I received an email this morning from the chair of the online teaching committee informing me that I was going to have to type out every last lecture for the class I was possibly to teach spring semester, and I broke down. Last week, the department chair informed me that there was a strong possibility that the class would not be offered in the spring due to budget constraints, but that I could still plan it, just in case. Mind you, there was no pay that was going to be offered for these hours of planning. With no assurance that I’ll get to teach the class, and with dozens of hours more work than I anticipated (not to mention the 30-hour work weeks I’m still putting in at my other job), I gave up. I couldn’t do it. I wrote to the online chair, and I officially backed out of the class. Part of me–the professional side, the academic, the intellectual that doesn’t give up no matter how hard or tedious a job or how underpaid I may be–is very disappointed in myself. I’ve been crying for nearly two hours about this. I feel like a professional failure.

And then there’s this other side of me–the emotional side, the pregnant woman, the soon-to-be mom of this little boy who is jostling about inside my belly as I type–who knows this is the right decision. You see, people keep asking me if I’m excited, and when asked that, I automatically respond, “Oh, yes!” But the truth is, I have been filled with stress and fear and anxiety about all of the things that have to get done before I can even entertain the prospect of being excited about our son’s arrival. I keep telling myself, “Just meet this next deadline, and then you can get excited.” My heart has been breaking over this. I have wanted this baby for so very long, so to not feel excited–well, that was about the worst thing I could imagine.

So I’m taking this as a lesson in prioritizing, and for me, right now, my family has to come first. There will be other classes to teach in the future–maybe even in the spring. There will be other professional endeavors. But what I won’t have is a second chance at these last few weeks (or days) before our baby arrives. I won’t get back these last few sacred moments with my wife where we’re just a couple. I won’t get another chance at the building excitement, the final preparations, or even the hours just sitting and staring at my belly wondering who this little boy is and will be.

In my heart, I know I have made the right choice. I just need to get my head to follow.



Filed under Egghead, family, teaching writing, the P word

10 responses to “dropout

  1. I have had such similiar feelings about juggling work and professionalism and the soon to be family with a baby. It is a wierd shift to make after letting work be such a priority for so long.
    I hope your head can take a breather and let your heart have some fun in these last few days. This is such an exiting time! Our culture and society really values work productivity over family time, but really what is life all about?

  2. K

    Good for you!!! As educators, we too often take care of our other “kids.” Now we have our own! It takes courage, but one you won’t regret.

  3. That sounds like a hard choice, but definitely the right one. You’re not a professional failure! You’re right that there will be other jobs and other opportunities to teach, but this is your last chance to enjoy this pregnancy!

  4. A.

    I’m glad that you took care of yourself, and I completely understand that emotion of feeling disappointed in yourself. But it isn’t valid, sister! You’re going to be able to focus on being the best mom possible (and we all know you will be).

  5. Awh! You absolutely should not feel disappointed in yourself.
    You made THE BEST choice for you and your family!!!
    Way to go Mama!!!! Enjoy these times….hopefully a little more stress-free now 🙂

  6. Jodi

    What T will not tell you, but I will, is that she has stretched herself thin for ten years in this profession with little recognition and shite pay. For most of those years she taught at two different schools, worked her online job, and still managed to present at and attend professional conferences. What I won’t tell you is the personal toll it took on her and I.

    It is a big deal that she is finally putting herself and this family first. I’m super proud and think it is the best decision she could make right now. Money will be tight, but it always is, and we always find a way to make it through.

    I love her more than ever.

  7. It’s important to put your family and you first. Good for you!!

  8. jay

    You did the right thing! Bollocks to them and their crazy requests!

  9. poppycat

    I know that was a very difficult decision for you but I am really happy you did what you did. I am positive you made the right decision for you and for all the right reasons. It’s a hard lesson to learn, the one where you put yourself and your needs first. We are so programmed to not let others down, to fret about our reputations, to say yes to everything when we are asked and to live up to the impossible standards we hold ourselves to, that we often don’t do what is right for us and our families. I’m glad you get to spend this special time enjoying these moments and I know you will never regret your choice. There will be other classes, other opportunities, other chances for you to prove yourself but there will never be another time to savor these last few days with J and your unborn child. I’m so proud of you. Enjoy!

  10. gypsygrrl

    i’m proud of you honey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s