I have to confess that until I got married in December 2014, I was a bit of a workaholic. Perhaps that might have been obvious from when I first began writing on this blog or posting on Instagram... If I wasn't preparing something for my kindergarten classroom, I was studying, blogging, or planning for courses and workshops that I facilitated.
When I became a wife, I quickly noticed that running a household took up a lot of my time. And just when I had one area of my life organized, something else seemed to fall short... This balancing act has continued to be a challenge as a new mother.
When I think about how my life has changed, I am always thankful first and count my blessings. Then I step back to the person that I was before, and wonder if I will ever be her again. Was all that I did with my work and studies what truly defined me? Or is there a new purpose for my journey now as a parent?
I am re-focusing my attention and energy toward my young son. Using the gifts I was given or that I learned over the years to guide our path. Some weeks are bumpier than others. I create multiple "to-do lists," and then only scratch off a few tasks. This has occasionally made me feel a bit overwhelmed, while teaching me the true value of perseverance. The best things in life, are those that require our patience.
For this reason, I am developing a better appreciation for time. Moments we will never get back again, as well as how to remain present. Being a mother, means that your child is your first priority. My goals are still there, but they are taking a little longer to come to fruition! I have started to learn to say no, and more importantly to forgive myself along the way. Not everything will get done or be perfect, and that is okay.
This month for instance, I chose my family over an opportunity to teach educators in Beijing, China with York University. It was a hard decision, as I would have jumped at the chance to revisit Asia in a heart beat. I have also intentionally slowed down my conference/workshop presentations, reduced my course load, and put my AQ instruction on hold. Sometimes it is still hard for me to be selective, but then I remember that I have a new job now. Since I believe strongly that the early years are the foundation for our students' lives, how could I then forget about the impact that I will have with my own child?
Becoming a parent has provided me with a whole new perspective. My hats go off to all the mothers and fathers who have found a balance between their career/academic goals and family life.
Here are some photographs of my new reality. You will see that the creativity, environment as third educator, image of the child, wonder, documentation, researcher stance, hundred languages, relationships and learning continue to be present in all that I do.
During my juggling act, I did drop the ball on a few things... Most were minor, but one that I wish I hadn't was registering for the Wonder of Learning conference on June 23rd. Somehow I misunderstood that it was being hosted by NAREA, and every time that I went on the Ontario Reggio Association's website I waited to find the registration costs and application only to realize that I was on the wrong website! I thought for sure I could sort this out a month before, but sadly it had already reached capacity.
If you know anyone or a school that has registered several delegates, and one might not be able to attend could you please email me? Even though I am slowing down (trying to!), there are certainly moments when I have the fear of missing out. This is one of those instances for sure!
In addition, I would also love to hear within the comment section any advice or stories that you have from your parenting journeys!
The trick to juggling is determining
which balls are made of rubber
and which ones are made of glass.