It’s not every day, or heck even every year I wake up and say “today is the day I retell my CEO Teacher® journey.” To be honest, my journey, my story – the one I have to live with every single day, it’s one that I’m proud of. I’m ready to share my story (things have changed a good bit since the beginning days of the CEO Teacher® Podcast) and I hope that it can somehow help someone else in their season of life. Maybe you’ve been in my shoes, maybe you haven’t – but inside of us – we are all human. We all have pain. We all have a reason, our reason why.
We just closed enrollment for The CEO Teacher® Programs for Spring 2022. We will not open the doors to our programs again until late 2022. Again, if you’re looking for more freedom, more impact, and more happiness get on the waitlist for The CEO Teacher® Programs.
It’s 2010 and I finally have the degree in teaching I worked so hard for. I’ve got 3 kids and a wonderful husband, but I’m dying inside. Nothing feels good, nothing makes me happy – I feel so guilty and wonder daily if I’m stealing the happiness away from my children because of how miserable I am. The job that I thought would be my ticket to happiness turned out to be a lot harder than I thought. The expectations on me from administrators, parents, myself – it’s more than I can bear. Not only is it hard teaching sixth-grade ELA, but at the end of the day, I ride around town crying before I go pick up my kids from daycare because I’m stuck in this vicious cycle.
One that I can’t seem to get out of even if I tried, and believe me I’ve thought about trying. Wouldn’t they be happier if I wasn’t here? It would be easier that way. I wipe my tears away and go pick up my kids from daycare knowing that when I get home to fix dinner I’ll be hit with another battle, and that’s being a wife and mom. You see that’s how life is these days – wake up, go to work, cry in the bathroom at work, cry on my way to get my kids, cry until dad gets home from baseball practice, cry in the shower, cry myself to sleep. There’s no way out. It would be easier if I wasn’t here.
I wish I could say that this only lasted a little while, but I’d be lying. 4 years, that’s how long my postpartum depression went undiagnosed. Two of my sons are 12 months and 11 days apart and I didn’t know that your hormones *especially if you aren’t taking care of yourself* sometimes have a hard time bouncing back. Even more so when you have babies back to back. But I’m young and I think I’ve got it all figured out. My children were 10, 4, and 3 when I finally went to the doctor and asked for help. I like to paint a picture of what that looked like. The day he said I had postpartum depression. I was anti-medication and pretending like I could just snap out of it when he said “it’s been years that you’ve been feeling like this?” and I just cried. Yes, it’s been years.
I share my CEO Teacher® journey because I don’t want you to wait as long as I did. 4 years of life I missed, where I just went to work and went through the motions. Sure I Was a teacher, I wrote the lesson plans, I did what I was supposed to do – but my students didn’t get the true education that I could have given them. You see, being a teacher is my passion, my life’s work, my calling!
And I treated it like a job instead of the burning fire inside of me.
Those students didn’t get the education they deserved, the education I so desperately wanted to give them. Outside of the classroom my husband and my children also didn’t get the person they deserved. I was 10% of who I am today.
Did we make it? Yes. Do my children remember when mommy cried herself to sleep every night? Thank God they don’t, but mommy does – and that’s the hardest part of my story.
It’s been a few months now since I cried to my doctor, who I to this day give a huge bear hug when I see him. It’s weird how much you love a man that you aren't married to that delivers your children and takes you out of postpartum depression. I say love in a sense of admiration – he helped bring my children into his world but he also told their mama it was okay to ask for help!
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Life is beginning to pick up, those days of rinse and repeat of waking up and going to school and crying in the bathroom are going away – day by day I felt better. My teaching was stepping up its game and I was taking my kids to the park after school to feel alive again.
Those black and white days are getting more and more vibrant as I begin to see what life looks like when you live it in color. I heard some teachers talking in the lunchroom about a website called Teachers Pay Teachers. A place where they can buy their lesson plans for the week and I kinda brush it off because “ I can do this myself”. But it happens – just as it does with almost every teacher I know, we’re late for school, screeching tires in the parking lot, and don’t have anything for these children to do today. So I go to TPT and buy a novel study and BAM my day is planned for me.
It felt good!
It took the sting out of being late for work. My students were happy, I was happy, and we were in our groove. It felt good, so I started buying more things off of TPT and I was becoming the teacher I was born to be. The teacher inside of me was there all along.
It’s October 2013 and I'm sitting on my couch with a glass of red wine watching reality tv as my kids are already in bed with my husband telling him during a commercial break about my lessons for the day. I jokingly said “I think I can do this too” and hey – it can even pay for our Netflix bill. Little did I know that that thought of “I think I can do this too” would be all I needed to start a revolution inside of me. One that was there all along.
It was rocky and messy and sloppy those first few years. I did pay our Netflix bill in month one, actually, I made more than that and made $50 and was on top of the world. From there things got hard for a while, I worked on my side hustle of selling on TpT every afternoon, but I loved it. It gave me an outlet for creativity and that felt great. In 3 years' time, I was making over 95k a year just selling my teaching resources on TpT and my website. It was crazy and I had no idea that would lead me to leave the classroom in January 2018 and create programs that would give teachers the same freedom that I found.
It would allow them to create real businesses that go far beyond just Teachers Pay Teachers. Businesses that belong to them like starting their own podcast, selling products like stickers, stationary, and organizational goodies on Etsy. Creating teacher memberships that give teachers a safe place to ask questions when they are going into a new interview process. Courses that teach reading instruction, one on one coaching as tutors for various subjects and so much more.
My husband and I tried for years to have another baby after those days of depression, we actually had given up hope and were thankful for the children we had been blessed with.
But my heart ya’ll, my heart wanted another chance.
I asked God every night for another chance to do it right this time, to be the mom that raced as fast as she could to daycare to pick up my kids, to kiss them every second of every day. To play outside, to laugh, and not get mad about dumb stuff. To rock a baby and enjoy every single second, I stepped up my game with my 3 boys and enjoyed every second of watching them play sports and attended all of their events at school and field trips, but God knew all along. When I left the classroom in 2018 I found out just a few months later I was pregnant again with our 4th baby boy.
He was born in 2019 and not long after the pandemic took hold. Our CEO Teacher® journey continued to unfold and the business skyrocketed. I was given the greatest gift of all. The gift of showing our children I could be the mom that was always inside of me.
Covid brought my family the happiest days of our lives – we bought an RV and traveled around the southeastern United States. My husband is a principal so he was also at home with us and we found the happiness we had always wanted. So much so, that we again asked God to bless us with just one more baby, and lo and behold he surprised us with a baby girl. Whew. What a wild ride. From the ashes new life was born- one that I knew was there all along, but I just didn’t know how to find it. One that has given me and my family freedom and happiness.
In 2013 I made a vision board of my biggest dreams and I can honestly say all of them have come true. All because I decided to get out of depression, asked for help, and found the passion inside of me to come to life through selling my resources online.
I think depression is a dark place that not everyone can get out of alone, but if you’re feeling like you need that spark inside of you to find its way out of darkness to light – I think The CEO Teacher® programs are a great place to start.
Your CEO Teacher® journey and story may not be just like mine, but I know you have the passion and desire to teach, on your own terms and finally make the income and impact you deserve.
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