How Motherhood Changed Me – Sam

10 years ago, if you asked me what I wanted to do for a living I would have told you “finish college, teach high school history and coach ice hockey and lacrosse, preferably at Archies”. I had just joined the Coast Guard Reserves and was heading off to boot camp. In the days between the end of high school and boot camp I was helping my mom. She was moving her Childcare from our home to her very own center. I specifically remember helping replace floor tiles. I got my background check done so I could help her when I came home part time, if she needed it. Fast forward a few months and I’m working at Dunkin’ Donuts, going to school and working part time for my mom (on top of drill a weekend a month). I have the Facebook status memories to prove it. It sounded something like “Opening dunks then helping mom at the daycare at 12!”. A couple years go by and I helped her more and more, until I was deployed for the oil spill in Louisiana. I never went back to “dunks” when I came home and just worked with my mom full time. My mindset started to shift from “helping mom” to “this is my job” pretty quickly. I did all the Teachers Assistant stuff. Cleaning, diaper changing, etc. I got qualified and slowly started to love the job even more. But teaching high school was still in the back of my mind.I don’t know how or when it happened that I knew I was destined to be at Bright Ideas forever, but it happened. I fell in love with early education and there was no going back. My mindset shifted again, but this time from “this is my job” to “this is my second home”. I took trainings and classes and learned as much as I could. I loved all the kiddos and we had so much fun. I was able to work in every classroom and learn from many teachers. I became pretty open minded and I was always looking to improve. But I loved having control and had a hard time not doing everything. And then Jonathan came along. I had to give up control to be home with him for a little bit. If you don’t know me well, that’s a hard thing for me to do. I like things done my way. But, I had set my team up well and I trusted them and knew they could handle anything that was thrown at them. That was the first big change. When I came back, it was like I was looking through a different set of eyes. Eyes that understood the difficulty of being a working mom. I had to work my way back into going to work which included planning and implementing in the classroom. I also had a small child counting on me to do everything for them. Literally everything. I was so used to worrying about myself and even that could be hard on some days. But now, I see how hard it is to get your stuff together in the morning and how easy it is to forget something. Mornings can be chaotic and rushed and I put myself after everything else that needs to be done. I usually forget my own lunch and have almost forgotten Jonathan’s a few times. Getting out of the house takes twice as long (on a good day).I like to think motherhood has made me a better teacher, care giver and person in general. I look at situations differently and understand that sometimes the battles aren’t worth fighting. I always had made it a goal to be purposeful in the planning and implementation of my lessons but now I understand it’s much more than that. The “big picture” is more than just the Bright Ideas walls. It extends to each family’s home. I knew being a mom would change a lot of things. But I never imagined I would change in all the ways I did. When people say motherhood changes you, they actually mean it. And I couldn’t be happier about the mental and physical changes it has brought to my life.

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Encourage Your Child To Shine