Julia had been married for seven years when she decided being a single parent would be better than staying married. Being an over-achiever, Julia had tried her hardest to keep all the “rules” her husband set out but there was no way she could and ultimately she didn’t feel very good about herself. Julia knew that needed to change. She knew she needed to rebuild her self-esteem and almost as soon as her husband moved out, she started looking to go back to work. Here’s Julia:
I had been teaching for four years before my children were born but had been a stay-at-home for a couple of years when my husband left. I didn’t think I was going to go back but I wanted to feel better about myself so I just checked the local school district website, and there was an opening.
It was October and when I interviewed, they kept asking me why I was still around. They thought they were going to get the dregs. Everybody gets hired in September and anyone who was still around probably wasn’t worth hiring.
I kind of lied and said that I hadn’t been interested in going back to work earlier, that I was staying home with my babies but that I had decided I’d really like to go back to teaching. I didn’t say anything about the divorce.
The position was teaching Kindergarten and their teacher had been killed in a road accident. So my whole life was falling apart and yet these kids desperately needed me and that felt so good. It was a really great fit because I fed off the kids. They made me feel proud of myself and they made me feel I could do something well. And they just needed love, and I needed love.
I had spent so much time feeling I wasn’t good at anything and I knew it would help my kids in the long run if mom was going to be okay. However, I didn’t want to work at Target or anything like that. I wanted it to be on my terms and it’s rare you can get a job in the middle of the school year. It was like it was meant to be because it was at the right time, the right place and now I’ve been here for ten years.
The Divorce Coach Says
I think they call it serendipity – the perfect opportunity comes up just at the exact time you’re looking and I can’t imagine a more perfect opportunity for Julia. It was a great way to rebuild her self-esteem. My heart goes out to the Kindergartners – can you imagine, they’ve been in school for five or six weeks and all settled with their teacher when she’s killed and gone in an instant? How does a child comprehend that? What they needed more than anything was love and kindness and it sounds like they repaid Julia tenfold with love that helped to rebuild her self-esteem.
She was also smart to recognize that if her children were going to be OK, she needed to be OK first … it’s the airplane oxygen mask analogy. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of yourself and I think as moms, we fall into the reverse pattern early and often.
What are you doing to take care of yourself? What helped you to rebuild your self-esteem?
Photo credit: woodleywonderworks