Going from two to three children is easy in all ways except…none. None. You’ve just added one more kid to your family. You’re outnumbered. There are five people each trying to do their own thing, and only two who actually can make those things happen. Yes, the shock of having a baby is different this time, and yes, you’ll never have the nerves of a first time mom. But if anyone told you it’s no big deal, they’re lying to you. Especially once you return to work.
This is why you need a work family. These people will be your saviors. Every. Single. Day.
When I was in college I chose not to join a sorority. This sounds crazy, but it’s truly been my biggest regret in life. I think that kind of organization, would have been the perfect match for someone like me who often feels that she doesn’t have her own village to call on. Now at almost 40, that ship has long since sailed—but there is a place that I feel accepted and that makes me feel I fit in. That place is my “work home” and my particular family consists of my team of fellow fourth grade teachers.
These are the people that keep me sane. For instance, they are the reason that I wake up and try to look like a semi-normal human being. Without them I would spend seven days a week in sweats with unwashed hair. Just knowing they are there gives me a reason to try and look like a real person (I should note that they have kindly pointed out that my five days a week black leggings are getting old).
For all my life’s ups and downs, these are the people that have been there. No matter where I am in life they offer consistency. They know just when to pry and when to back off. They know when I need a hand and on those days they do whatever they can to make my job a little easier.
Most importantly, these are the people who make me laugh— harder than anyone in my life makes me laugh. When you spend so much time with the same group, they know you inside and out. They know what will get your goat and they use it in the best way possible: for the LOLs. In the teaching profession there are days when the bureaucracy overshadows the pure joy of teaching and on those days a sense of humor is key.
That’s what I mean when I say they are my family. They pick up the pieces, they cheer me on, and they keep me laughing harder than anyone makes me laugh.
And they love me. In fact, that is my favorite thing about this family. They love and accept me for exactly who I am— a highly creative, easily distracted, sensitive, enthusiastic, passionate teacher. They have a way of letting me know they care for me, flaws and all.
This June we are going to be saying goodbye to our work family “papa”. He’s moving on. Greener pastures filled with golf courses await him. I foresee that day as an ugly scene, where I’m in the role of a child, hanging on to his pant legs as he is trying to walk out the door. He’s our #1 cheerleader when it comes to being a team. He knows the importance of “family” at work. He has been a true mentor, teaching me more than anyone I’ve ever worked with. He has class, wit, and brilliance all rolled into one. He makes every encounter with students, staff, and parents look effortless. He always knows how to say the right thing, in the right tone. I learn each and every day that I am in his presence.
It’s going to be tough next year without him, since I lean on him so much. I’m not quite sure how the new version of our family will evolve. But we will, because that’s what families do.