There are certain things people never tell you about being a parent or about being a teacher.
For example, no one ever tells you how many hours you will spend preparing, or how many clever ways you will have to think up to get silence in your classroom. No one tells you that you will wake up at 3 AM thinking and worrying about a student or issue in your classroom. I never could have imagined that I would be so so thoroughly exhausted at the end of most days, and so energized on others. No one ever tells you how attached you will get to some students, or how some of them will make you want to pull your hair out. I would not have thought that students I had years ago would pop up in memories and dreams now.
As a parent, no one ever tells you just how completely wiped out you will be after nursing, not sleeping enough, and working full time. No one tells you how later on, your kids will break your heart in surprising ways. As I sit here, my first Halloween not trick or treating with my kids, I feel unexpectedly sad and nostalgic. No one ever tells you how difficult the conversations you will have with your child will really be. No one tells you how complicated and at times exasperating having a teen can be. And no one tells you how there are days where you feel like you are on the verge of hysteria from the anxiety and worry.
Luckily, our babies are cute, and working with our students is rewarding. Otherwise, who would do either of those things? And even when they are teens, there are moments of redemption, where they are sweet and loving and kind. There are moments you will admire them, and others where they will make you laugh. And there are moments you will rejoice them becoming young adults. Sometimes, you will be so proud of them, and other times, you will wonder where you went wrong as a parent. Either way, you will wonder where all the time went, and how your babies got so big or how your students got so old.
The most rewarding, exhausting, amazing, eye-opening, groan-worthy, worry-inducing, incredible two professions: teaching and parenting.