As some of you might know, I’m an elementary school teacher in “real life.” And any teacher knows that as soon as the calendar flips to August, a tiny egg of stress lays itself in your belly, grows into an caterpillar, wraps itself into a cocoon, and then becomes a beautiful butterfly – wait. Stop thinking about Eric Carle, Lisa. It’s only August 7th!
Nevertheless, August marks The Return of the Day Job. Now don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, especially teaching reading and writing (shocker). I love younger kids, and there’s nothing better than to see them grow in their understanding and love of learning.
And yes, I’ve been home with my children all summer, and of course that’s work, too – shuttling them around, playing Clue a few too many times, “Mommy, look at me” about a thousand too many times, that sort of thing. At least it’s more laid back. Best of all, I’m lucky enough to have a husband with flexible hours who understands that I NEED to go to Starbucks to write every day if he wants me to be sane (which he really does).
But along with the return of structure and early hours, August marks the reduction of my writing time. During the school year I write between the end of the school day and picking up my kids from their after school program – maybe an hour and a half a day when I’m lucky. This year, though, I’ve changed schools, and my commute has doubled, so I’ll be on the road 40 minutes each way. I’m worried.
Also, it’s the return of work brain mode. I went into school for 3 hours yesterday. 3 hours, and my brain was dead for the rest of the day. Instead of writing, I cocooned (stop it, Eric Carle!) under my covers and lost many games of Words with Friends.
So how does that bode for the school year? I guess the answer is the same it is for anyone else that works full time, has children, and writes: I suck it up and find time, and make the time I find count (no Twitter, *cough* *cough*). I know that I’ll need to be vigilant to protect some writing time, though–unless my husband wants a lunatic on his hands.