I was a teacher first. Then I became a mom. And now, I’m a student in nursing school. During this special week dedicated to teachers, mothers, and nurses, I’ve been reflecting on the many hats I wear and how much I’ve gained from my experience in each of these different roles. But are the roles really that different? Because I think we’re a little bit of all three.
I was an educator for ten years, and in that time, I made sure kids had their medication on field trips. I stayed with a child during his first seizure and comforted his family. I applied pressure to a wound before a student was taken to the hospital for stitches. I did some nursing even before I was in school for it, and I know many who are teachers by trade who can say the same. When I was a teacher, I bought extra snacks for my students to take home over the weekends, and I worried sick about them until I saw them again on Monday. At that point, I didn’t have children of my own per se, but my students were my kids. My colleagues and I were doing the mom thing even though it wasn’t in our official job description.
When I had my first son, it was I who introduced the ABCs to him as we watched Leap Frog’s Letter Factory. We had lunch dates solely for the purpose of me teaching him manners and how to act appropriately in a restaurant. I taught him that corner trick in tic-tac-toe where you’ll never lose if you use it. I, like most of you mamas, was my boy’s first teacher. I attempted to teach my youngest son how to play calmly and safely, but when that lesson didn’t sink in, I was right there with him in the ER dabbing his split brow and holding his hand as the doctor put it back together. A year later, when he busted his mouth, I helped the doctor administer the analgesic. At that point, I hadn’t even begun to consider nursing school, yet I was playing the part well.
I’m one semester away from graduating, but I already know that as a nurse, I’ll be there to hold the hand of a child whose mom can’t be there, and I’ll be there to educate a family as I answer the questions they didn’t think to ask the doctor. Though I’m not out there yet, I know this because I’ve seen my future co-workers in action.
I find it fitting that Teacher Appreciation, Nurses Week, and Mother’s Day all fall within the same week. All of these roles overlap and share so many similarities, and I consider how much we take on everyday, always often with patience and grace. So, if you’re a teacher or a nurse or a mom, you are cherished today and every day. Your courage, strength, and selflessness do not go unnoticed, and your small acts of love that you perform so effortlessly have a big impact.
Teacher. Mom. Nurse. You do it all. Thank you for your devotion. The world is truly brighter with you in it.