Why I Continue Doing a Job That is Difficult
I have had this lingering feeling that unsettling thoughts and emotions about returning to work are in my near future. I know that I am beyond blessed to get the opportunity to stay home with Winter during the summer, but once I begin to get so used to it, it seems like I am already staring at the end of summer on a calendar. Before I can even blink, I am back to work; 10 weeks is not long enough.
I have written a few blogs on the topic of being a working mother (which I will link below), but this blog feels so much heavier, less optimistic, if you will.
My job as a school psychologist is emotionally demanding, and despite having the most amazing co-workers, I often struggle with self-care. I struggle to put up the barrier that is needed to block and not absorb the trauma and stress that comes with working with people during a crises.
There is a technique I learned, which I call root grounding. Here's how it works: When you are in a stressful situation, it helps to make sure both feet are flat on the floor and that your weight is distributed evenly. While you take a breath in, you begin to visualize that your feet are tree stumps, which start to grow roots that anchor you to the floor beneath you. The idea behind this technique is to give yourself a mental picture of being strong and steady, so that when you start to notice that your emotions are running high, you have a contact point to focus on to keep you grounded. I am going to make a concerted effort to do more of this while I work with my students and their families this year.
Every year, I debate if school psychology is the right career path for me. It's not that I don't love working with kids, it's just that some days, I feel like the emotional demands are much higher than the return, and that imbalance tends to wear on my heart strings.
Luckily, I feel like I get to return back to the best school for me and work with the most supportive colleagues. If I have to work to continue to pay off my loans and support my family, then I feel so grateful to have a job to go to.
So while this school year will be spent as a school psychologist, in the future, however, I hope to shift my focus a bit. I keep thinking that there is this calling for me to get into pre- and postpartum depression support. I have this vision of possibly linking up with the state to teach teen moms mindfulness before and after baby to help prevent or cope with PPD. Who knows, maybe some big mindfulness company will read this, pick me up as an employee, and help me implement it (wink). I just think we need to do so much better at preparing our women and men for child-rearing (no matter what age you are).
Read more on my thoughts about being a working mother:
What helps you get up in the morning and go to a job that is difficult? Have any of you changed career paths and were much happier because of it?
Photography by Anna Boardman