Try to understand…

Many people wonder why I work two jobs, including myself at times. I will often say, “I have to.” But that’s not entirely true. We could definitely make ends meet, barely, but survive. I work two jobs and there are still times our bank account is in the hole and we are behind on a payment or two.

I work a second job so that we don’t feel guilty splurging with a little luxury. I’m being cautious with the use of the word, luxury, though. What I mean is that we have enough money to go to the grocery store and get a steak for supper or a bottle of (much needed) wine. Sometimes my second income is used to buy a night out with my husband or Mickey D’s (stop your judging!) for my 5 year old. These are all small things and some may not consider them ‘luxuries’, however, they are to us.

My husband and myself are both teachers. We both have a Master’s degree. We didn’t enter this profession to become rich by any means, but I don’t think either one of us spent endless hours studying (not to mention the student loans) thinking we’d be struggling as we are. I think we both love helping others and that’s our downfall, which is not really one if you think about it.

I go to work every day with positive thoughts in my heart. I love what I do. But, when I get home, all I can think about is a nice glass of pinot to help me wind down, which would not be possible without my second job.

Not everyone understands what it’s like to be a teacher. I mean, sometimes, you can have an idea when you’re raising your own kids, but it’s not like that at all. Trust me, I know, I do both. Teaching is like extending all of your energies for 8+ hours with very little thanks. The kids will come back someday and tell us how we helped them and that’s rewarding, but while we are doing it, all they do is hate us. They wonder why we are making them read, write, add, run laps. They question the point of it all. They test our patience. They tell us no. They call us names behind our backs (and yes, sometimes to our faces). They get violent at times. So, why would I want to do this?

I don’t have an answer that makes sense. Someone said to me a few weeks ago, “You know there’s other things to do than teaching.” I had to think about that, but all I could say is, “No, there’s not.” Not for me anyway. It’s who I am, it’s ingrained in my heart. There may only be one moment a week (or month sometimes) when I say whole heartedly, “This is why I teach,” but those moments don’t always outweigh the bad.

Then I get home and my most important job begins. I must feed, clean, help, love, kiss, put to bed, pack bags, (and so on). Luckily my hubby is a rockstar and helps me out. Once all of this goes down, I work until late on paperwork, grading, planning, etc.

So, why would I add a second part time job to all of this mess? I guess the reasons are selfish. I want to be able to eat out on occasion. I want to be able to buy lobster once in awhile. I want to be able to pay the babysitter. I want to be able to buy books for my classroom. These are all things I want to be able to do.

I also want to get away. There, I said it. Judge if you will, but sometimes, you just want to get away and do something totally mindless. So, I go to flip burgers and make pizza. I guess I work a second job for a lot of reasons, but that’s the most important. I do it for me- I also try to exercise for me, but I won’t even get started on that right now. I am a crazy hard worker who does what she can for her family, but also for herself.

Idle minds and bodies get into trouble, right? Besides, if I didn’t keep myself so busy, I might actually have to clean my house, but that’s for another time.

Smile at someone today!