…and first blog post back since IB exams, the end of the school year, and the birth of my son Parker. It feels like an eternity since I was plie-ing and planking through a Flybarre class. It feels like an eternity since I last did my Sunday routine of Market Basket + Costco + cooking + lesson planning. It feels like an eternity since I last taught in my classroom. I know these things will all come back in their own time (well, teaching is coming back in January 2016 whether I like it or not), but the prospect of rebuilding feels scary.
I stopped running pretty soon into my pregnancy. I can recall every single run I did because there were so few: one CRC long run, two runs on the beach in Tampa, a Super Bowl Sunday 5K, one neighborhood run, and two Barry’s Bootcamp classes (prior to doing double-floor). As I made the switch to spin classes and prenatal yoga, I thought that getting back into running shape would be difficult after giving birth. I’m surprised that getting back into running shape, though difficult, seems so much easier than rebuilding the teaching and life routines.
After lacing up my shoes and getting out on the Alewife Greenway path earlier this week, I realize that it’s because I already know what it’s like physically and mentally to train for races. The crunch of the gravel under my feet and the crisp fall air felt liberating, bringing back memories of running along the Esplanade with the JQUS Running Club and racing fall 5Ks like the Mayor’s Cup and Somerville Homeless Coalition 5K. Though my legs felt like jelly and I was slogging along at three minutes per mile slower than last October, I felt joyful to have that familiarity back. I know that strength and endurance will come back and that I will be proud to cross the finish line of the 2016 Run to Remember–which will be my first half marathon as a mom.
However, I miss the other major familiarity of fall–back to school. For the first time in eight years, I haven’t prepared my classroom, syllabus, and lesson plans for a new crop of students. I wake up not to a 5:30 a.m. alarm but to Parker’s cries. My days are no longer regimented in chunks of 47 minutes. My T pass hasn’t been used since July 30. IB coordinator meetings and school leadership team meetings no longer take up their spots in my Google Calendar. The familiarity came back a bit when I visited school with Parker last month. Seeing colleagues and students was exciting, and I was glad to see that my room setup still looks the same (even my Star Wars SBG and growth mindset posters remained). One of my colleagues asked how maternity leave was. I replied that it was like being hazed by a very cute dictator and that as hard as teaching could be, it was still way easier than taking care of a newborn!
Four weeks later, motherhood has gotten much easier. I don’t miss school as much now that I’m developing routines with Parker and my mom-friends. My mind feels like it’s getting used to this new mental workout of motherhood and I’m getting psyched for the next stages of the journey!