Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Guilt

An open letter to teachers who are also moms.

Everywhere I go, I try my hardest to avoid germs. This is me...

Yet, every year around this time...this happens...

(I made the above videos. Please credit me if you use them)

So then the baby gets sick and so does hubby. And finally me. My thoughts...

I have no time for this
Achoo...bless me
No really, bless me PLEASE
Yes baby, I will get you a tissue
and help you blow your nose
and throw the tissue away
and then do it all over again
and again
But my baby wants to cuddle
But my hubby needs soup
But my students need to finish that lesson from last week

Ok, so I think you get the point. There is NO time for a mommy teacher to be sick. So then the guilt sinks in...

I can't be in the room with my students. I think they'll be lost without me to guide them. I love the subs at our school, but they don't know our routines. They don't know my kids. They don't know what drives them to learn and what can set them off into a bad mood. I know that. Only ME. The kids are going to have such  rough time without ME. Plus, we were in the middle of that great lesson and by the time I get back, we can't pick it up where we left off.  I'm a horrible teacher for not being there.

Yup...there it is...the guilt. I think that I should go in because they need ME.

Then there is the mom side... The baby is also sick. I must take care of her. Even if I'm running a high fever too. I can't let her watch TV all day. I must engage her. My time with her is so precious. I must utilize every minute. Even if we are sick. How can I engage her when I can't even get out of bed? I'm a horrible mom.

Yup... there it is... the guilt.

After day 4 of me being sick and getting worse, but everyone else is better, I decided to say bye bye to the guilt. I realized that I'm not going to get any better taking care of everyone else. I didn't let the guilt control me.

I took the baby to my parents and I told the sub to use my emergency plans so I didn't have to be at school at 6am getting things ready. I decided to take care of me. I went to the drs. The verdict...Strep, a sinus infection, and double ear infection.

IF I had taken care of myself from day one... I most likely would not be this sick. Now it was going to take extra time to get better.

So I've made a promise to myself. Take care of ME! Forget the guilt.

I hope you do this as well. Your students will be fine...your kids will be fine. But they need you to be fine as take care of YOU!


  1. Hi Mary - I am so sorry that you have been so sick at this exciting time of the school year. YES-ALWAYS put your health first - that way you can take care of your family ALMOST FIRST! As the years go by, your guilt will always be there but you will see that you feel better about everything when you are feeling your best and when you have taken care of the needs of your family. Your students will survive without you - YES - I said that out loud! As a teacher, the most important role you play is to be a safe haven for your students. They come to you each day from so many different situations and they need to know that no matter what, you have a smile and a kind word for them. My goodness, I have former students with ages from ten to those who are now grandparents themselves- and the feedback I am fortunate to receive is that they "enjoyed" being in my room - that I am therefore the "best teacher they ever had." Specifically what that means to each student is not often clear, but, to me it means that I made them feel happy, welcome and special. That is a legacy that makes ME smile. Keep up the fight - I have witnessed the community spirit and sense of being part of something wonderful that you foster in your classroom - YOU are an awesome teacher, Mary

    1. You can always make me smile! Thank you for your kind words!