Photo credit to one of my favorite teacher websites, We Are Teachers
Summer is winding down and it’s almost time to start the transformation back into School Year Wife. I think my husband dreads the transition even more than I do. I fear that during the summer I’m the woman he married 30 years ago but 10 months out of the year I’m some other woman. Years ago my husband started calling me his “favorite wife” which left me wondering How many wives does he have? When I would inquire about this his answer would be, “Of all the wives I know, you’re my favorite.” That didn’t really clear things up for me nor was it comforting. He’s married to two women and they’re both me, School Year Wife and Summer Wife. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.
We teachers ask a lot of our spouses. We are the carefree fun-loving spouse they married for 9 weeks during the summer and then mid-August rolls around and everything changes. Suddenly we are consumed with setting up our classrooms, cutting lamination and labeling everything in sight using handwriting our spouse doesn’t even recognize. We live and breathe the 24 names on our class list and forget to grocery shop, do laundry, cook dinner, feed the dog . . . Our spouses pick up a lot of slack throughout the school year but the start of the school year is especially difficult for them. We call on them to build things, cut things, lug things, lift things and move things. There’s a lot of lugging, lifting and moving at the beginning of the year and we’re often asking them to do this after a full day of work at their own job or on the weekend. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.
For years I have said it takes a special guy to be married to a teacher. A quick internet search reveals the truth in this statement.
- 20 Things That Happen When Your Spouse is a TEACHER!
- An Open Letter to the Spouse of a School Teacher
- 8 Things Only Teacher Spouses Will Understand
- Don’t Date a Girl Who Teaches
- My wife is a lazy liar
While several of these are humorous reads there were some sad titles in my search as well: Wife’s Job Sucks! How can I convince her to change careers? and My wife’s career as an elementary teacher is tearing our lives apart. I don’t want to be the subject of one of these articles. It’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.
Teacher husbands learn to take a backseat to their wife’s teaching responsibilities. In the early years of my marriage and career we committed to one night a week when I didn’t bring home school work and we didn’t let anything interrupt that time. Of course this was before laptops, cell phones, email and Facebook. I attributed the constant work to my inexperience but on the eve of my 20th year teaching I bring even more work home than I did as a new teacher. I’ve often wondered if I just suck at teaching and that’s why it’s so much work for me. A recent fortune cookie from a lunch with a teacher friend put it in perspective for me.
I think that pretty much sums it up for those of us who make the transformation from the person we are in the summer to the person we are during the school year. We are wired to help a child in need. Our job is not just a career, it’s a calling and a mission. Those who are married to us get this and they wouldn’t dream of doing anything but support us in our calling. So, thank you to my favorite husband, I know it’s not easy being . . .married to a teacher.