my job--even if it is 70 miles away--and I'd like to keep it.
The catch, of course, to why I want to stay home is because I have this gorgeous little baby girl who is still attached to me (literally attached many hours a day). Not only is she attached to me, but I'm just crazy in love with her too.
Teaching, though. Kind of wanted to keep doing it, you know?
Fortunately, I teach at a school where at least half the female population really loves children. I was never one of those girls who enjoyed kids, but as a parent I can tell you that I appreciate girls who do. Over the years, my kids have been cared for by amazing students who are willing to baby-proof their dorm rooms for a few hours a week. This time around, Addie gets two girls watching over her, and they are super-terrific. They even bring Addie down to my classroom between my classes so that I can nurse her. How's that for amazing?
I admit, the first day was rough. The original plan was for Addie to have a bottle instead of me nursing her. I had managed to pump several ounces of milk (I don't care much for pumping, but for personal reasons I'm not making formula an option), and then--oh! all that milk!--Addie wouldn't drink any of it. She cried, and I got really worried and stressed out. Turns out, she wasn't feeling well, so that probably accounted for a lot of her tears.
When she went back on Tuesday, she was all smiles. And I was relieved.
I still think it's going to be a bit of a tricky semester--anytime you have to schedule around a nursing baby is tricky--and it isn't going to be perfect.
The house won't get vacuumed as much, some of my meals will consist of a Snickers bar and latte from the coffee shop, I won't even think about going off my medication that keeps me reasonably even-tempered.
Sometimes I'll show up to class with spit-up on my jacket. Sometimes I'll get stuck in traffic, turning my 80-minute commute into a 120-minute commute.
And for sure, I absolutely couldn't do it if Jason wasn't willing to step up and take care of a lot of things around the house. He's been on full-time laundry duty the past two weeks, amazing man.
No, it isn't going to be perfect, but as Anna Quindlen wrote, "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
So I say, here's to giving up perfection and beginning instead another semester of becoming myself.