Are You Wearing Two Hats You Thought Were One?

blog May 10, 2020

I recently realized that a new “hat” entered my rotation and I hadn’t given it the proper welcome. And, because I didn’t recognize it for what it was, it turned my life upside down.

If you follow my time management tips and tricks, you are familiar with how I talk about “hats.”  We all wear a lot of hats.  Business owner, mom, employee, wife, caregiver, chef, volunteer, organizer, maid, chauffeur, etc.

The #1 thing I focus on with my clients is minimizing the amount of times you swap hats per day…and only wearing one of those hats at a time.

I recently realized that a new “hat” entered my rotation and I hadn’t given it the proper welcome.  And, because I didn’t recognize it for what it was, it turned my life upside down.  

What is the new hat?  Teacher.  

I made a  HUGE mistake.  Instead of recognizing “home school / teacher mom” as a new hat, I was lumping it up under my “mom” hat.  

As the weeks went by, I got better and better at getting a new routine in place, getting the family on the same page, and juggling #allthethings.  However, I got  more and more angry.  More frustrated.  More irritable.  More exhausted.

 

Then it hit me….I was wearing two hats at the same time every minute I spent with my daughter…the mom and teacher hat were stuck together and creating a battleground on my head and in our home.

On our daily walks, I focused on gearing conversation toward the book we were reading…trying to sneak in some “reading comprehension” and history.  In the kitchen, I snuck in math problems as we cooked.  Game time? Strategy and problem solving lessons.  My cherished morning run alone became PE time with her.  My overwhelming stress to integrate “school” into our house turned every activity into “school.”  I was constantly wearing my teacher and mom hat at the same time.

I woke up the other morning and realized I was dreading the day.  To be perfectly honest, I was dreading spending the day with my child.  

I was exhausted, burnt out, and flat out done.  I had a breakdown.  

I looked at the plan for the day and tossed it in the trash. I just couldn’t. 

Instead, I spent the entire day doing nothing.  And by nothing I mean doing whatever we felt like.  We colored, we ate food from a box, we went on a long walk and talked about nothing in particular.  We played games and made stained glass art on the street.  We watched a movie (with zero educational value) at 2 in the afternoon.  As the day went by, I found myself having a nice time.  I found myself enjoying my daughter again. When I tucked her in that night, she said, “Today was fun, mom.  I can’t believe you let me skip school today!  Can we do it again?”

 

That is when it hit me. I spent the entire day with just ONE hat on.  Just mom.  Not teacher.  And we all had a better day.  I had to reflect on that and figure out what I needed to change to bring more joy back into our days.  

 

So now here I am…..several days later….almost recovered.  I have the weekend ahead of me with no school.  No battling of the hats.  

Now I am tasked with how to fix this moving forward.  

Friends…moms….release yourself from unrealistic expectations.  Recognize that we are doing way more than we are used to (or even trained to do).  

 

Starting Monday, here is what I am changing.  I am actually assigning a “hat” in my house to represent my teacher roll.  When I put on this hat, we will be in school mode.  It will be a visual reminder for myself and my daughter that at that moment, we are both on new ground.  We are both learning and figuring out this whole homeschool thing.  But, when that hat comes off, I will release all the expectations and stress of school.  Our walks will be just that.  Walks.  Cooking will be just cooking with no hidden agenda.  Game time will be for fun.

I did not get a degree in education or early childhood development.  I have no background in teaching.  I am not trained or prepared for this.  So, I will take all those ridiculous expectations off my shoulders and put them right where they belong….in the trash.

And I will go back to wearing ONE hat at a time.  Just one. 

Do I like my teacher hat  Nope.  I don’t.  Not one bit.  But I do love my mom hat.  And it is time for me to wear that hat…all by itself….and enjoy it again.

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