Life

A Season of Change

Where do I begin? I feel this is going to be long, and for that, I apologize. The short of it: our family is going through some significant changes. This is all new and different. Best of all, these changes are good. I tend not to talk much about my job here, and I have kept a lot of this off of my blog. It has definitely held me back a bit more than I would like. I have hinted to some of my struggles in these posts: Beauty in the Busy and Overcoming Working Mom Struggles.

As a working mother, I’ve felt like I’ve undergone some sort of identity crisis. I’m sure mothers in general can empathize with this. It is a delicate balance and a struggle to do it all and have it all while working and being a mom. Sometimes you have to give and take. Sacrifice and change becomes a part of your vocabulary. It could be you that makes those changes, it could be your spouse, and it could be the both of you. For our family, it’s both Greg and I who have done this.

Without change, there'd be no butterflies.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… (If you don’t get that reference, we can’t be friends.)

I begun my teaching career one year out of college. I was the ripe old age of 24. I had just met Greg. I was excited to begin teaching theatre at the same high school I went to, with the teacher who taught me and made me fall in love with theatre. This was the job any theatre educator would kill for. I poured my heart and soul into my job. It wasn’t a job, it was a part of me, and I always treated it that way. I taught during the school day and directed plays after school. It was like having two jobs. I lived for it. In 8 years, I have directed or assisted in over 32 productions.

If you have ever been a part of an extracurricular fine art, group, or sport, you know the time and dedication it requires. Theatre is a beautiful, yet time consuming beast. I was that director there for those kids day in and day out. We created memories and beautiful productions together.

Once Greg and I got married, the amount of time I spent away from home began to be an issue, but we worked through it. I then became pregnant with Kennedy, and subsequently gave birth to her 3.5 years ago. I was able to scale back a little bit while she was a baby, but things picked right back up. It was tough, but we made it work.

Over time, it just became harder to make it work.

We decided that eventually I would need to scale back completely and then I got pregnant with Caroline. I began my active search for different options to keep me teaching without having to stay so long after school. I explored every option imaginable. I tried to get the help from others in administration. I even got certified in another subject. I began looking for other jobs in other districts, other grade levels, other subjects, and jobs not even in the teaching field.

I received a whole bunch of “no”s. I became very bitter and angry that I couldn’t just teach and not stay after school. I was frustrated at getting turned down for jobs that I was overqualified for. I was tired of interviewing for jobs that probably weren’t even the best fit. Meanwhile, I was busting my butt trying to fulfill my responsibilities at work while also trying to mother a newborn and a toddler.

It was not pretty. I felt like I sucked in every aspect of my life. I couldn’t be the mom my kids needed. I wasn’t the teacher I used to be. I was a stressed out and absent wife. I held everything in and let it out in other weird ways.

I remember opening night of our musical was a breaking point for me. That horrendously stressful day left me in about 4 different mental breakdowns. I remember driving to Whataburger (You know it’s bad when I’ve got to drive to Whataburger. I only go there for migraines and mental breakdowns.) and sobbing because I felt like I had no control over anything. I was mad that I had to rely on other people to do the job I should be doing at home. I was mad that I was up at school til 11 p.m. I was mad that everything was going wrong at school. I was mad that I was missing my youngest baby’s first year. I was tired of making the routine phone calls to see who could watch the girls. I felt terrible that Greg had to parent without me. I felt like a big fat failure.

These thoughts and emotions pretty much continued the rest of the school year. The school year came and went, and there were no developments for me. I had no answer. No “YES!”

All of a sudden, it was mid-July and the deadline to get out of my contract arrived. I took a giant leap of faith and I said goodbye. I can’t tell you how scared I was to resign. It was sad to say goodbye, but at the end of the day, I was the person who needed to make the change. Nobody else was going to do it for me.

To make yet another long story short, I had two job offers and accepted the perfect one this week. I get to teach theatre part time. I get to do what I love on a super small scale and be a mother. I never thought this would actually happen for me. I was prepared to take on something I hated.

However, this would not have been possible without Greg. He made some big sacrifices, too, and is reaping the rewards from it. He gets to start a brand new job in a completely different field, and it allows me to work part-time. I couldn’t be more proud of him and all he has done for us. He has worked so hard to be where he is today. I have mad respect for this man, and it is an honor to be his wife.

It’s funny. Our two completely different paths of struggles somehow ended up at this change that provided balance for everyone.

I am trying to think of some super poignant thing to say about change and sacrifice and blah blah blah, but I am at a loss. In fact, I have been staring at this screen for 10 minutes trying to think of something, to bring it all home. To hit you in the gut. To make you go, “aww, man, you are so poignant.”

I’ve got nothing.

I am just thankful that God gave us this season of change.

32 Comments

  • Reply
    meghan
    August 7, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Congrats Meg! That’s fantastic for you. Being a middle school teacher at a PK-12 school, I see the commitment that our theatre teachers give, and it’s impressive and also overwhelming. Our middle school teacher only does one production per year and even that seems to wear on him. The high school teacher does several and is constantly at school. I can’t imagine how you did it all and am so happy that you get the opportunity to scale back and do all of the things that you love. My husband and I are expecting, and I stay a lot after school to tutor and work with kids. It’s nowhere near the level of time that a theatre production requires, but I know I’ll even want to scale that back once our first baby comes. Again, congratulations and enjoy!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 7, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I was definitely doing about 5-6 different shows a year. We operated on the level of a college. Our department was amazing and thrived, but yeah… doesn’t mix well right now with young kids. My kids at school need someone who can be present and my kids at home need someone who can be present!

  • Reply
    Teressa
    August 7, 2015 at 7:23 am

    yay! Excited for you!

  • Reply
    mylifewellloved@gmail.com
    August 7, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Good for you sweet girl, so proud! xoxo

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Thank you, Heather! That means a lot!!

  • Reply
    Neely (@Neelykins)
    August 7, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I did get your sound of music reference and now I will be singing it all day. So happy for you friend. So glad you get to do what you love, love what you do and be the amazing momma you are!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

      🙂 haha good!! Thank you so much girlfriend!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 7, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Huge congrats to you!! I’ve always been a big believer in things happening for a reason and this new job sounds just like that!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Thank you so much!! I think so too!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Darby Hawley
    August 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

    First of all, thank God I knew the Sound of Music reference so we can still be friends! Phew!!!!
    Secondly, I’m so proud of you for juggling so much with such grace. You are such an inspirational woman and mother. I’m sorry that you struggled, but I’m so glad that you made your lemonade out of the yucky lemons. Change sometimes sucks, but on the other side it is so worth it and it seems like you and G are feeling so much better about your new chapter. This just radiates my day and I’m so thrilled for you! Congratulations!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 7, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Thank you so much, Darby! It really was a tough couple of years and never thought I would come out the other side. Praise God for this new season! We are thrilled that God has given us the opportunity to balance it better. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    persnicketyplates
    August 7, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Congratulations!! Here’s to a new start.

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 7, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I am so happy for you and your family! I am glad you took the leap to make the decision right for you and then with time your perfect job came. Life is funny like that. I wish for you both to have smooth transitions and that life finds a new normal stress level of normal!

  • Reply
    GoFashiondeals (@Gofashiondeals)
    August 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Congrats Meg!!! Sounds like great stuff is headed your way!

  • Reply
    tawnyafaust
    August 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Meg, I had no idea how bad you were struggling. I am SO SO happy for your sweet little family, everything always works out but it’s SO hard to remain positive when your’e going through a tough time. We are in a season of change over here too, my husband is switching areas of the law he works in and it’s been scary because we don’t really know what it means financially at this point. I’m trying to scale back work at the hospital and pursue what I love (photography) but it’s all so so scary! I’m happy to hear things are working out for you guys, it gives me even more hope that we’re taking steps in the right direction for us and our family! XOXO

  • Reply
    Laura
    August 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I found myself on your page after a click over from Tawnya. First off – it was like I needed to see this. I struggle so very much with being a working mom. Now as my daughter approaches one I am trying to bury the bitter seed that makes me realized how much I missed out on in months 4-12. I constantly am reassessing what is important to me and my family. Living in San Francisco where the income/home prices is just insane I often imagine picking up my little family of 4 (pup included) and starting somewhere fresh. Less stress, less work stress, more family life.
    While I just went on a mini novel here what I am trying to say is. Good. Good for you, for knowing you needed balance and finding it. If it no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy move on. So happy for you new adventures. Newest follower 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I am so excited for your new adventure! The job sounds like a perfect fit. It takes some trial and error to find balance as a mom and it seems like you are on your way to discovering what works best. Super happy for you! 🙂

  • Reply
    daniela
    August 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Wow, Meg – congrats! Honestly, I don’t think that anyone could have ever guessed that you were going through all that when you still managed to find time to blog and share your life with us. So glad you guys have finally found your equilibrium 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders
    August 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I totally have the Sound Of Music stuck in my head right now!

    Not being a mother, I can only imagine how difficult it is to be a working mother with a crazy and hectic schedule. I’m so happy that you were able to find a job that will be a better fit for your family and your life.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire
    August 7, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    You made the right decision! What a great team you and Greg are too. Family is priority. I’m so happy for you guys!

    Also, “The Sound of Music.” Duh.

    Also, theatre. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristy Moreno
    August 7, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    How do you solve a problem like Maria? …you already know how I feel about this situation, but man, God is good. I’m so happy that all has worked out for you as it has. Struggling is just no fun, but coming out of a storm is heavenly. Can’t wait to celebrate! Xoxo

  • Reply
    Shayna
    August 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Congratulations!! That is all so exciting!!

  • Reply
    Hannah Bunker (@hannahbunker)
    August 10, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Girl, the level of time and dedication that theatre takes is the main reason I don’t do theatre any more. I would LOVE to do a show, but it’s just not conducive to this season. And you were the director (equals all the hats) AND raising a family. Dude. So much respect.

    I’m excited you get to still teach theatre! Excited for you and your family!

  • Reply
    justinalayne
    August 12, 2015 at 12:16 am

    I am so, so happy for you! I’m glad it all worked out. You guys totally deserve it.

  • Reply
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    JKThomas87
    August 18, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Congratulations to you- and your husband, too- on landing new positions that sound like they are perfectly suited for you. I’m not a teacher OR a mom, however, some of my best friends are educators and I’ve seen firsthand how it is MUCH more than just the school day. It’s afternoons, evenings, nights and Sunday afternoons. I’m excited for you to have found something that works for YOU and that you will find success in! Congratulations!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      August 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you so much!!! We are so excited about these changes. I literally found the dream job I could ask for in this stage of our lives… it allows me to do what I love as a career and be available. Teaching is something I took seriously and over time I really lost my magic because I was so distracted by home life. I am praying this balance will make me a better mom and a better teacher!

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