Moving On…

I actually can’t believe it’s over three months now since my husband, children and I moved to Wiltshire. In some ways it feels like forever, in others, I still feel like a complete newbie, but I guess it’ll be like that for a while! If you follow me on Twitter or read my blog, you’ll know that although not some huge emigration, moving to a different part of the country was a big step for us. We’ve always lived in Bournemouth, and all our family and friends live there too.

I think my son, at 2 was still a bit too young to fully understand what was happening, but my daughter got it completely, and I’m proud of her for being so well balanced and mature (yes, I know she’s only 4, but she really was!) about it all. A new house, new school, new friends and no family around takes some getting used to I’m sure, but she hasn’t been phased by it at all. She is thriving in her new school, she is always happy to go, and if the amount of Christmas cards we have hanging up that belong to her are anything to go by, she is very popular too!

My husband has had a very busy time in his first term at his new school, but again, he’s loving every minute of our new life (probably helped by the fact that since we moved, he has pretty much everything done for him at home, it was actually 8 weeks in when he asked me one day how to work the hob!).

So that’s my little family and they’re all doing great, which I guess brings me round to me, someone I feel a bit funny talking about. For me, the move was probably the biggest change, but it enabled me to spend more time at home with the children, which was something I’d been craving since I had my son. Being a teacher in a secondary school brings with it so much pressure and responsibility and I explained before, that I didn’t feel it was right for me to be doing that job now, when my priorities were so much different.

It was my old school’s Carol Service the other night, and afterwards, the lady that took over from me as Head of Music wrote on Facebook  how proud she was of her students for doing such a good job. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have done too, but I was very very shocked by the way it made me feel.

Ever since I started blogging, I’ve written about my passion for teaching, how I perceive it to be a privilege to educate children and on a personal level, how I was an emotional mess when I came to leave my job after 10 years. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, even though I knew it was the right thing to do. The thing is, when I read on Facebook how the students had been fantastic after all the hard work they had put in, I just didn’t feel pangs and sadness (which I fully expected to) that I wasn’t there, and that it wasn’t me putting those comments on Facebook, and that they weren’t my students any more. All I felt was relief. Relief, that I hadn’t had to be the one putting in all the work. Relief that I hadn’t had to leave my family on Sundays to go to school for extra rehearsals. Relief that I had been at home that evening to read my children their stories, and relief that I had been able to sit down and eat dinner with my husband instead of having to write the reports and mark the books that had been put on hold until after the Carol Service and shows had been done.

So then I started pondering whether I really could have been that passionate about my job in the first place, if that’s how it made me feel. Perhaps I’ve just been saying what I think are the right things to say. Perhaps I’ve just been kidding myself and anybody else who listens all along?! But no, that’s not true. I did care, and I did love my job, I’ve just moved on to a new chapter in my life – the one where I get to be a Mum, just a Mum, and by leaving teaching, I get to put everything I’ve got into that. I’m more busy now I don’t work than when I did, I guess that’s why childcare is so expensive!

So yes I loved my job, but do I miss it and regret giving it up? Not for a second, and you know what, for the first time, I don’t feel guilty for admitting that either. Up until recently, I feared if people actually knew that, then they’d think I couldn’t have cared while I was working, or that I wasn’t as committed as I claimed to be. I am still in contact with a few students from the school through Facebook and email. I love hearing how they are getting on, I still care greatly and want the best for them in the future, but my life has changed, and for the first time, I don’t think of myself as a teacher any more, just a Mum!

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