It has taken quite some time for me to actually put this into words, and a lot more courage to post it. There is so much difference in opinion when it comes to motherhood and work that I was worried about writing about it. But I have done this because it is important to me. I want to explore this new area of my life and writing about it is how I feel I can do that best. So here goes...
So this year I became a mama.
If I'm honest, I never saw myself becoming a mama, but I am and it is just beyond wonderful. She has come into my world and changed everything. The love I feel for her is unlike any I thought was possible. She amazes me every day. I feel truly honoured to have her in my life.
My hopes and dreams for her are vast and wide reaching. I want her to be powerful, creative, individual, confident, thoughtful, caring, adventurous, loving, grounded, open minded, determined, inquisitive, self aware and happy. I want her to have moral purpose. I want her to see the world. I want her to have wonderful friends. I want her to know who she is and to be herself. I want her to be brave. I want her to have the job, or jobs, that make her happy and challenge her at the same time. I want her to find love in life. I want her to have a positive impact in the world. I want her to fight for what is right. I want her to do everything that she dreams of and more.
I can't wait to meet the little person she is becoming and the young person she will develop into.
Coming to the end of my time at home with her has made me very reflective about the new phase I am about to embark upon in my life as a mother and as a school leader. Friends have asked how I feel about going back to work and whether it is making me feel sad. I almost feel bad saying that it doesn't... but thats the truth. I have loved my time with my beautiful baby, every minute. I will forever treasure the memories I have of this period of my life. I have a deep respect for all the mothers out there who choose to stay at home with their babies but I just feel my path is to be a working mama. I want to show my daughter that you can be a great mama and also be a great career woman too. That is important for me as the mother of a daughter. I am ready. She is a strong, confident and secure little lady already and I am proud of that; we did that! For me it is right to go back to work and do that work really well.
What I do know for sure is that all those things I want for my daughter I also want for my students. I hope Tilly is in a school where her teachers feel the same about her.
I have always been in awe of those teachers and leaders I worked with who were parents and did the crazy job that we do. I remember asking one colleague a few years back how on earth she managed both and she said to me "You just do it. And you know what... in a way it makes your job easier, better even." I didn't know what she meant until now. Now, now I get it. Now that I have a child myself, I feel like what I am doing as a job is even more important to get right. I feel more motivated to do my job better, to make my school better and improve the life chances of the students I work with. Knowing that my daughter will grow up in a world where the students that I teach will be the ones in charge; the politicians, the journalists, the managers, the teachers and the judges. Knowing that they will shape the world my daughter will live in makes me want to be even better as a teacher and leader. It makes me want to help other teachers and leaders become better even more than I did before. I want my daughter to grow up in a city, in a country, where those people in charge are well educated, grounded and good people. Now I know I only play a small part in that as a teacher and leader in my school, but I want to know that I have done all I possibly can to help the world be a better place to live in. I want to do my small bit well - for Tilly.
I now have a whole new perspective and motivation when it comes to work and I am excited about this new phase in my life. I have a duty to my daughter to get this right. So here I go. I am a mama and I am a career woman. This is the new me.
Wish me luck.