Art education has been a large part of my life for many years. If I’m not writing an article about art ed, I’m reading one. If I’m not taking a graduate class, I’m planning out which one I’ll take next. I’m constantly multi-tasking, always on the go, and find it very difficult to take breaks, from anything, really.
So naturally, when I found out I was expecting baby number two, I assumed I could keep going without any breaks. I imagined I would “keep calm and carry on.” I planned to spend my maternity leave brainstorming new projects, writing curriculum, researching TAB, reading art ed articles and books, all in addition to writing weekly articles for AOE.
When my husband and I welcomed our second child into the world last November, I realized I couldn’t continue in the way I had. I had to take a break, whether or not I wanted to. I needed to accept that my only job on maternity leave was to be a mother and a wife. Therefore, I prioritized what I wanted to step away from and what I wanted to hold on to.
As difficult as it was to step away from my classroom and take a break from art education, it was exactly what I needed. I needed this time to not only focus on my infant daughter, I needed it to appreciate my career. I love my job, but I was burnt out. I was ready for a break. It was through this break that I was able to truly appreciate my job and return from maternity leave rejuvenated and eager to get back to the hustle and bustle. When it came time to go back to work after my maternity leave, I was ready. I even went back early. Luckily in my case, a break is just what the doctor ordered and coincidentally just what I ended up needing.
Come back tomorrow for a look at what it takes to successfully return to the classroom after a break!
Have you ever had to take a break from art ed? How did it go?
Did you have certain expectations of how you would spend your time? Were they met, or was the experience different than you had anticipated?