MamaScholar Spring

Photograph of the author wearing a Pokemon mask and a multiracial little girl holding a running medal

It’s Saturday morning and I’m stressed about a talk I’m going to give in a few hours.

My little girl has a soccer game in an hour and a half. I will miss it because timing was too tight to get there and to my talk which is close, but not quite close enough.

I’ve only been to two soccer games and two practices this entire spring season.

My 16-year old has his last orchestra concert of the year tonight. I’ll make that, but only because I’m leaving the post-conference reception early.

I’ve been away from home nearly half of the last 6 weeks, including last weekend when 6 had back-to-back soccer games and 16 was playing trombone at an all-district event.

It’s my little one’s birthday in less than two weeks, just between the last class of the semester and graduation.

Next week, we volunteered to bring birthday snacks & goodie bags for her soccer team & we’re going to host a birthday playdate for her class.

Which means this weekend I need to get invitations and prep goodie bags and figure out snacks, while also coordinating the panel and activities for my last class…while also grading lesson plans and fieldwork reflections, and giving a virtual book talk.

My partner will help with many, if not most, of these things, but I will need to organize them. And, I will have to let go of the fact that I cannot be all the places at once; I cannot do all the things; the goodie bags will be good enough; and I am doing the best I can.

My family knows that this is their mama. They are proud of the work I do. They love me unconditionally. They remind me it’s okay if I’m not at every thing. They are happy when I am at the things I can be at.

But it weighs on my mama heart to miss moments with them.

It weighs on my teacher heart to feel pulled in a million different directions and wondering if I can do more.

It weighs on my scholar heart to not have time to reflect, as I know reflection brings growth.

This is a post reminding myself and other scholar parents (particularly mama-scholars) to breathe. I can unlearn and choose differently, but I can’t really make any choices in a state of reactivity and disequilibrium.

And we are okay.

Costco & Party City are our friends.

The kids don’t care about perfection, they prefer presence, and play. They prefer play.

The people who come to hear me and engage with the ideas I share will take exactly what they are supposed to take.

Students in my courses are growing in incredible ways as teacher candidates, and I am moved by the ways they are committed to seeing and acknowledging students’ humanity & identities in their lesson plans.

I can only continue to move forward when I remember my own humanity and identity, trusting in the process, acknowledging what is, and the possibilities of what can be.

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