Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tough Time at Work

This week I have just been tired. I am not sure if it's because my 1/2 marathon training is amping up, if I am still not yet recovered from my time at Outdoor Ed last week with my 6th grade students, or just what. I think that part of it, though, is that I am having a hard time with my job right now.

In college, I decided to pursue elementary education as my major because, in all honesty, I wasn't sure what else to declare. My mom was a teacher, my dad is a teacher, my grandmother, two aunts, great aunt, and stepmom all are or were teachers. I figured I would just get into the family business. :) I also liked how being a teacher seems to be a good fit for your family life as well, at least it worked out great while I was growing up.

When I started my career, I loved it. It was my life. I worked at the elementary school where I student taught for five years before making the switch to middle school. The girls with whom I started my teaching career have become such good friends. I loved the switch to middle school and being able to focus on just one subject. I also liked seeing a greater variety of students. Most of all, I really enjoyed the first middle school where I worked. It was in a great community, the same community in which Spencer and I were leading WyldLife. The only downer was that this school was a 50 minute commute from home.

When I found out I was pregnant with Isaac I didn't think that commute would still be reasonable. I was also looking to switch to a non-classroom position. I ended up accepting the position I currently hold (though still a classroom position) at a school only 15-20 minutes from home so that I could spend less time commuting, and more time with my son. I had my initial interview on a Tuesday, a second interview on a Friday, and accepted the job the following Monday.

That same Monday, only a few hours later, we had the ultrasound that changed our lives forever... it was the ultrasound that revealed Isaac's omphalocele and large cystic hygroma.

It's hard working in a place when the primary reason you decided to work there was to be more available for your child... and Isaac isn't here. To be honest, it has been a hard transition for me. The staff members at this school are very friendly; I think it's just hard working with people you aren't as close with when you're going through the most traumatic and painful experience of your life.

More so, though, I am having trouble being with students all day. I know that going back to any job after the loss of your own child would be difficult; but it feels like there's an added layer as a teacher. I spend six hours each day nurturing other people's children when I am so desperately longing for my own son. I think it has made it hard for me to want to go the extra mile for other people's kids when mine isn't here. And that's all on top of the need to be so "on" all day when on cool cloudy days like today, all I want to do is curl up in bed with a cup of hot tea and a book. I am not sure if that makes any sense or not, but it's real, and it's hard. It's particularly hard when I know that I should be doing my job at work as if unto the Lord; and outwardly I think it looks like I am. But inwardly, I am struggling.

I could just really use your prayers. I am worn out. I don't enjoy my job right now, and that's a difficult thing for me. In fact, while driving to work this morning, I thought about how I was glad that today I have two blocks off instead of one. I look forward to the time I can leave, and each week I find myself just longing for it to be the weekend again so I can be home, I can rest, I can have the time and space to grieve if I need or want to, and I can focus on the things that really matter to me.

Thankfully, our spring break isn't too far off... until then, thank you for praying :)

49 comments:

Tammy said...

Hello my friend,
praying for you today. For God to point you to a hurting kid, or for a sense of fulfillment again in your job. Was given a call last night about going to NY and training some new teachers, adn I was downright giddy...miss it a lot. So it's funny how we can be on opposite sides and praying for us both to be content where we are at.
But alas, your side has a whole other story that I cannot understand or feel. Only empathize and pray taht God will remind me that you are there, and that as a sister in Christ, I am called to weep adn rejoice with you.
Again, thank you for changing my life.

Anonymous said...

You are so precious to the Lord. He is grieving with you as you go through this overwhelmingly difficult time. I cried as I read what you wrote because it makes so much sense how you are feeling and yet so few people talk about it or validate those feelings. The idea that a job might be difficult because of such a loss is not something many people realize. And I'm sure that makes it an even more lonely place. Please don't beat yourself up for how you feel, God is working in you because He's allowed you to feel all this. Let Him work, don't ignore the feelings. I will pray that God provides some relief and some hope in this job or allows you to find another one. You are such an amazing writer, so good at putting your feelings into words. Thank you for sharing. I will go and pray for you right now. HE WILL CARRY YOU!!!
Nicole

Amy Louise said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I don't think any mother enjoys going back to any job after the birth of their baby. Y ou have the added layer of grieving for your baby. The fact that you do go everyday to work and do the best that you can do is a tribute to our heavenly father. I will pray that you feel more inward peace at work. That something will come along to bring more joy to your days. Jesus loves you, lean on him.

Melissa said...

You need to find a job that will make you happy once again. You have so much to carry on your shoulders that a job is the last thing you should need to be unhappy with. Have you ever considered working part time for a while? Maybe see if there is a part time teacher position available somewhere?

Although we have never met, I think of you often. Very hard to find the right words to say. Your little boy takes my breath away, what a sweet angel.......

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you are having a tough time at work. I can only imagine what it must be like for you. Just know, that I am praying for you. You will get through all of this.

Sonya said...

my prayers are with you. I know this has got to be so difficult for you. I pray that God will give you guidance and wisdom.

Devon said...

praying stacey. i can only imagine how hard your job must be for you...

praying you find some comfort there and find some peace in this new school...

love you sweet friend.

Laura said...

Stacey - I think your feelings surrounding your work right now are only natural. As you said, it is difficult to return to work when you are a mother, nevermind a grieving mother....then to be surrounded by children at your work - that's a triple whammy! Don't be hard on yourself - I know though that you will continue to do your best for those kids - I can tell that's your personality...but maybe it's time to consider a change in career?

Holly said...

You got it! My family and I will continue to remember you in prayer.

Hope James Wilson said...

Praying for you, Stacey...May God continue to lead you on the path that He has set for you.

Anonymous said...

Truthfully as a teacher myself, most teachers feel like you are feeling this time of the year. The long, cold winter months and the demands of teaching are a lot to handle. You are also going through an emotional overload--so no wonder you are exhausted. With the longer daylight coming and the emergent flowers of Spring, I hope you are renewed in your own life and find peace of mind, body and soul.

Cynthia said...

I cannot even begin to imagine what that must be like. If teaching is not what you really wanted to do take some time off and just be. Try to figure out what makes you happy. Hard in the best circumstances I know but God will guide you.

We said a prayer in church yesterday and I thought of you the minute I started reading:

Lord God, you have called your sevants to ventures of which we cannot see the outcome, by paths not traveled and through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage not knowing where but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us.

Thining of you.

Cynthia

Jen said...

Work is hard. It is no longer that important, the things we do all day seem somewhat trivial. I know that is how I felt and still do on most days. I only work because I have to. Otherwise, I would be spending my days doing things that really mean something to me.

I can say that it does get easier. The first year after losing Abby was the hardest. The second year is better, but not great. There will always be a hole in my heart where she should be and nothing can change that.

Hugs to you.

Bluebird said...

I'm sorry you're struggling with this right now, on top of everything else. I have posted several times about struggling with my job. My heart just isn't in it any more, and I'm frequently distracted by my grief. I've often thought about you and wondered about your job as a teacher - I imagined it would be terribly difficult. I will be praying for you and that you can somehow find some peace or resolve in this situation.

Jessica said...

i'll be praying for you today, stacy. :)

KrazyMom said...

I can relate to the pain you are feeling with work. I own a daycare. I have lost two babies to miscarriage (7 & 8 years ago) and have now been waiting on an adoption wait list for months, to add another child to our family (we have a 9 year old daughter). Caring and nurturing other peoples children while you are struggling with loss in your own family is so extremely hard!

I will most definately hold you up in prayer!

Verna said...

I think all of us get into a groove at this time of the year. We all have spring fever, but your dealing with the loss of your son, doesn't make it any easier.

In every job we can or could do, there will be days that we hate our jobs. But I admire people who are school teachers and child care providers. Dealing with other peoples children cannot be the easiest task to do.

So please, take some time for you. Do something special for yourself. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
God will Carry you through!!!
We will continue to pray for you.

Julie said...

Take care of yourself, Stacey. While I am not a teacher, my husband is and I know after we lost our Devin and Elizabeth 5 years ago, it was tough for him to really be as invested as he once was when he was grieving our children. And I know for me - it was hard being at work when I knew I should be on maternity leave...then worrying about them at daycare...taking days off when they aren't feeling good...all those things. I know it's tough even without the extra you have to deal with in the children. Know I'm thinking of you and continuing to pray for your hurting heart.

Hugs,
Julie

Brenna said...

Oh Stacey, I can relate to your post so well. I don't teach--I can only imagine how challenging it would be to go back to a classroom and to being "on" all day during the months following Isaac's death. I'm amazed by your strength at having done so. I can relate, though, to having made a big change in your life in anticipation of becoming a mother. We picked up our life in DC and moved to Ohio to be near my parents and my sister when the triplets were born. We bought a house here and everything...and then, as you know, we lost the boys. Now we're living this life constructed completely around the notion of raising triplets, and we have no children to raise. It's so surreal and strange and foreign. I can understand your discomfort with a new job and new colleagues during such a potentially alienating time (speaking for myself, I know that I've been tempted to isolate myself and that's made it really hard to adjust). At any rate, I'll be thinking extra hard about you and hoping that spring brings you a renewal of energy around your job--or the clarity that perhaps it's time to move on!

xxoo
Brenna

Laura Ripley said...

I think for some mothers it is very hard to go back to a job when we feel that our child needs to be our first job. Maybe in the back of your mind you were thinking you might not go back and just stay home with Issac. Now you are feeling that is no longer a choice because he is not here. I will pray that God will give you peace were you are at this moment in life. Who knows what God has in store for the future. Good and wonderful things. Thanks for opening up and allowing us to go on this journey with you. I pray for you often

Kelli said...

I know it must be difficult to do what you do everyday without stuggling with the grief you have in your heart.
Have you ever considered tutoring? I had a friend who did it in the evenings for homebound students.
I will pray for God to hold you in his care and make his will known to you.

Melissa said...

Stacey-

How I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom for you…a comforting scripture…a shoulder for you to lean on…
I can offer you prayer, lots of prayer. You quote so many wonderful passages, ones that bring you comfort. Your strength, even when you feel the weakest, amazes me. I know that He is carrying and feels your burdens, He is with you always - you are never alone. May you find comfort in His love.

Praying for you always - Melissa

Amy, queen of the world. said...

I 100% hear ya. Summer vacation seemed to help me refocus with my teaching. It was hard going back after my miscarriage, and a million times harder going back after my living son was born. Being home for 3 months really helped me decide that I was going to focus on my job again, that I can wear more than one hat--mommy to both of my kids (even though only one is with me) AND being a teacher, and that I wasn't going to let another year of kiddos go by that didn't get the best of what I have to offer. Summer will be here before you know it. Good luck, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Monica @ Writer Chic said...

Oh Stacy...you are still so very much on my heart. Know you are prayed for daily, as I cook, as I run errands, in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep. I'm lifting you up, friend.

Charity said...

I am praying for you.

Miche said...

Stacy,

The other day when we talked I think I mentioned that I admired you could return to teaching after all you have been through.

I'll be praying for God to continue to strengthen you . Sunny days are just around the corner as well so hopefully that will help!

Amber

Courtney said...

Believe me when I say I know what you are feeling. I started working in the cafeteria at the school where my husband teaches last August, thinking it would be good for me, and I only lasted two months. It was PreK-7th grades, and while the bigger kids didn't really phase me, those PreK kids tore my heart out. They are so loving and sweet..Every day I was wiping their faces, tying their shoes, had them hanging on my legs, hugging me, giving me kisses on the cheek, even telling me they love me. There were several times I just had to leave the cafeteria because I couldn't stand it. Days that all I could think about were my sweet daughters in heaven and how I can't feel their kisses or hugs..It was way too hard on me. I settled with working the after school program with 2nd and 1st graders after I had to quit the cafeteria job and it was a lot easier, but still hard for me.

I really hope you can find some peace with your job soon..You'll be on my mind and heart.

http://cestep.blogspot.com

Erika said...

Stacy, praying for you. I can imagine how incredibly hard it would be to be back at any job...let alone one that you switched to just to be more accomodating to be able to take care of Isaac. And nurturing others' children while longing to hold your own son- such a hard, hard road to walk. I am here for you, thinking of you, and praying for you...

Laura said...

I taught middle school for 3 years and I have two words: burn out.
I am your age and I probably started the same time you did and lasted only 3 years. It's rough and mentally exhausting. There are definite good days when I loved being a teacher and was inspired and the day flew by. There were other days where I would give "busy" work and just needed a break. Just a day where they would be vigilantly working and they were "quiet".
I had had a traumatic experience during my second year of teaching and there were days I just wanted silence and not be "on". I get it. Trust me.
Prayers are with you.

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

Hi Staci,
I will pray for you on your job situation. For every place we are in on this journey of life, God has a purpose. I will pray that God reveals his purpose for you in the here and now - to give you a sense of direction to help get through the days when you really just don't want to be at work. Maybe God is gently pushing you towards something new, or maybe God wants you to find meaning in something that could otherwise be hidden if you weren't feeling dissatisfied. Either way, know I am praying for you!

Liz Timmerman

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Praying for continued comfort...and for direction with your job situation.

Sending you love and prayers...

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said...

Your feelings are so real....I have them often as well. Praying for you!

boltefamily said...

Always praying. I have no words of wisdom. Just love and prayers.

AngelsAmid said...

Stacy- Still praying for you. Love, Krista

~Kelli said...

You have my prayers!

Robyn said...

From one teacher to another, I will be praying for you. It's a tough time of the year anyway PLUS all the other curves that have been thrown your way. The great thing about teaching is that the year ends, you get a break, and next year you have a different class. Hang in there.

Jeff & Leza said...

Dear Stacy,

I too work with students after having 5 miscarriages and having to help other people's kids is by far the most difficult thing I have faced since my most recent loss. I understand your pain, your frustration, your lack of motivation to help, but I also understand your Faith and my Faith in the same God. He will "direct your steps". Right now, it might be difficult sometimes you might feel like that school is not the place for you, but one day you might also find out that He put you there for a reason. It might seem too hard now, like you can't go on, like entering that classroom everyday is the hardest thing to do, but soon your heart will know. Listen to Him and He will guide you into your future. I know you've heard Him before and You know He is there for you.

I will pray that you find peace in and out of the classroom soon and that your heart will be healed.

Always praying

heidi marie said...

i can't imagine being faced everyday with something that you thought would be your life in a few years. i do not have the strength that you have. don't give up hope. you are so strong despite not always being able to see it in yourself. prayers as always

pollykinz said...

You are in my prayers, as always. I can't imagine how hard it is having to work with children right now. You are strong and brave - keep fighting. Much love to you.

Carly K. said...

Stacy,

You know that I understand the going back to the classroom after losing a child...

I am here for you and I am thinking of you and praying for you everyday.

Take care of yourself and get some rest this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray for you....
Just keep in mind that God will bless you with more children one day when you are ready. Children need to have teachers like you to make them better people. In a way, you are a mother to them too!
Don't make any drastic decisions.... give yourself some more time.... and just know that you precious little boy is looking down on you from heaven and he is so proud of his Mommy.
One day, you will be happier with your job, you will be blessed with another child, you will have a nice child friendly work schedule, and you will always have your little angel- Isaac.

~ shi ~ said...

Holding up in prayer and love...May God give you insight into His will for your daily life.
"Be still and know that I am God" is sometimes the hardest to do when you are grieveing, take whatever time you need to get through the process. And Mostly remember you are HELD! Huge Hugs Shi~

Tammy On the Go said...

I wrote about you in my Kreativ Blogger post!

Larkinsmom said...

Stacy,

I saw something today while shopping that is PERFECT for you. If you feel comfortable would you email me and discuss how I might ship it to you?

I pray for your peace every single day.

Ang said...

Stacy,
I just wish I could wrap my arms around you! I know it might do you a bit of good but it sure would be..My heart aches for you and your beautiful precious loss. Would you believe I thought about and several other blogs that I follow that have lost precious ones to Heaven as I have, and my Grandmother passed away...as I was sitting there, I just looked up and ask God to let Grandmother take care of all those children for us until we could do it ourselves..it was such a comfort. I just wanted you to know I was thinking of you!!! Stay strong...

Mandie Lane said...

Sending prayers, as usual.

Chelsea Pang said...

Praying for your heart in regards to the children you are caring/teaching. I am thinking of running a 1/2 marathon again too! A Rock N Run in Seattle.

Chelsea Pang said...

Praying for your heart in regards to the children you are caring/teaching. I am thinking of running a 1/2 marathon again too! A Rock N Run in Seattle.

Rebecca Louise. said...

I am sorry to hear your job isn't giving you the rewards you had before Isaac's passing.

I do hope you find what you have been looking for soon xxx.