I woke this morning to the sight of recent rain in my backyard as I took my fur babies out. You heard me right. I awoke to the sight of rain. Not the sound. You see, I didn’t hear it because I was still asleep. The heavy—don’t try to wake me because I won’t remember you even trying— kind of sleep that comes after days. And days. And days. Of exhaustion.
What caused this massive amount of exhaustion?
One might think I’m a mom to a new baby. Or perhaps I just started working nights. Well, I’ve never worked nights, except for the occasional all-nighters pulled in grad school. But, it was definitely up there with new mom exhaustion.
And the truth is, I’m a reasonably new foster mom, but I’ve got three bio babies and have been at this mom thing for just about a decade, so adding a foster love to our family hasn’t actually done much to my physical routine. (I’ll definitely write more on this later. And once I do, I bet we’ll make this into a fancy little hyperlink).
The exhaustion I’m talking about is High School Teacher-Advisor-Exhaustion. I’m getting understanding nods from all the teacher-advisors. Yep, I’ve got a UIL coach to the left nodding. And you. Yes, you in the FFA jacket. I’m pretty sure a robotics coach in the back is giving an emphatic, “Amen”! Half the FCCLA advisors in the room are teary-eyed, and the other half are crashed on the floor. I’m seeing nods from Science Fair Sponsors, TAFE advisors, Spring Band Directors, and One Act Play Directors. Yep, the gang’s all here!
We’re the few, the proud, the Advisors. Academic Coaches. Advisers (spelled with an “e,” and yes, it matters…ask FCCLA Advisors). Sponsors. Directors. And this is our time. By that, I mean our busy season. Yes, we know about the sports also going on right now. But this isn’t a post about athletic events or athletic coaches. This is a post about the leaders of the academic, leadership, & arts extra-curricular.
I recently took a seven-year break from the classroom. You guessed it, about seven years ago. So in many ways, I am like a new teacher again. And I forgot how crazy the Spring semester feels.
So, to all you Advisor-Teacher-Moms out there, here’s some advice I have for you. I’ve learned a few things in just the last month, which has been my FCCLA busy season.
- Be a duck. When it rains, let all the water roll off your back. I had a fellow advisor yell at me. I wanted to quack at her. Instead, I just waddled away. Let that negativity roll off and wash away. Negativity can come from all directions. Your administration. Your fellow advisors. Your bus driver. Your own family if when they feel abandoned by you. Don’t be rude, but also don’t get bogged down by the event’s stressors, competition, etc.
- Take notes. You could be a seasoned advisor or just starting as a fearless leader of leaders’ future generation. Take notes about other advisor’s hacks. Take notes about your own screw-ups. Write down what works. Jot down what failed. You can’t fix it next year if you can’t remember it!! And if you’re like me, your brain’s capacity to retain knowledge dwindles each day.
- Remember your purpose. Remember your passion. At the end of the day, we are teacher-advisors because we care. We are teacher-advisors because we teach awesome subjects that present fantastic opportunities for our students to become the next great leaders in their generation. Be proud of yourself! Pat yourself on the back. Buy yourself a latte.
- Finally, allow for renewal. Be lazy. I mean, first, show up for your job. Get it done. Then, once you get home from your obligations, be lazy, and love on your family. Let the dishes in the sink sit overnight or over the weekend. Of course, feed your family. Better yet, let dad feed the family! But then sit your hiney back down, and veg cuddled up to your kids and hubby on the couch, even better everybody pile in the king-sized bed and put on your fave family flick. Take an extra nap. Binge-watch Netflix. Read an additional chapter in your book. Let yourself relax without feeling guilty. You’ve got to recharge your own batteries. Make space for renewal.
So, here’s to you, teacher-advisor-moms! You are fantastic, and you can do this! And there are only a few days of school left in the semester!!! Bless. But who’s counting?!?
Now back to that rainy morning. It was the day after four busy days of competition and meetings for me. I had given myself time to rest the day before, and I went to bed early Saturday night for even more rest. Then, as I walked outside on that beautiful Sunday morning, saw the wet ground, and smelled the fresh rain, a wave of peace swept over me. Like rain. Rain & Renewal.