tanishaI’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a stay-at-home Mom and home-school my children—to leave the stressors of outside work and the daily grind behind.  As of March 13, 2020, I wonder no more. 

I miss my crazy life! I miss the carpools, the rushing to practices, the interactions with people. I miss quiet moments in my classroom and hearing about my kids’ days. Being home has been loud, sometimes chaotic even, busy with planning, connecting with students and families, keeping my 5th grader on track, chasing after my 4-year-old, and trying to keep my 1- year-old entertained. Truth be told, I’m exhausted. 

It’s okay. I realize I went into this wildly idealistic, naive, and unrealistic. My expectations for my children, my ability to work and  home- school multiple grade levels were extremely high and optimistic. Of course I could teach my own children, I’m a teacher! 

Art, science, math, English, history, phys ed, music–if we fit it into a school day, surely we’ll have time for it at home! I got this, right? Oh, so wrong! It took me a week to get used to just being home all day. Then two weeks to get my three little ones into a new routine, and then one more week to get into what sure feels like a teacher flow–where my students and I are interacting and I’m figuring out what virtual learning can be. 

It’s as good a time as any to reinvent, rejuvenate, and recoup. The government mandated it and I think we could all use this time to practice some self care.  I’m learning, being kind to myself, getting in a few home workouts a week. It’s a process. I’m appreciating being able to spend this time with my children, trying to find and keep joy. And I’m letting go.

 For now, it’s all we can do.  

~Tanisha Carpenter, Teacher, City Neighbors High School~