The other day, Bry and I were in the midst of a little tiff. I won't say fight, because really, it wasn't. However, as usual it was the "who's life is more difficult arguments?". I know we aren't alone in this battle. I would assume every couple with children out there goes back and forth trying to one up each other.
I had had a rather trying day with the girls. Maeve decided she didn't want to nap in her crib, and Mo's nap lasted half the time it usually does. For those stay-at-home moms out there, you know how precious nap time is for sanity! So when Bry did arrive home, I was at my wits end. He had had a rather rough day at work too, thus making the perfect storm. I was lamenting that I needed a break, I think it was something in the effect of needing a break that was longer then "peeing with the door shut".
His smart ass response: "well, you were a teacher. You dealt with kids for close to 10years before we had our own. You should be used to this and you know what you're doing. You had twenty some kids in the class. Now it's only two".
Of course, this response only added fuel to the proverbial fire and our little argument kept going for a bit longer. Eventually, we were able to laugh about it but not after I knocked some sense into him.
Parenthood =/= Being an Elementary Teacher
When you're a teacher, the kids aren't your kids. If they're bad you can send them to the Principal or at the very least, if it's an awful day, you know that once the clock strikes 2:55, the kids aren't your responsibility anymore. You get them once the have been potty trained, and can write their name, and have already passed through the terrible two's and dreaded three's stages. While you are influential in their development, you aren't the main influence. You relay their progress and delays to their parents during conferences or report cards. You don't lie awake worrying about their development or education or friends. Finally, after the school year is done, most likely, so is your relationship with them.
Parenthood isn't that easy. Since the kid is yours there isn't a Principal or parent you can send them to if they act up. The day doesn't end at 2:55 when the bell rings. It keeps going through dinner and bath and bedtime. As a parent, we'll be responsible for potty training and teaching them to write their name, as we navigate the terrible two's & three's. Bry and I will be the most influential factors in our girls lives. We will be the ones nervously sitting across the table at conferences asking "How are they doing compared to their classmates?" and going over the report cards with a fine tooth comb. There will be anxiety over grades and friends and such. Finally, once the school year is over, we'll say goodbye to that teacher and get ready to start the cycle again come September.
Thanks, Bry for the vote of confidence.
Yes, I handled twenty-some six and seven year olds for 8 years successfully. I can confidently say that I did a pretty kick ass job with it and know that I created a pretty solid educational foundation for most of these kids. While I was a pretty good teacher, it's not parenthood. Parenthood is not the same as teaching and just like you, I'm still trying to figure this gig out.
For now, we'll call this fight a draw.