Getting to the Root of My Funk

Ever feel like you just can’t win? That people are out to burst every bubble you’ve got? I definitely got that going on lately. The beginning of May is always hard for me and this year is no different. I take things personally that I normally wouldn’t. I am doubly sensitive and can’t take a joke. I sinfully tend to assume the worst of people’s intentions. I am hoping that by letting it out, the funk will dissipate. 

I hate, and I mean to use the strong word “hate”, feeling like this. I know that I’m overly sensitive. I don’t blame myself for that…I sadly blame my dad. He’s not here so he’s the safest one to blame 😉 He kind of ruined the end of April/beginning of May for me. Sadness and feeling just “blah” rule my May days until something gives. I about bit the head off of two friends today for the smallest of things. Sigh…I don’t like this at all.

This year I’m pretty sure there’s something more in the mix. In just two weeks I will be done teaching for an unknown amount of time. I’m going to stay at home (gulp!) with LL full time. I know in my heart I want nothing more than to be here with her. I fully believe at this point that home is where God is leading me. But here’s the sad part…the secret I’ve been harboring—I don’t really like teaching anymore. Honestly I never thought it would be like that. I LOVED teaching for 8 years. I loved the challenges & the triumphs, the students, and even their parents! But…somehow I’ve lost that. I almost feel like I am grieving the loss of my love of teaching. Ok, when I actually read that I realize how truly melodramatic it may seem but it’s true. I am sad that I don’t love teaching anymore. I’m going to miss my ECC staff more than words can express. I have the world’s most amazing boss and coworkers who are good friends. Some of them have seen the good, bad, and ugly over the last 3 May’s and have stuck by my side no matter what. I will miss seeing them so much. But what I miss the most already is the drive and inspiring love of teaching that I used to have. I really hope I get it back some day.

So I’m going to make a list. Yup, hubs, another list. 🙂 It’s a list of what I loved about teaching. Focus on the good times and what I will cherish from my first round of teaching in my life.

Treasures from Teaching
  • Easily and hands down most important to me: I was blessed to share the love of Jesus openly with my students for 8 straight years.
  • Seeing the “aha” moments so many times. That split second moment when something new clicks for a student.
  • Getting to know my students deep down. They let me in on their sacred secrets and trusted me wholeheartedly. That one I’ll miss for sure.
  • Hugs…lots and lots of hugs. Somehow as much as I knew when my little ones needed hugs, they knew even more when I needed them.
  • Assessments…you don’t believe me, do you? But yup, I love ’em. I loved seeing where a student started and how far I was able to help them go. Yes, assessments made me see the challenges, sometimes HUGE challenges that were ahead of us, but then the reward was so much sweeter when they met their goals.
  • Support and love from the BEST of coworkers and colleagues in both schools where I taught. I wouldn’t have survived without them.
  • Routine and structure…yes, I’m anal retentive and will probably create a weekly schedule for LL and me. School gave me a way to hold myself accountable. I have this much work to accomplish in X amount of hours and days…LOVED that.
  • God was able to knock me down and build me right back up through these 8 years. With every difficult student situation and every time I couldn’t do more…He made me realize it wasn’t ever about me. He provided the grace to cover my mistakes…the times I couldn’t get through to that certain student, the times I couldn’t take them out of the horrible home lives, the times I simply wasn’t what they needed. God’s grace is all sufficient.

This list helped me realize something: I do love teaching. I will miss teaching. And that’s okay. God has blessed me beyond measure through these 8 years as a teacher. He’s taught me far more than I could ever teach a child. I am going to miss it. And oddly, that’s really good to know.


Things change…a lot!

If you would have asked me two years ago what my life would look like as a mommy, I’d tell you that I would be a working mom and completely confident in that fact. I’d tell you that I’d be a breastfeeding mom. I’d tell you that I would be managing all of it beautifully. 

Well, things change.

After Laura was born I couldn’t breastfeed. I tried…to the point of losing my mind, literally. A month after Laura was born I was diagnosed with severe Postpartum Depression. We even had to fly my mom, Grandma Debbers, back down because I could not get out of bed, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop the irrational anxiety-ridden thoughts. Never in my life had I felt so helpless and crazy. I’ve had issues I’ve dealt with in counseling but never to the point where I needed medication. This was an entirely different ballgame…things change. Going back to work was a necessity for me, not for financial reasons, but for my mental health. Some may never understand that but I firmly believe it had to happen. I needed to have something familiar and tangible that engaged the part of my brain that was solid, my academic side. I’m so eternally grateful for my part time job as a preschool teacher. It was one of the things that brought me out of the depths and I believe God put that job there for that reason.

Fast forward eight months. I am weaning off my meds and feel phenomenal. Back to my grounded, confident, non-anxiety-ridden self! Things change. I have told my wonderful preschool that I won’t be returning next school year. The very thought that used to make me sweat, unable to move or speak, has now become the only thing I want to do…stay at home with my sweet Laura-love. I, Katie Visaggio, will be a stay at home mom starting in June. Things change. I cannot wait for days at home playing, going on walks and to the park, battling my stubborn Mini-Me LL on the daily things I am sure we will “disagree” on, and cooking dinners, yes, even cooking dinners! THINGS CHANGE! 😉 

I have changed. I become the gentler, softer person I’ve always prayed to be. (Ok, I still have my snarky, quick-mouthed, stubborn side but at least it’s taken a back seat! Baby steps, people, baby steps!) My goals have shifted. Yes I still want to teach elementary school and finish my Masters degree but the priority is being there for my daughter, spending time with her, and watching her grow in God’s grace.

I can grow and change and shift without fear or caution as I have this year because of my never-changing, ever-constant God & Savior. He carried me. He put my amazing support system in place. He gave me the earthly tools possible to climb out of the depths and become the stronger, gentler, more confident Katie I am today. He never leaves or forsakes. He plans and directs things for my prosperity to His glory. I want to be a good stay at home mom out of thanks for the fact that He saved me eternally & blessed me with this incredible responsibility of motherhood. 

Things change. Jesus remains. Goodness…all goodness.

_________ versus _________

I’ve learned in a very short time how many decisions a parent needs to make. For the past year+, the hubs and I have been bombarded with information, opinions, books & articles from experts, nudges from well-meaning family & friends…enough to give me an ulcer, make my head spin, & literally cause me practically a nervous breakdown at the same time. Here’s the short list of the things that we as first time parents have “had” to think about:

  • obstetrician or midwife
  • hospital, birth center, or home birth
  • find out the sex or let it be a surprise
  • natural birth or epidural
  • breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combo
  • get LL vaccinated or wait and see
  • co-sleeping or bassinet & crib
  • no cry or cry it out sleep training
  • baby-wearing or allow LL independence
  • stay at home mommy or working mommy
  • in-home babysitter, small daycare, or larger center
  • disposable or cloth diapers
  • rice cereal or oatmeal
  • pureed foods or baby-led weaning
  • homemade baby food or store bought
  • conventional or natural & alternative remedies for LL’s ears

And those are only the items I can list at this moment! For the longest time I agonized over these decisions….until the other day at LL’s 9th pediatrician appointment in 6 weeks. She had just received her second of three horribly painful Rocephin injections in an attempt to beat this awful, seemingly never-ending double ear infection. I was emotionally, mentally, & physically drained and was pleading for her to be better. But, she needed yet another injection. I fought back tears as my sweet baby girl was holding her breath in pain & then let out a wail that still causes me to cringe & choke up when I think about it. I couldn’t think of anything to soothe her. No matter what I tried I felt helpless as she just screamed in agony. By God’s grace I began singing “Jesus Loves Me,” the KV version:

Jesus loves you this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves you, He who died
heaven’s gates to open wide.
He has washed away your sin
letting little Laura in.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Amazingly she calmed almost instantly & began to smile. I could have cried for joy. A few days later as the hubs (& in my opinion the best daddy around!) was singing the same song to LL, he leaned over and said: “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

In that single moment I realized that the only decision that has eternal importance for LL is that we teach her who her Savior is…that she know Jesus. We had her baptized the day after she was born. We pray with her. We sing “Jesus” songs & hymns to her. We take her to church with us to hear God’s glorious word. Of all the things that we “need” to make sure she knows, our single most important mission is that we raise this precious gift of God as a Christian doing everything we can to ensure that she will spend eternity with God. None of the rest of it is worth losing sleep over. While we will use our God-given intelligence to make the best choices for our family in our circumstances, in the long run, the only choice that I will always rest peacefully with is teaching her God’s word every day. There is an indescribable calm and strength like none other as a parent when you realize that simple truth.

That, my friends, is goodness defined.

LL’s favorite book! How I love watching her smile as she sings along in her beautiful baby babbling!