Why I can’t shit or get off the pot

Real Housewives of [insert your town name here], Instagram and career decisions

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. — Theodore Roosevelt

I am, like many other women of my generation, totally hooked on this doing your life’s work kick. Even before Rachel Whatshername told us to wash our faces and follow our passions, I was thinking about leaving teaching. In fact, not a year goes by (11 in total) that I don’t say this is my last year teaching! And yet here I am, still a teacher. So my issue with shitting or getting off the pot is that I’m not sure if I am actually done shitting, and I have nowhere else to go. I am the occasional Instagram stalker. Some evenings, as I sit in the corner of my kids’ room waiting for them to fall asleep, I scroll through my feed and click on friend’s of “friend’s” pages. On these occasions, I’m on a mission. I want to see how those women live. The Real Housewives of [insert your town name here] are the stay-at-home moms, the work-from-home-moms, and the moms who seem to always be on Instagram and never actually getting anything productive done. They dress the part, post the part and they let us know this. They are the BMWs and Mercedes Benzs to my Toyota, the stitch-fix to my Old Navy, the waterfront to my waterview. I live in a small suburb, upper middle class, but not rich. These women have children my children’s ages and they play sports together. In trying to determine whether or not go back to my teaching job next year I look at what these women do. The commonality with this group of women is the inconsistency of their passions. I am guilty of this too. I also wanted to be an interior decorator when I watched Joanna Gaines take junk from antiques shops and transform it into something amazing. I also want to be a yoga teacher when I did like three Bikram Yoga classes in one week. Hell, I even wanted to be a life coach when I realized that I can listen to people and spout out some bullshit. That’s teaching in a nutshell. But I don’t post all these aspirations because I am so busy I haven’t worked out in weeks. If I do leave teaching, I will be just like these women. I have goal ADD, car ADD, project ADD. Every half marathon I have run (6), I train up to ten miles and then get bored. I did a pull up program and came super close to a strict pull up and then just stopped getting up at four am. I get so close to my targets and then, oh look! Big shiny object! I also have a son with ADHD. If I leave teaching, I will become a yoga instructor-author-life coach-interior designing-spin instructor-Instagram influencer of a handful of other moms I live near. I will also not make any money. Last year I switched schools. I now work at a small independent school. I switched because public education fails children miserably at teaching students with ADHD (sorry SPED teachers, I know you try). My other son has a medical condition. I make NOTHING and the benefits are terrible compared to public school. I took a $12k pay cut so that my sons could get a better education, and I still have to pay $8k in tuition for them. We knew it would be a sacrifice but it’s painful to take that much of a hit to your income. I went from a small step down from those women, which by the way felt like five thousands steps last year, to being at the bottom of their mountain. But my quality of life teaching here is way better. My sons are happier and they are getting exactly what they need. I may not love teaching everyday, but I have many more good days here than not. So maybe my hobbies are just that, hobbies. My life’s passion is providing the best I can for my children, even if that means putting their education and emotional well-being over my desire for a more Instagramable life. I don’t have to love teaching with the passion of a thousand suns, I just have to do it until And if we do run out of savings I can try my hand at being a teacher/yoga instructor-author-life coach-interior designing-spin instructor-Instagram influencer of a handful of other moms I live near.

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