Something’s got to give

The last few weeks have been busy. Super busy. Super crazy, I can’t sleep, am up all night doing work, busy. And it has caused me to reflect on the concept of balance. Or lack of balance. In my case, a serious case of imbalance.

One of the many reasons I choose a teaching career was that it seemed to value what I value – family. There is not a lot of travel, your hours and holidays line up with those of your children, and you spend your days caring for the needs of children, so you would expect those values to be the values of any school you work in.

Then there’s reality. I am the first person to say that during the school season, teachers work long hours. When we’re on, we’re on. That’s why we get the number of holidays too – you cannot sustain that level of commitment and time and giving without burning out. Teachers need the breaks as much as students do. But what happens when the hours needed to do the job exceed the number of hours available? How to you stop it from impacting your family life?

Our world is working faster now. I get around 100 emails a day. If you average that on 1 minute per email just to read it, let alone do anything about it or respond, you’re looking at an hour and forty minutes just reading, everyday. And then there are all the meetings you go to that require follow up action that you don’t get to because you go straight into another meeting.

How did we work before the digital age? I know I went to school and received an education that allowed me to be a successful adults. But I’m willing to bet the principals of those days didn’t receive 100 memos a day.

And what happens when we get overtired and over stressed? Who pays the price? We do, our kids do, our colleagues do. We are more irritable, less able to deal with frustration, less able to plan, and our memory suffers too.

I guess the point I’m getting to is, I’m tired. I miss my kids. The only time I see my husband seems to be in meetings. My life is out of balance and I don’t know how to make people listen to me when I say there must be a better way of doing things. It’s time to call an audible.

I need to unplug and the world is going to just have to get along without me for a little while.

How many more sleeps until the break?

3 Thoughts

  1. Something definitely has to give! As a single person I am always baffled at how teacher’s with kids do this job. I frequently go home and work and forget about dinner or eat something like a bowl of cereal. I’ve really been reflecting on balance lately as well. I have got to get back to my routine of going to the gym which I have been attempting lately. It’s my time to just run and think, run and think. It’s good for my mind and body! That being said mostly this holiday I will be reading, beaching and eating. Maybe I’ll squeeze some hot yoga in but if that doesn’t happen meh well! I will come back in January with intentions of staying balanced a lot better in 2012. We shall see!

  2. Hi Heidi, I like your post. I know what you are saying..juggling, balancing, family and work and so much more…. I didn’t teach for one year. Now that I am teaching again it feels like I am running and just never stop. I do love what I am doing. I am thankful that I don’t work in an office and can go on a holiday when my kids are on holiday. I can go home when my kids are going home. However works awaits when children are sleeping and somewhere between that and cooking etc. we also have to find quality time for our spouse. Since a few years my mother decided to retire and move to Bali from the Netherlands. Yes I am privileged to have her at this distance. Bali is now my favorite place to recharge, and I mean really recharge..coz she is just happy to have the kids and take after them (I am an only child and these are the only 3 grand kids she got). Somehow every time we go there I crash and get really sick. But it is nice to be sick and knowing that your children are in good hands of Oma. Again it is not always easy, and it is important to find that balance in life..if only we had that STOP button! 🙂 Don’t forget, take good care of yourself!

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