Holy moly, it's been a minute since I've blogged.
Ok, maybe more like a year and a half. Whoops.
To be more accurate, a year and a half ago was when I started North Star Coaching & Consulting, a passion project I embarked on after I'd been a stay-at-home mom for awhile and was missing the world of education. I wanted to work with kids, but in a more holistic way, and I also wanted to be able to coach and collaborate with teachers. So I started the business with two goals in mind:
1-to coach students in the home, working toward academic, behavioral, and/or social/emotional goals and
2-to share resources and strategies with teachers that would help them with planning lessons, classroom management, work-life balance...whatever their needs might be
At first, it was going great. I began working with students right away and there seemed to be a need for it, especially in the homeschool population. But, as with any new business, it takes awhile to really get the income flowing. You get some in, and most of it goes out to expenses. By the time Easton was approaching two, we really needed me to be contributing in a bigger way financially. Teaching still called to me but I was worried that, if I returned to the classroom, my new project that I loved would be put on the backburner (especially now that I was a mom). After hearing that my former principal, a leader I really enjoyed working for, had an available position at a local middle school, I decided to go for it, figuring that I could put the in-home work I'd done with kids on hold until I got back in the groove of working full time. I assumed that fairly soon I would be able to return to my North Star work, at least part-time, and begin to build the business back up again slowly.
Well, we know what they say about assuming...
Once I got started, I quickly remembered how overwhelming the workload was as a teacher and between taking care of Easton, the house, making meals, and taking care of schoolwork, finding time for anything else was near impossible. Within about six months, without a creative endeavor or hobby to call my own, the predictable happened--I began to burn out and feel angry at myself for letting go of a dream that had meant so much to me. I knew I needed to somehow, for my own sanity, at least dabble in some kind of creative project just to have something to call my own--something outside of work and family that I could feel excited about! I started to reflect on what I had created with North Star and also on the things I'd done in the past that excited me the most (I've explored with my creativity lots over the years and have had many "passion projects"!). What I realized was that the common thread throughout all my creative endeavors was that I had always journaled or kept a blog about my experiences, and it was always writing about the experience, more than the experience itself, that excited me (which might explain the huge box of journals I've kept stashed away in my room over the years). Throughout my life, writing has always been the thing I can turn to in order to make sense out of life.
I wanted to revisit the work I'd done with teachers and students through North Star but, this time around, I wanted to focus more on writing and sharing the ideas that excited me--this time from the new perspective of teaching while being a mom. I also hoped, in the process, to build a community of other teacher-moms trying to juggle it all. If I was feeling overwhelmed teaching with only one child at home, I knew other moms were feeling it, too. So I used the philosophy behind North Star (the T.E.A.C.H. framework) as the inspiration for a blog, so that I could satisfy my urge to write and my urge to share ideas about education and motherhood--all topics I'm passionate about. Since time was an issue, I knew I'd have to get creative to keep my blog a priority. There's no magic formula for how I figured it out--I'm still trying to figure it out! I just take it a day at a time and carve out a little time to write whenever I can steal a moment. (I lucked out tonight, this happened by 9:00!)
I kind of see my life now as a teacher, blogger, and mom of a toddler as a never ending doggy paddle--always trying to keep my head above water...rarely, if ever, lying back to float. It's a rewarding life, but one of never-ending guilt--if I'm caught up on laundry and packing lunches and cleaning, then I'm behind on lesson plans & grading....if I'm caught up at school, then Easton has no clean socks and we're ordering pizza way too often. Not to mention exercise, which used to be such a big part of my life--I'm lucky if I can squeeze in a run once a week (which doesn't compliment the pizza diet well). I wouldn't say I've "given up" on balance, it's just that I've surrendered to the motto "I'm doing my best" and to the idea that I won't do any of these roles perfectly. I knew the content of my blog this time around would mostly be about my life as a teacher-mom, but I also wanted permission just to write about life in general--about whatever was on my mind & heart, regardless of where my journey took me. Whether you're a teacher-mom, a working mom in another profession, or a stay-at-home mom (I've been all 3!) it's hard, and there are struggles that we all can relate to. Above all else, I just wanted to have a place where I could be real and tell the truth.
And that's pretty much where I'm at now. At the moment, blogging about whatever's on my mind & heart, teaching-related or not, is what I feel I need creatively and about all I can handle time-wise anyway. Where my journey with North Star goes in the future I'm not sure. I do know that will always be excited to talk parenting, teaching, and inspiration! I hope, if any of this connects with you, that you'll follow me on social media by clicking on the social icons at the top of the page. For teaching resources & inspiration, follow me on Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers. And please leave a comment below!