Balance vs. Meaning #IMMOOC

Last night, the first episode of season two of #IMMOOC went live and it didn’t disappoint. As always, George Couros and Katie Martin lead a very inspiring discussion with guest speakers John Spencer and AJ Juliani that engaged and empowered their viewers. Although I participated in the first round of IMMOOC, this was the first time that I followed the hashtag on twitter WHILE watching the live episode, and I loved being able to see what others were thinking as we watched together. I also loved being able to witness and be a part of the excitement and buzz in the air! Everyone was so pumped and it was contagious! One of my favorite parts of the show was the discussion around balance and meaning. I felt this conversation was a perfect continuation of George’s recent posts Working on “Meaning”, which was a post that really resonated with me, as I’m sure it did with many others.

Guilt… it is something I feel every day. Guilt as a mom. Guilt as a wife. Guilt as a teacher. I think this is inevitable since I care so much and always want to do my best. Often, my struggle is that I feel as though I’m not giving enough as a teacher when I’m being a great mom and wife. And when I’m being a great teacher, I feel I’m falling short as a mom and wife. I think I feel this guilt because I’m not doing what everyone else is doing or I’m not doing what people expect someone like me would do. I often get comments along the lines of “I don’t know how you do it” and well-meaning people tell me that I need to slow down or cut things out because “you can’t do it all, you’ll burn out, you’ll lose your mind, you’ll (insert negative comment here)”. I get frustrated because these comments show me that people don’t truly understand me, and all I want to do is prove them wrong. People generally assume that working is taking away from my family life, and I can’t blame them, because I often feel guilty about this exact thing.

What George’s post, along with the conversation yesterday, have allowed me to see is that submersing myself in my work is sometimes exactly what I need to recharge so that I can be a better mom, wife, and teacher! Win, win, win!

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What I wish people would understand is that working is my “me time” and it refills my bucket, just like some people play sports or go to yoga to refuel. I’m so thankful for my amazing husband and family members who support me in all of this so that I can do these work related activities that reenergize me. So, although from the outside, it may look like I’m this crazy busy mom of 4 who works full time and who has to juggle and balance her work and home life, working gives me MEANING, and meaning is much more important than balance.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. alytormala says:

    I feel exactly the same way!! Thank you so much for being able to put into words the tension that exists when you love work AND family and find a way to make both happen.

    Like

  2. jgoedhals says:

    So true, if you have a work-life balance something is wrong! But still so many people live like that, what can we do in schools to help children not to make te same mistake?

    Like

    1. Annick Rauch says:

      Great question!! I think if we build relationships with our students and really get to know them in order to foster creativity, and incorporate their inserests in school, we’ll be modeling to follow our passions and to persue happiness that way. Other thoughts?

      Like

  3. Noelle Van Der Meid says:

    Yes! I find that every February I find myself feeling like I’m in a rut. I’m doing good work but often without much enthusiasm. Just spending the evening on this book study and following it on Twitter was energizing and refreshing. Got some new ideas and came up with a few new ones on my own! Working last night definitely recharged me.

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  4. Crystal says:

    Thank you for sharing! I feel like we are kindred spirits. I have had similar experiences and have felt that same feeling of “you don’t know me”. My passion for work gives me meaning and energy. I have found what works for my family and I never feel that they are suffering in anyway. We are a supportive unit, a team.

    Like

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