**Sorry in advance, this has been a tough week and I’m kind of having a pity party. Depressing post warning…
I mentioned this in a previous post but it seems to be a reoccurring theme lately. Moments in my daily life almost emphasize the fact that my husband and I are struggling to have a child. It still hurts to type that and it definitely hurts to be reminded of that almost daily.
Most of the time this happens at work. I’m a Head Start teacher. If you’re not familiar with Head Start, it is federal/state funded preschool program for low income families. Besides teaching a full day preschool program, I also work closely with families to empower and educate them as parents. I work in one of the toughest neighborhoods downtown. Although this isn’t my first year teaching Head Start, it has definitely been the hardest for me.
This week I had to report suspected child abuse. (This wasn’t my first time either). I won’t go into the details, but I left school that day in tears (as I do frequently). I felt completely overwhelmed with the amount of things “my children” deal with on a daily basis. Hunger. Cold. Unstable households. Poverty. Abuse. Neglect. Violence.
I try to make my classroom a safe place where they know they are loved and cared for. Because I genuinely love every child in my classroom. I think about them every night before bed and especially during long breaks from school. I look forward giving myself a break but I’m often consumed with thoughts about “my kids.” Do they have enough food? Are they warm in these record low temperatures? Do they have a bed to sleep in tonight?
I feel like I’m already a mother to 18 children although I’ve never given birth. I feel like being a mother is truly a part of who I am as a person. I am a caretaker. I devote my life to teaching and nurturing children that need it the most. So why am I struggling to be a mother?
Why? It’s the question I ask myself the most. It’s the question I ask aloud in moments of frustration and grief. It’s the question I pray about and haven’t received an answer… yet.
My husband tells me to have faith. And most days I do. But when I’m dealing with the circumstances I dealt with in my classroom this week I struggle with the question of “Why?”
I don’t know if I will ever understand why. All I can do is love “my kids” at school as much as my own someday children. I will let these experiences strengthen me as an educator, a child advocate, a woman, and a mother.